Friday, December 23, 2016

351. Looking Back

There are some friends I don't see anymore. It's weird that I define my life in very separate circles that rarely intersect with one another. There is the pre-Conserve era. That's the one I have the most trouble remembering. I don't have very many friends from that time. There's my family and a few people I communicate on Facebook with mainly through Facebook wall posts, but not much at all. I don't have a place I go back to in my hometown to drink and commiserate. For a variety of reasons, it just never happened. I'm OK with that. Though it's a bit weird to have your life remembered through the photo albums your mom put together over the years.

Then there is the Conserve era. This was probably the era in my life that defined me the most. It helped me develop a love of small communities that can help people. My enjoyment and love for being outside and in the outdoors grew there. I learned that sometimes you just have to help people. Also, you sometimes can't help everything. Sometimes things just don't turn out like the way you imagined they would. I don't have that high school I thought I would, but I do have some really great lifelong connections that have stuck with me through all of that. There's a reunion next summer. I'm looking forward to exploring back up there for a little bit.

And then there is Saint John's. Saint John's was like Conserve, but it helped affect more of the whole of me: spiritually, socially, emotionally, intellectually. All of those pieces of me were affected by my four years at Saint John's. I'm really excited to go back there with some friends in a couple of days. My fondest memories are walking around in the woods, sharing beers in Vincent, watching the Office is some cramped dorm room on Mary 3, doorknocking for random candidates all around the county. Those were all good and shaping experiences. In a way, I'm glad all of those things helped shape me.

I worked in Maryland for a few years. I really enjoyed Maryland as a state, and I still have a few connections there, but I don't think I have a love for it as much as I do other places. I haven't really been back for very long since leaving. Maybe I'll get back sometime in the future.

Then there is Boston. Boston was another big part of shaping who I am. Notice that I'm not saying my school, but living, working, and just being in Boston all contributed to who I am today. I loved feeling the strong identity that the town has. It was nice to feel a part of that for two years. I think two things really affected me there: working at a comedy theater and the Boston Marathon bombing. Those are two very different events, but they shaped a lot of who I am and what I am looking for in life. Maybe the rest of that is for a different blog post.

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