Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sophomore Year

I'm now in my third week of my sophomore (technically junior) year here at BYU. Three weeks in, and I have no missing assignments in Arabic. Three weeks in, and I have yet to unpack a few bags. Three weeks in, and today for the very first time I remembered to wear my glasses.

My schedule is so very full and hectic that it's hard to find time to step back and observe. Ironically, "the life observed" is the subject of one of my classes, and I rarely have been so removed from it. From the outside looking in, though, I realize how strange it all is. To be a university student, nearly twenty years old. I had visions and ideas about what, who, why I would be at this very point, but now it's... strange. At least thinking about it in the way I have been today. You know how you learn in science class, middle school level, about atoms? And how no matter how tightly you grasp that pencil in your hand, you're never really touching it. The space between the atoms is still there. It blows the 7th-grade mind, you feel as if touch and pressure and texture have all somehow been disproved. In a way, I guess that's how things feel now. I can touch and I can feel pressure and I can discern texture, but it's never, quite, quite, quite there.

I've found myself thinking back to my second year of high school, comparing. Did I feel the same way? About direction and involvement and velocity? I want it to be a perfect parallel, but deep down I'm worried the mountain has been summited.

Last Saturday I went up Provo Canyon with Emma (thank goodness for Emma!), just to Bridal Veil Falls, nothing exceptional. It's become obvious to me over the last few years that I breathe differently in the mountains. The air is crisp and I feel content to let it feel every pocket of my lungs, whereas in Provo I don't breathe deeply. The air isn't the same. In the quiet, with the crisp, fearless air, I sometimes ask myself, like the umbrellas or the hats of lucid aspirations, is this me? Truly? And I think, usually, yes.

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