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October 12, 2008

I sit here, with the sound of the crashing waves intermixed with the crooning voice of Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional singing their hit song “Stolen.” On this warm, 77-degree, mid-October Sunday afternoon, Lake Michigan is a sight to be remembered. Parents and children, along with their terriers and mutts, enjoy a picnic in the sunny park or a walk up and down the hundreds of painted rocks that line the shore. Kids amuse themselves by using the rocks as their own personal jungle gyms. Couples old and young walk hand-in-hand, whispering amongst themselves, creating an ambience of romance in broad daylight. Students are everywhere, whether doing their homework, running along the lake path, or just talking with friends. Frisbees fly overhead as cyclists and roller-bladers zoom by. In the distance I can see the soccer team practice. Perhaps it is both the varsity and club teams. Or maybe an intramural team or two. It is not the world’s most amazing sight. No, but it is a sight of humanity, a story of life.

“I had the time of my life,” says the rock I currently sit on in two different shades of blue. The blue extends and blends into the slate blue color of the lake. A thick band of cotton-white clouds separates the bright blue sky from its less vibrant brother. As I look towards the horizon, I see sailboats of various colors, solitary adventurers on kayaks that appear so very miniscule in comparison to the immense size of the lake. A jet ski roars through to break the peace of the other vessels. Two young men are walking the waters. Well, not really. They’re on those surfboard sailing type of things, the name of which I do not know, paddling their way across the Michigan. Two catamarans are racing towards each other now. Let us await their encounter in the vast waters.

A spider is climbing on my leg. I brush it off with a gentle tenderness I didn’t know I had for spiders. Those spiny, leggy creatures. A ladybug falls out of its temporary resting spot in my hair onto the rock and then teeters away. I watch it with childlike wonder.

Perhaps this is what the lake does to you. Perhaps it is its charm, the spell it puts you under. Yes, here I will have the time of MY life.

June 15, 2012

Graduation day.

The air was hot and stuffy even after I had shed the obligatory purple gown. Eager to show my parents the campus where I had spent the better part of the last four years, and perhaps even more enthused to feel the cool breeze of Lake Michigan one last time, we headed toward the water and onto the rocks lining the shore.

And what else could it have been but serendipity that I walk onto that exact rock?


I don’t know that I had the time of my life in college though. I certainly had a wonderful time and I left with amazing memories and some very close friends. If I could do it all over again with the benefit of hindsight though, there definitely would have been things I would have done or avoided.

But there’s no point in mulling over things passed except to learn from them. And one of the most important parts of college were the lessons I learned from the people I met. Not academic lessons, but knowledge of every aspect of life, lessons that have forever changed me.

So perhaps it was the time of my life.

August 18, 2012

A year ago I was embarking on a 22-hour three-flight journey to southern France for a cultural and learning experience of a lifetime. On the 18th I will be driving 22 hours and through three pit stops to central Nebraska for my first full-time position.

Forget college as the time of my life.

My life has just begun.