Change, while inevitable, never truly gets easier. We mourn as sun turns to snow and summer to school, and miss those no longer here.
I know my sophomore year will prove to be a challenging one. Between my parents being away on sabbatical for a year and my boyfriend abroad for the semester, I find it easy to sit around and watch the clock tick and wait for the world to turn, anxiously awaiting the return of my people.
As I was watching the clock tick, wishing time would pass a little faster, a schoolmate died unexpectedly. There’s no denying our entire campus felt the grip of this tragedy on our hearts— that much was clear in the packed remembrance ceremony the day we got the news. We watched in pain as Bjorn's friends, teammates and fraternity brothers mourned. Even those who did not know him, such as myself, could not escape the mark he left on his people and our campus. Moved by the compassion of our community, I vowed after the initial remembrance ceremony to lead a more mindful, grateful life. I vowed to not sit around, brood and watch the clock tick, because our short lives are so very precious indeed. Yet, within a matter of days, I let loneliness and sadness consume me again, and waited for the world to turn.
Less than a week later, as I was wishing the world would turn a little faster, a friend died. The heart of my closest friend (from a shared bout of inpatient treatment) failed her in an impersonal hospital bed. It never occurred to me during my own treatment that eating disorders could kill people I know. I knew they could kill strangers, but I always felt my friends and I had some sort of impenetrable power of life nothing could destroy. My own power for life came with time and ongoing recovery. She felt hers lay in the disorder she could not abandon as easily as myself and our other friends had. In her honor, I once again found myself vowing to lead a life I wouldn’t take for granted, and to not spend my days waiting for time to pass. This time, after giving myself unapologetic time to grieve, I began to put my promise into action, one day, one hour, one second at a time.
I wish it hadn't taken a twofold tragedy to wake me up from the stagnant life I feel I have been leading so far this semester. I will it daily to have been anything besides the lives of two people to remind myself how beautiful a life of the mindful can be. If I was all-powerful, I would issue a campus, nay, worldwide plea to fiercely love your loved ones and to never, not for one second, wish your life would go a little faster.
Luther College: Take a breath, say a prayer, hug a friend, go outside. Throw away a ticking clock and let the world turn exactly as it wishes.