Although it often has a negative connotation, intense is the best word I can think of to describe the past two weeks. I’ve experienced moments of extreme joy, challenge, hunger, satisfaction, beauty- a veritable rollercoaster of a transition.
You know when something big changes in your life and for the longest time afterwards you still have those moments of sudden realization? I’ve been repeatedly having these ohmygod moments recently.
My first one was on the side of a mountain with 40 pounds on my back. There was a gorgeous lichen covered rock-face to my left and a breathtaking view of the Kern river and surrounding mountains to my right. With fresh air and the comfortable silence of good company all around, I just wanted to cry. It was a moment of such raw joy- the realization that these people and mountains would be my life for the next three years.
Yesterday I was at “Open House,” a weekly (optional) Saturday night event here at The Thacher School where *everyone* (including our teachers) goes to the headmaster’s house to party the evening away with cookies, coloring pages, dancing, fruit pops, Sherlock, chess, and Bananagrams. I was sitting at the dining room table with my physics teacher, filling in a coloring page with the school colors. He started humming and mumbling along to “Shake it Off” (Taylor Swift) when I looked around and momentarily saw how utopic the whole scene was. Here was a group of teenagers defying society’s stereotypes and spending our time together in a fun and constructive way.
These moments keep surfacing, making me step back for a second of perspective so I can try to fully appreciate these days while I have the chance. Walking out of the woods from archery practice to a view of the whole Ojai valley, entering the dining hall and smelling fresh tangerine, passing someone who smiles and says hi even if they don’t know my name. I know these observations will fade as the new becomes normal, but I hope I’ll still be able to step back sometimes and appreciate this magical place I’m living in.
Today, try to look at your world with wonder- give yourself some perspective to appreciate little things. They truly add up.