Time, Travel and Perspective
Earlier today my friend James passed the following quote my way, “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
The quote resonated and the first thing that came to mind was a recent trip I took to my alma matter, Truman State University. It wasn't the first time I've been back since graduating 11.5 years ago, but it was the first time I've back with free time to myself and could reflect on what has changed.
I sat in on the weekly meeting of the campus activity group, SAB, I was a part of for four years. For all that has changed, they have social media to promote events, we didn't and they have smartphones, we didn't, it was amazing how much was the same. The group still has the same habits and processes, reinforcing that traditions die hard.
Many of the campus buildings had been remodeled or improved in one form or another but for all that was different, its quite possible that what has changed the most is me.
With a consistent stream of 18-22 year old students, the psychology of the people on campus holds steady in a lot of ways. The degrees they are pursuing and the world they are working to enter has changed but the process is still somewhat the same.
My college isn't the same one I attended but I'm not certainly not the person I was when I attended.
This calls to mind the important understanding of how tiny I am on the face of this Earth. I am fortunate to know great people, enjoy their company and what we are working towards in our community but how much of the planet's success does not depend on me in order to get where its going.
And when I feel the world and time passing by, its an important moment to step back and ask, "what do I want out of life?" We get so caught up in our day-to-day lives and what we feel is expected of us that its easy for me to forget to chase my actual dreams rather than what might temporarily feel good for glory or treasure. Tony Robbins's discussion on Achievement vs. Fulfillment is something I now feel called upon to revisit.
But I want to state that I don't regret the passage of time. Looking back and forward provides excitement and insight. I only ask of myself that I be a man of action. That I chase the things that feel rewarding and exciting at my core. Because one day, this speck will be no more.
Go Forth Boldly