Thursday, January 22, 2015

talking to myself

On the last day of our Middlebury orientation trip, we were told to write ourselves a letter, to be delivered at the start of the next term. It's strange to see how consistent I am with my pre-college self, but I'm also a bit disappointed to find that many of my post-trip convictions have since faded. Tomorrow night, we reunite.

Lake Dunmore
September 8th, 2014

Dear Gloria,
I'm writing to you from beneath a skinny sapling on the shore of Lake Dunmore, half in sun, half in shade. I'm at my most 三八阿花: Taiwanese hat on backward to prevent sunburn of neck; round glasses on because I was too grubby to pop in contacts this morning. It's been three days since I've showered, and my thighs are sliced like honeyed hams by scratches from the cornfield. Spread out across the grass carpet are my Midview comrades (Dylan closest, Ernesto and Ashley on benches, Heather and Lizzy browning on a blanket, Amosh and Ariana in repose, Elissa and Nikki in straight sun, Julia on a baby peninsula with a tree), ones that I hope to see again, that I hope will want to know me again, too.

It's amazing what 72 hours can do to total strangers, each representing a personality previously formed; that our eclectic pod of people could go from silence in the van to howling Adele, that we'd know the degrees to which the other's feet were dirtied and not mind twinge. We admire each other. Leaders just reunited... Some kids just walked by, ascertaining strawberry milk's origins, and an old lady on a bench with a book converses with a woman in green.

I wonder if, by now, you've returned to the Bridport Central School to make more signs, or help in the music class that you longed to fix (you haven't), if you've begun a MESH-like project with Su Lian Tan and Community Engagement (ditto), and if you can bust out a few German words (ja Mann!). I wonder if you've begun to have confidence in your gentle character, strength in your shyness, and persistence in your pursuits.

I hope that you have held fast to Jesus, that you will never forget or shove aside his never-ending grace and love, and that you will pray for those that have, especially S. If your heart is broken, I hope that you fight for a friendship to mend it; if it remains loyal to him, I hope that you will love and support him with wisdom, as I hope you have done already, never losing yourself in him but instead trusting in God's plan for you both.

If you have lost contact with Catherine, Nova, Sarah, Trio, Sabrina, Shereen, Vivian, or Julianne, please write them something beautiful, and pray for them as they embark on their respective adventures. Meanwhile, cherish the new friends you've made at Midd, remembering to greet them brightly per Lizzy's advice.

Write on blog frequently, and check all of Dad's emails; find a job to support Mom and Dad as they have yourself. Assure Bobo that a purposeful college admission lies ahead, and relate your own once miserable situation and now happy resolution.

Be kind, be bold; be inquisitive, be open. Ask much and do more. Wring this college for every droplet it has, with unrelenting and uncanny determination and energy. Re-cast the Middlebury mold. Run with determination this race set before you, going two miles where everyone goes one.

Have faith and love, and love,
Gloria Breck, past.
When future becomes present...

Boy, I really like myself... I seldom speak so warmly to anyone else!

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