2.26.2011

Full circle.

There have only been a couple times in my life where I feel the odd paradox of my life coming full circle.

Over the past 2 months, I've moved back home to North Carolina after living in NYC for 2 1/2 years. Since home, I've begun working at Coldstone Creamery again (the same location where I began working my first job at age 17.) I also had the unique opportunity of returning to Greenville, NC home to East Carolina Univeristy... a place where I lived, worked and loved for 5 years earning my double BFA in theatre arts.

The reason I feel like these experiences are paradoxical, are simply because being back in these circumstances from the past creates the image that nothing has changed. And yet, everything has changed. What an odd feeling to return to places that were so key to my past, and try to find how they have meaning in my present.

I avoided Greenville for 2 1/2 years. At first I was avoiding my first love who was still living there. Then I was avoiding the memories of a past life. And then I woke up one January morning and thought to myself "what am I avoiding now?" Nothing.

I took a leap of faith and decided to return. A rush of anxiety immediately entered my body. What if I go back and feel worthless because I haven't achieved fame and fortune? What if I see the buildings lined with memories, or the streets that have my past ingrained in their sandy features- and I yearn to return to that time? Will I be thrown into a depression wishing I wasn't moving forward but backward?

I will have you know that upon entering the city of Greenville, I felt nothing but excitement. Driving down 5th street past the Messick Arts Theatre building or turning onto Eastern St. and seeing my old house; it created such happiness and immediate love towards the people in my life who still share this past.
(My old college house, The Eastern Estate)

So the perplexing question becomes:

Is part of accepting the past, understanding how to create a healthy respect for it in your present?

Over the past 3 years I've spent so much time convincing myself that I'm better than I was before. And while that may be true in some aspects, it causes an inaccurate perception of the mini- homes I've had in my past. Why do I feel as though I have to put down the past in order to feel good about the present? My present must have pretty low self esteem.

As I sat in Christy's Europub with my dear professor Robert Caprio, we reminisced about shows we'd done from the past. We laughed and laughed about some of the fondest memories we shared. And by doing that, we helped create a bond for the future.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that remembering our past, sometimes gives us the chance to reach back and remember what our dreams were, and that can heavily influence our future.

Returning to work at Coldstone reminds me that child-like tenacity and youthful dreams should never die. I feel as though I'm 17 again when I'm in that store, and it's a nice reminder that growing up doesn't always mean giving up.

Returning to Greenville reminded me of my potential. Especially of the potential that other people saw in me. It reminded me that a future which seems so complicated, often feels that way simply because we project our own insecurities onto it. As a freshman, college seemed like the end of the world, but by my senior year I was a firework who had burst open shining for everyone to see.

Life is hard, but revisiting the past reminds me that it's a wonderfully hard journey. Like an old Chinese proverb says "consider the past and you shall know the future".

2.03.2011

Mission Call!

It finally happened!! I received my mission call!!

I will be serving in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania mission!

I leave on May 11th to report to the MTC (which is in Provo UT)!

Sorry for the exclamation marks, i'm just so excited!!

I am thrilled to be able to spend 18 months of my life in complete service to God and other people... I cannot wait for this wonderful experience!