I loved the part of speech class when the instructor had us take an hour, to go find a spot, and sit by ourselves and answer some “big questions:” Who am I, why am I here, etc. By nature I am reflective, but it’s been a while since I’ve sat with and written my responses to these specific questions that he provided to us. I also like that he had us think about and write about our values. He had us think of favorite characters in movies and/or books, and again to see what values we admired in these characters. It really provided a new way to help guide me on “why am I here.” It actually makes a lot of sense to me in a different way. I knew some of the characters I liked from the past, but now I have a better sense of how they represent what I value in a new way.
Two of the eleven questions:
Who am I? On this day, June 30, 2010, I am in a constant state of self-discovery. I am whole, but I am also a sum of my experiences, past, present, future. I find myself in nature and through my words, through sharing and connecting and remembering.
During the past year, what has my life stood for? During the past year, my life has stood for appreciating the fragility and wonder of life. Not a day goes by that I am not in awe of some aspect of nature and my connection to her. I sit now beneath this great tree, on this grass with leaves and twigs and earth; I look up to the sun as it shines light on the leaves and the wind brushes against my whole being. I feel calm, grounded, quieted, humbled. And then…a little bird flies circles around me and I follow him with my eyes and turn my head and follow, round and round and round and round... He makes me dizzy with love and happiness, and I laugh aloud to myself, to the little bird, and the tree.
The beauty is we can come back to these questions at different points in our lives.
One note. When the instructor asked a couple of students that arrived back early from reflecting what they thought about the exercise, one girl did not like it at all, and I don’t think she wrote responses to the questions. I felt bad for her because she almost looked terrified. She was clearly not in a space to open up to these questions. As I had noted before, many of the students were younger, anywhere between 19 to 25. For some, this was second nature and for others it was their first time doing something like this.