Meeting at Different Stages / Loneliest Thing about Company

Nothing like ridiculous poses for a good picture.

As of late, I’ve felt that the loneliest thing about having a social life is enjoying it to its fullest extent as it occurs, but keeping alive, in the back of your head, the thought that it can all change drastically as a result of circumstances, whether intentional or wholly uncontrollable.

Just the other day, I ran into a few friends, one of which I’d know for quite some time. Enough time to the point that it became evident that I had interacted with her on different levels at different stages in our lives.

At each stage, I was slightly different.

A classic pose for me, supposedly.

I interacted with her as the person I was when I was halfway through my senior year of high school, again when I was almost through, again when I was wholly through, and now once more, over a year later.

A year spent outside of school, a year spent learning about myself, about my passions and desires, about the things I can and can’t do without; a year spent building my financial capital, getting accustomed to chasing and making the best of laboral opportunities … essentially, a year growing up.

Her being a year younger than myself, our most recent interaction was at a crossroads between the result of a year in “respite” (mine) and that of a year yet to begin (hers). It was delightful to mesh with someone that I’d communicated with under so many different circumstances at different times, again.

Seeing her, however delightful, taught me not just the virtue of meeting at different life stages but also managed to remind me of one of the loneliest things about people.

To avoid frustration, to avoid heartbreak (not wholly in the romantic sense) and to avoid depending on a pillar that’s ready to give any moment, I have to assume that this delightful meeting won’t happen again. Because if life and particularly my year “off” have taught me anything, it’s that people – whether friends, acquaintances, crushes, significant others, teachers, role models – come and go. It’s usually not their fault, at least as much as it isn’t yours.

Most of the time, it’s just the passage of time, and how the both of you respond to it. When these journeys through the passage of time meet, one farther along than the other, it’s beautiful.

But it’s equally deadly to think these meetings are a constant.

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The Power of Intention | MDC Honors Orientation

Rocking the MDC Honors swag!

Over the past few days, I have solidified my commitment to the Miami-Dade Honors College program, both financially – I’m several hundreds poorer because of it – and mentally. Heretofore, the experience has been wonderful.

Orientation took place yesterday and today, a total of sixteen hours of truly engrossing and rewarding presentations, activities and experiences. That sole achievement – the production of a program with an audience of around two hundred high school graduates that not only felt coherent from beginning to end but also conveyed a fairly abstract message with aplomb – has been a demonstration of the integrity and capabilities of the staff and faculty at the program. To keep hundreds of kids interested for sixteen hours across two days is no easy feat.

The message conveyed was a powerful one, about the power of intention. The common theme throughout the orientation’s presentations – which ranged from administrative staff delineating their expectations of the students; to speakers of all races, origins and passions that motivated us through their philosophies of, and ways they had achieved, success – was that the power of a human being to achieve and to excel is indomitable if properly aimed.

Taking the group picture on the steps of Building 3.

They spoke of financial, social, intellectual and personal capital; how for one person, success was the alignment of passion, profit, intellect and purpose; they spoke of community, of a mutual give and take (on levels in and beyond the classroom) that we as students of a common program must foster; they spoke of ways to perceive and to better our relationships with others, such as the middle seat mentality and the difference between networking across versus upwards; they spoke of practical matters, such as the cost of our education and how mechanically shuttling ourselves between class and home not only doesn’t cut it in the eyes of the Honors college faculty but is also a waste of our time and money; they spoke of being part of a dynamic educational program that aims to build upon all the facets of ourselves, beginning with but extending well beyond the academic realm.

It takes a certain kind of mindset and a certain set of circumstances to be able to sit in a room for several hours at a time and have such topics be thrown at you and retained. But that’s exactly how I felt yesterday and today, as if I was a bottomless wicker basket, that kept expanding and expanding as more and more valuable information was thrown my way.

Standing ovation for Jullien Gordon of www.julliengordon.com. 

I have been convinced that what I am embarking upon may seem one way on paper but is something much more valuable and much more costly in real life. On paper, I’m pursuing an associate’s degree in journalism at the Honors program hosted at the local community college. In real life, I am putting my own time, much of my own money, my own energy and my own spiritual being headfirst – and past the point of no return – into an investment towards myself and my future.

It’s a heavy responsibility unto myself, but I’m willing to take it. Through my intention, I will harness my power.

Here’s to college.

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