This is it. My last final has been graded (hopefully a B+), paperwork has been signed, auditions (and callbacks!) have happened, vaccination appointments have been booked, and I am finally DONE with my semester. My plane ticket is taped to the front of my desk; a reminder that my flight to Rwanda departs in exactly 14 days, 15 hours, 37 minutes and 22 seconds. I could just sit here in my room and count the seconds down until it’s time to go, but instead I’m writing. I haven’t truly written, purely for the sake of writing, in a long time. It’s an unusual feeling. This blog is not a graded assignment, nor is it something mandatory that I don’t care about - I’m writing purely because there are thoughts in my head that need to be communicated to the rest of the world.
My backpack is empty. Carrying it is an odd feeling. With everything removed, it is as if the weight and pressure of the semester has physically been lifted off of my shoulders. I can feel myself standing up straighter, and my gaze is now focused up and ahead of me - “a place of dignity,” as Drew often refers to it. I meet people’s gazes. I see their smiles. I see the sky, the rain, and the sunsets. They’re simple things, but in my mad rush to finish college, I too often overlooked them.
I honestly should pack. My backpack has been empty for days, and there are literal piles of items surrounding my bed that I need to take with me. Why don’t I? Perhaps it’s the realization of responsibility. My empty backpack symbolizes the finality of college. Probably for the last time in my life, I have the overwhelming sense of finality, that I have completely finished all of my projects and am free from responsibility. Putting any item in my backpack will signify the transition to something new, another adventure. I’m keenly aware that my backpack (and, by extension, my life) will probably never be this empty again.
So I look at my empty backpack, and leave it for one more day. Packing will happen; it always does. But for now, I remain introspective, empty, and ready.
Well this was fun. Got a little deep for a second there, but it’s all in the name of introspective writing.
Looking forward to more journaling in Rwanda. Follow along, why don’t you?
I am traveling to Rwanda with the intent of a sponge - I want to absorb as many unique experiences as I possibly can, and bring them back to share with my culture. I am a multifaceted artist, and Rwanda is a treasure trove of valuable experiences to draw inspiration from. As a visual artist, I look forward to seeing unique handmade art, and letting it inspire an artistic vision. As a musician, I look forward to hearing vastly different than what I’m used to, and letting that inspire music from my soul. And as a teacher, I’m looking to see teaching methods different than what I have known. I want to bring these gifts back and share them with my culture.