Feeling much better today. Minus a nasty cough/cold I’m currently battling, I’ve done a complete 180!
I walked down to Cole Park to sit, read and think by the river. I’m so grateful the Rio Grande runs through Alamosa—I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t connected to a body of water somehow. In PA, fishing with dad on the shores of Weier Lake; at dad’s house when we moved to NY, our mini-Mississippi River we’d explore for hours each day; in Florida, the Gulf Coast where we were able to spend winter break with Grandma each year; in Hammondsport, summer canoeing, night swims and sunrises on Keuka Lake, along with countless hikes up the waterfalls; in Jersey, the Atlantic Ocean with Pops, Mom, and siblings; at Kent, the trail along the Cuyahoga River; and Semester at Sea, 3.5 months with the ocean as my backyard. Water is so vital to life—note to self, without enough of it, you can get altitude sickness in Colorado… But there’s something so incredibly mysterious about the flow of water—mysterious, yet so peaceful and heartwarming. How I could spend hours starting at the water and the reflections it reveals…
While resting yesterday, I jotted a few notes down for myself: The power of listening. Many times in my life I’ve had people come to me for help. It wasn’t necessarily that I physically helped them with a task, but that I was there to listen. We need to listen in order to connect. Listening can help heal others, and in turn, can heal ourselves.
The other day when I spent time at the Shelter cooking lunch, I talked about the need for human connection and conversation with some of the guests. We brought up the movie, Into the Wild, and talked about how running away from society, from friends, from family, is not always the best thing in mind. We need to connect and share and love those around us. Without these connections, the world would be so lonely.
At the same time, we cannot all go down the same path in life. It was frustrating for me over the past few years to see friends and classmates who were majoring in things they weren’t happy with—often times for job security and/or parent’s influence. We each need to take the time and ask ourselves, “What matters most to you in the world? What are you passionate about? What are you drawn to? What makes you come alive?” If only we could each do more of that…
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
I want to get back to going to bed and rising early. I have two more days of orientation, then I start my regular schedule.
Thought of the day: The more you reach out and help others, the less worried you are about yourself or your internal struggles. When we worry less about ourselves, we develop a deeper meaning in our lives.