Isn’t it funny how one month can feel like years long, or how you can feel entirely comfortable in a new place one day, and completely out of place there the next? While it may sound like I’m describing an episode of the Twilight Zone, this is actually my life, from the viewpoint of having lived one month in college. In the past year, I have narrated the important lessons I have learned in my life through my “shades of gray”, and when I came to college, I wasn’t sure if there were any more shades for me to view. It was only after I had read articles, taken notes, walked to dining halls, made spontaneous ice cream runs, been caught in the rain, salsa danced, discussed, sneezed, and laughed within an inch of my life did I realize the many, many more shades of gray that existed in our world. This was the Varied Veritas (Latin for “truth” J) I came to terms with, and from it I learned some lessons that have given me reason to clean my everyday lenses for the first time in a while….
Sitting in my dorm room, exactly one month since I had moved in, I took out my journal and started writing about the amazing dinner I had just shared with my roommates. Wow, I can’t believe the time we had, I’d thought. Great food, great company, and a special guest: my Varied Veritas. I thought about how my VV had made an impression on me that particular night, how I was taught that being sure is not always necessary, and that one defines success in one’s own terms.
Curious to see where else my VV had made an appearance in the past month, I flipped through my journal to earlier entries to see what I’d written.
When I first got here my VV held my hand during the difficult time in which I learned that I can’t fix every wrong I see; my VV also helped me realize it’s okay for me to make mistakes in this “perfect” atmosphere. A couple of weeks into it, whirlwind classes and amazing professors made me truly listen to my VV’s words of being appreciative of all I had. On September 11, my VV solemnly stood alongside me as I reflected on my identity and showed me that what my “role” in the world isn’t as important as how I choose to fill it. My VV showed me the many things that must come from within, “authenticity” being one of them.
And my VV never failed to remind me that no matter what I end up doing with my life, it is always good to have some important tools in my pocket and youthful idealism in my heart. I now see that I will never get too old to let go of believing that things have the potential to be so much more than I could ever know.
As far as all this “knowing” business goes, my VV told me it is okay not to know, not to have a clue about what I should be doing or where I should be going. And if it seems like everyone else knows, and I don’t, then I should revel in my unknowing-ness and in the amazing journey on which it will lead me throughout my life.
Although I do know one thing: I wasn’t brought this far to be left on my own. I’m being guided by my VV to more learning experiences and more blessed encounters. I am a little lost, but it is by being lost that I am humbled to turn to my VV to find the missing pieces from my map and get to wherever I should be.
I looked up from what I had read and realized that I can never say I fully learned all I could from my VV. As I turned on my laptop and felt the old, familiar feeling of getting ready to write about the new shade of gray I had seen, I truly “knew” that I still had a long way to go.
Lesson Learned: You always learn. Always. Just be open to life’s lessons, and you’ll see things that can only add to who you are. The lessons are right in front of you; all you have to do is clean the dirt from your lenses and see the many shades of gray J.
“Learning isn’t a means to an end; it is an end in itself.” ~ Robert Heinlein