Two decades have gone by

Published 2 weeks ago -


Two decades have gone by for me: 20 winters, 20 springs, 20 summers and 20 autumns. I cannot seem to grasp the significance of such a number. I have long felt twenty, since I have been in college for almost two and a half years, but now it is my true age. I often think to myself that I am already very old, but then I am reminded of my age, and I think to myself that I’m still so young. I’m just a kid with no experience in anything, a young grasshopper not yet ready to hop away from her burrow, the small bluebird not quite nature enough to leave the nest, yet perhaps leaving the nest is the way to become mature. I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t know where I’m going. But I’m getting there one step at a time.

Two decades and I’ve only gone to three countries. I have walked the footsteps of my father and his family before him on a tropical island that people seem to identify only with Rastafarians. I have walked hours across Paris to visit Sacre Coeur, finding hidden gems along the way, my excited mother by my side. I have run through the streets of Rome trying to catch up with a group of 20 students led by the fearless president of our institution. I want to see more of the world. I want to grace to stone floors of Neuschwanstein Castle, ones that King Ludwig himself barely even got to walk. To feel like I’m soaring through a fairy tale many feet above Bavaria. I want to dance through the streets of Barcelona and write to my high school Spanish teacher about it. I want to see La Sagrada Familia completed and with my own eyes.

Two decades and I’ve spent them with the best family. A father who is a guide in every way, a mother who is peace, and two brothers who support me on their shoulders when I lack the strength to stand. We have done everything together: countless road trips down to Georgia with at least one stop at Cracker Barrell, frequented football games under Friday night lights, and gigged together to earn a little something on the side (but more than this, to make people happy). I cannot imagine my world without them. I would severely lack if they were not a part of who I am. Further, grandparents who always show up to events with cameras and “thinking of you” cards in their hands help to remind me of the blessings that I have. A cousin as well who is a third brother to me is someone I miss more each day.

Two decades and I’m just now finding the most beautiful friends. After much continued searching, I think I’ve finally found something real and true. They somehow find me fun enough to stay up until odd hours of the night laughing on the floor. They pick me up when I lie face down on the floor, in exhaustion and ready to quit. For some reason four of them adopted me as their roommate, strange as I am. We go on mini road trips and take late night coffee runs. We watch The Office and listen to our campus ministry jams. In return I spoil them where I can with cookies and little letters, knowing I cannot adequately pay them back.

Two decades and I’ve still got everything in the world to learn, for certainly the knowledge I have is only a small slice of the pie. I want still to read more Plato, more Jane Austin, more Perry Mason mysteries and more of Emily Dickinson’s poetry. There are libraries I have not yet explored, and there are ones that I will never be able to step foot in. But I will embrace them wherever I can, knowing that there is knowledge in such a place.

Two decades have gone by and it seems that I have still done so little with my life. Every day I wake up and find something new to be curious about and something else to put that twinkle in my eye. More importantly, I think, with each sunrise and sunset I find something new to be grateful for. I find some new blessing that I cannot cease to write to God about. For two decades I have spent my days laughing, crying, dancing, faltering, singing, exploring, writing and loving. I do not intend to stop now. As long as I keep on following the beam of my lighthouse, it will be well with me.

 Song of wonder: “Keep your Head up” by Ben Howard

 Maia Campbell, a senior, studies political science. She is the Campus Life Editor of Le Provocateur.

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