When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?
Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future.
(Author: Bridget Pilloud)
For me it was the year I spent a semester of college at The University of Montana Western in Dillon, Montana. Back when I went in 1993 it was referred to as Western Montana College. As far as college credits and courses go, it was a wasted year of school and money but it was also a monumental semester for me in terms of personal growth and for that, I cannot and will never regret my time there.
My initial reasoning for going to school in Dillon, Montana was a naive and rather stupid one – a boy. The reason was stupid – not the boy. He was going there and I wanted to be near him. Not that he gave a fig about me. I knew he didn’t, never did and never probably would but I couldn’t help myself. I had this innocent albeit naive hope he would someday fall in love with me and once my heart is set on someone it takes an awful lot to turn away.
Anyway, it was this semester of college that I truly found myself walking my own path-strange as that might seem given my reason for going to school there. The thing was that I made a set of friends so quickly and so easily that it shocked and amazed me. I had always been more shy and lacked confidence until that semester. All of a sudden, I was sitting with 12 girls at dinner laughing, joking and having fun. They liked ME! They. Liked. Me. That was something I wasn’t used to. We all looked out for one another. I never felt so included, so appreciated and so involved as I did that one semester.
Even though I haven’t SEEN any of my friends since that time (1993) – except for one, I’ve reconnected on Facebook with several of them and I am so grateful for that. They have no idea what their friendship meant to me and how much that semester changed me. I treasure them and that time and always will. It gave me a confidence and strength I had lacked prior to that year and the ability to see beyond some childish crush that was never going to amount to anything.
It took me several years after that to actually “get over” that boy and I’m glad I did because something and someone even better (more suited to me) was waiting for me at the University of Montana-Missoula(my alma mater). That’s where I met some of the greatest friends a girl could have and where I met my best friend and the love of my life – Jess. That’s where my intellectual soul was fed and inspired.
And that’s where my life truly began.