Carpe Diem

Sunday, June 14, 2013
4:42 P.M. (Hawaii time)
Well, I’m almost to Los Angeles, which is where this plane will stop before I board another one and land in Seattle. Also, I know this is irrelevant to you, but I have to push my ‘h’ key like an dilapidated doorbell right now because it is not responding to the standard typing force I typically use with all my keys. I guess I’ll keep beating this stubborn fella until I win.
Earlier this morning, I was considering what I wanted to do on the plane ride home. I was originally planning to work on my blog write-ups that I said I’d complete (like the Kilauea or Mauna Kea ones), but I was pretty tired, so I didn’t want to do those. I also pondered whether I should write a philosophical post, analyzing the thoughts of everybody from Socrates to Newton and how my experiences played into the realm of human existence and thought, but that would be drier than a lunch lady explaining the health benefits of boiled carrots. So here’s a little bow, which I will put on a larger paper-wrapped present of the trip in another blog.

This whole thing was a maturing experience. First, there were the endless disclaimers and hardships less than a week before departure. Upon arriving, the first couple days were truly fantastic, but soon, I felt so alienated from the group when I was prohibited from taking part in certain activities that all I could do was put on a happy face and try to make it to the next day. Finally, I gathered the strength to shatter all of the glass walls surrounding me so that I could reach out and touch what I had instead of wistfully gazing at what I didn’t.

And then, the two seizures in one day. I felt like a tape cassette being reversed back through all the negative feelings I previously had. The UW didn’t make things any easier; despite my doctor’s approval of my finishing of the course in Micronesia and his recommendation to the administrators at IPE to work out a solution that would work for everyone involved, the UW shut the door on me and ordered an ‘emergency evacuation.’ This felt demeaning (I felt perfectly fine after the seizures and haven’t had one since), but I had no choice.

We landed in Hawaii, and with the help of my mom, we helped each other get our tapes going again. But this time, they weren’t in normal speed. They were in fast forward. And now, I feel like I’ve learned so much more than I ever could have with a typical, more-or-less trouble-free study abroad experience. I’m not just crawling through days with bloodied shins and tears in my eyes. As I told my mom, “we carpe-diemed.” And that’s all I ever wanted to do.
___________________________________________________
1:28 AM PDT, 7/15/13
I’ve finally made it home. Kaselehlie, aloha, and goodnight.
Charlie
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