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Don’t worry, be happy

February 5, 2013

A rock sits on my desk. It’s white and about the size of my thumb, with pieces of dirt still present in its crevices. It’s a rock I took from the Negev Desert, eased from the ground, dusted off and brought home. I twist it around in my fingers and think about my birthright trip. I look to the spot next to where my rock was placed and see a marble copy of the Trevi Fountain with “made in Italy” inscribed on the back. They’re experiences that taught me about what matters in my life. Then, I think about last semester… the semester of the rut… and how I wasn’t super excited about things, even though nothing in my life was actually bad. But luckily, I’ve come back to KU this semester with a fresh outlook, and I’m feeling pretty good.

I recently had a conversation with one of the people I live with in which I asked her point blank if she thought I had changed in the time before winter break and the time after. Her answer blew me away. She said yes, I had changed, and everything she articulated as to how I had changed was exactly how I had hoped to change following my experiences in Israel. It was very affirming to know that not only had I felt I changed, but other people noticed it too, and it was for the better. The way better.

This semester is only a few weeks in, but I can already identify huge differences. Yes, I’m busier than I’ve ever been because I’m more involved than I’ve ever been, but I’m probably happier than I’ve been in a long time (when in my day-to-day normal environment).

I am doing things I really, truly care about. I am involving myself in four organizations, and coupled with class time, it’s a lot, but in a really good way because these things I’m doing and these people I’m doing them with make me happy. And yes, that includes running around from place to place these past two days with pals from the Dole Institute. And if I say it on the blog, you better believe it’s actually true.

As I said in my previous blog, I learned many things in Israel – and in Italy – and have changed my perspective, personality and outlook because of them. So to summarize, I’ve grown a lot in the past seven months. I’m a different person now than I was before Israel, and I’m a different person now than I was at the end of freshman year, and I know both of those differences are for the better. I value different things, I understand different things, I want different things, I feel different things, I prioritize different things and I act differently.

So I’ve changed and grown up. And I’m happy. With my rock and my model Trevi Fountain and my view of KU out my window and my hours spent at the Dole Institute, I’m happy. Really.

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From → Sophomore

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