I have reemerged from the back country. This year was especially difficult to leave. I hid behind my sunglasses as I quickly gave everyone a farewell hug. I've never known friendships like this to develop so strongly and so quickly in such a short amount of time, and leaving was one of the hardest things I've experienced. Maybe it's just me. Maybe everyone else is adapting back into society easily, and not thinking about the back country every 3 seconds like I am.
Warning: Extreme levels of sentiment, whining, and general cheesiness may occur in the next few moments.
Every person that I worked with this summer made some sort of positive impact in my life. As a staff, we were incredibly diverse in our personalities, our ideas, how we were brought up, and the futures we were pursuing. There was so much brought to the table, and it only made us want to learn more. There were times when it was an hour long conversation one on one, to several hours long, all of us gathered around the yurt, expressing ideas and concerns, big and small, just for the sake of exchanging knowledge.
This summer it dawned on me that I really don't know anything. And I'm not sure I'll ever know anything. There is always a new perspective to learn from.
As a whole, this summer was an incredibly good summer, because I learned so much. Looking back on individual events, however, it was an extremely rough summer, for the same reason.
I stole this table in the above picture. I was left in charge, my CD had 100% trust in me that I wouldn't do anything stupid. Aaaaaaaaaand I, along with the other staff members (they gotta go down with me, too!) hiked this ridiculously heavy oak table 2 freakin' miles in the middle of the night from another camp. It was awesome. That trust my CD had for me, however? Totally not awesome. It was gone. Completely. I didn't do it alone, but I took responsibility for it. And we got in BIG trouble.
I know this doesn't sound like a huge deal, but for me, it was a major event. I've always prided myself in the fact that I leave good impressions with all of my employers. Always. This incident, along with countless others, made me question that fact.
Humility, humility, humility. I got absolutely drilled by it this summer. And how grateful I am that I did.
This is may sound rather silly, but it's something that actually made quite an impression on me. A few phrases were said around the yurt that came to be a policy by which Whiteman lived by. "Slow your roll" and "sounds like a personal problem" were just a few of them. They sound a little harsh, but they actually helped!
Don't zoom up on that picture of me on the bike, my face makes me look constipated. Just know that I'm catching some sweet air.
Ok, now that you have all disobeyed and looked at my closeup of that picture, check out this awesome sunrise. This was my last morning at Whiteman Vega. I left a day earlier than some of the others. We woke up at 5 a.m., stuffed our backpacks with cereal and milk, and biked to the Whiteman parking lot in the dark. We drove up to Windy Gap, which overlooks the entire Vega, and Seally Canyon. We ate Frosted Mini Spooners and watched the gorgeous sunrise. It was glorious. A perfect end to my time at Whiteman Vega.
Now I am home.
School isn't as difficult as I anticipated. It's just very time intensive. So far I am enjoying my classes, and the teachers are wonderful. I'm taking Ceramics, College Algebra, Fitness & Wellness, U.S. History, Texas Government, and Psychology.
I spent a couple of days in Utah, to attend Jenna's wedding. It was a lovely, lovely wedding, and Jenna looked gorgeous. I know she's still out there, but in some ways, weddings feel like funerals. It's like she's died or something. My best friend was taken from me! Oh well, weddings happen. What can you do about it? I'm very happy and proud that Jenna has chosen this next step in her life.
Two hours before I boarded the plane from Salt Lake back to Texas, I bought a bike. My very own Specialzed Hardrock Mountain Bike. I know what you're thinking, "It will do so great on all those mountains in Texas!", but I've built a ramp in the back yard, and ridden it around town, and it does just what I need it to. It keeps me from going through withdrawals. Even though I had to withdraw significant funds for it.
I stayed up until 2 a.m. writing this for you, Caroline. I hope it is sufficient :)