If I had to describe my relationship with my alma mater, I’d leave it at “it’s complicated.” Don’t get me wrong. I love William and Mary. I do and I did. But it was just a strange little era in my life.
You see, within a few weeks of stepping foot on campus as an idealistic wide-eyed freshman, ready to take on the world, 9/11 happened. This was right around the time I decided to, oh you know, stop eating. (More on that here.) Which then had me driving to and from Richmond a couple times a week for so.many.appointments, all the while trying to stay fully engaged in campus life. My sorority. Bible studies. Dorm life. One foot in college, the other foot in some unfamiliar world of dietitians and mental health jargon.
Then, I got healthy. Physically. Spiritually. I dove into sophomore year and, before long, met a guy. A cute guy who went to college four hours away. A guy who I’d end up dating for the remainder of college until we said “I do” just months after graduation. We had that trip between Williamsburg and Blacksburg down to a science. Once again- back and forth, back and forth. One foot in my college experience, the other in his.
Neither here nor there. And, like I said, complicated.
We headed back to Williamsburg last week, and it was fabulous. I can’t think of many places that do spring better than that quaint little colonial town. We ate at my favorite Williamsburg restaurant (The Cheese Shop, duh) and stopped by my favorite candy store and showed my mostly-disinterested kids around the most beautiful college campus in existence. I even knocked on the door of my old sorority house to give my girls a glimpse of that chunk of my former life. All of the essentials.
As we traipsed around, dodging horse manure and college students with their heads in books, I couldn’t stop thinking, “I took this for granted! All of it! This place! This season! These kids just don’t know how good they’ve got it here!” And just as I started to wish I could turn back time and do it all over again, I remembered philosophy class! Biology lectures! Unending work and papers and exams! And instantly un-wished my wish.At the end of the day, our little trek through the ‘burg met two pretty substantial needs in my life:
1. A turkey on french with house (no cheese) from The Cheese Shop.
And 2. I was reminded that all seasons end. And some are harder than others. But every now and then, look up… from your anatomy textbook or your cubicle or your ever-growing piles of laundry… just look up. Pause. Open your eyes and really look. And consider that maybe you’ve got it really, really good right here in this season after all.