One Final Blog/ Hoping for a Groundhog Day
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Last night around 12:30 am, I finished typing my last assignment for this semester. I proofread the paper, and then emailed it to my professor. My academic work at Western Carolina University is done.
I am profoundly sad right now. I did not want this day to come. Western Carolina University is one of the best places on earth, and this year has been the best year of my life. It went by way too fast. Yesterday was August 17, 2007, and I was just arriving on campus.
After I finished my assignment last night, I walked around the library like I usually do when I need a break or just when I want to see who else is here. I saw many people I know and spoke to almost all of them. The emotion almost overwhelmed me, as funny as that may sound. But I realized it was an isolated moment of time in my life, one of the happiest, and it was soon to be gone.
Have you ever seen the movie, Groundhog Day? It stars Bill Murray as a TV weatherman who gets trapped living the same day over and over again. He can't escape the pattern, even when he commits suicide multiple times. He wakes up at the same time in the same place on the same day. In some ways the movie depicts this as a terrible trap.
But I think Bill Murray's character was a very lucky man. If I had to pick one day out of my life to repeat, it would be yesterday, May 6, 2008, in Cullowhee, NC. Let's do that day over and over for eternity. The weather is warm, sunny and spectacular, and many flowers are still in bloom. There are thousands of books to read in the library. Many of the students and professors know me, so I wouldn't be a complete stranger walking up to them for a conversation.... Man, the fun I would have. It would be heaven.
Right now, I am still a young man. I feel like I am 23, only smarter now than when I really was that age. I can still run and jump and move like I was 23. Most people believe me if I tell them I am 23. Both my parents are still alive, in reasonably good health, and their minds are sharp. I would spend a lot May 6ths driving the six hours to Lumberton to visit them. I would also spend days visiting my brother and his wife in Wilkesboro. They have a son who has just learned to walk and is actually running around the house now.
Atlanta is close enough to spend some great nights on May 6, 2008. Maybe I could even hop a flight that day for Las Vegas. If the rules of the movie held true, I would have until I go to sleep before time resets. But most days I would spend right here in Cullowhee, studying, playing sports, socializing with different people. You can keep the streets of gold, the harps and singing and the wings. My heaven would be right here.
The point of this fantasy is to show that I fully understand how good life is for me right now, and I also fully understand how temporary it all is. My parents are not getting any younger, nor am I. And now I have to leave the cocoon of WCU and head back out into the real world.
The real world is harder, believe me.
A Bachelor's degree from Western opened the way for me for some great jobs in years past. I came back to this place to sort of hit the reset button on my life, and once again the University has served its purpose. Thanks to the work I did here as a graduate student and the recommendations of professors, I will head to law school in the fall to prepare for hopefully a new and enjoyable career.
I want to thank the school and everyone here for this past year. The life experiences are something that has added another dimension to my character.
This is my last blog as a student at WCU. That is hard for me to say... that I am ending my days as a student at WCU. The window of my youth is beginning to close... I know something now of why NFL football players often break down when they announce their retirement. It's tough to leave a setting you enjoy so much.
I'll cease my rambling. Words can not express the emotions I feel right now, anyway. I plan to continue blogging from law school. I look forward to that new chapter in my life. I will meet more people and have more great experiences. But for as long as I can remember anything, I will remember this year at Western Carolina University. I love this place, and I wish my best to all of you.