Exactly one week ago the doors of on-campus residences were opened to both first time and returning students. The weeks before were filled with countless hours of preparation for this one day, and all the hype inevitably led to an eager and energetic staff. I most certainly was a part of this group of excited students and professional staff, and that Sunday morning I was ready in my rain jacket with Starbucks in hand.
Within minutes I set down my Venti Iced Coffee and neglected it and all other forms of sustenance until a staff member so kindly gathered myself and my teammates cookies for snacking (which fell on the ground soon after, but were still gladly eaten).
That last Sunday seems so real, but so far away. Already I have learned so much more than I can even begin to grasp, and met what seems like an unfathomable number of students.
Not only does opening seem like it happened weeks ago, but my time in Fairbanks is also difficult to comprehend. I have been here just 6 weeks, but it feels like months. I am constantly in awe of how at home I feel here. The people, surroundings, and position feel incredibly natural. I keep waiting to feel overwhelmed or unsatisfied, but then I remember I am doing exactly what I want to be doing, precisely where I want to be doing it.
I am grateful and so blessed.
I am also very cold. A few concerned individuals are questioning my ability to survive the winters. Yesterday the female RDs explored downtown and (with the help of Jess) I purchased some warm layers.
Oh, and you may be questioning the title--the catalyst for this post.
As I was cleaning my apartment I opened a wedding invitation from Lisa, a dear friend in California. I had my first minor bout of yearning for familiar when I read her invitation and read "no denim please" printed under the reception details. I smiled and was not at all surprised she would write this...and then remembered I would not be attending this joyous celebration with those I cherish so much. Sadness of course ensued and therefore I had to have an outlet....which led to this post...which ended up being about happy moments because that is what I am experiencing. Joy and passion and drive.
I still feel all this is surreal but at the same time incredibly natural.
Again, I am so blessed and resoundingly grateful.