When we arrived, the sight of campus awoke an unexpected nostalgia within me. This was the first time I had been back to my alma matter since I graduated in May and already, I felt different. It was as though for the first time, I was seeing my college experience as one complete package, and there I was, looking at the picture on the box. When I was graduating, I was still a part of college. I still had my apartment and my friends and my job. Now I’m officially an alumnus. I’m detached. I’m an outsider - looking in and looking back. From this perspective, I can reflect upon my experiences.
Some of the best memories of my life are ones I created in college. Some of the worst memories of my life are also ones I created in college. College is a wide spectrum of experience. Despite making many painful decisions, I have no regrets. I see no sense in wishing the past were different. Firstly, it is impossible. Secondly, I fear that the slightest alteration of one experience could change all the experiences to follow. When I broke up with my ex-girlfriend two years ago, it was one of the most depressing times of my life. I spent months wishing the past could have been different. Had my wish been granted, I would never have met my current girlfriend. Sometimes the Universe knows what’s best for us in a way that we don’t understand right away.
Despite wishing I didn’t have to leave her, I trust that this year will be a beautiful opportunity for our relationship to strengthen and grow. Some people pray that they may never face challenges. I pray for the strength to overcome them. I couldn’t help that I was leaving her. I couldn’t help that we were both sad about it. But I could do my best to create a beautiful memory before our paths split ways.
Wednesday night the plan was dinner at T.G.I. Friday’s and a movie back at the apartment. We watched Frank Miller’s Sin City, which is one of my all time favorites. We both had an awesome time. The next morning, after a delicious lunch at Moe’s Southwest Grill, I dropped Michaella off at Wal-Mart so she could buy groceries while I made my way to the mall. As funny as it sounds, I couldn’t wait to get to the Pandora store. A few months ago I bought her a charm bracelet and now I’m obsessed with making it perfect for her. I have fun picking out the charms too. It’s almost like a riddle or a puzzle. I need to balance color schemes, symmetry, sentimental value, price, occasion, and more in order to ensure that I will pick the right ones.
The sight of my girlfriend’s smile fills my heart with warmth and happiness. The look in her eyes when I buy her presents tempts me to addiction. There is no greater satisfaction than to receive the love, gratitude, and bliss she shines upon me in exchange for these priceless trinkets. I never feel more valuable than when I am creating joy, love, peace, and happiness in this world. And when I inspire those emotions within her, I am in ecstasy.
I picked out two turquoise colored glass charms. They matched perfectly with the rest of the bracelet. When I picked her up from Wal-Mart, I had them wrapped up, waiting on the seat to surprise her. She was thrilled. She couldn’t believe that I had run off to the mall just to surprise her with presents. The beauty of her expression seduced me. Before I left, I wanted to give her another surprise. I needed to see that look in her eyes again. But I wasn’t sure what I should do.
That night it came to me. We were celebrating a friend’s birthday at Ruby Tuesday’s. Coincidentally, we were back at the mall. And since I had left earlier, I couldn’t stop thinking about a Silver Star of David charm that would be perfect for her bracelet. Not only was it a pretty charm, not only did it match, but it also reflected heritage. It was perfect. The only problem was that I couldn’t just tell her I was going to get it. It would ruin the surprise. Plus, we were sitting by a window overlooking the mall, so she’d have seen me walking past.
I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I excused myself to go to the bathroom, walked in that direction till I was sure I wasn’t followed, and snuck out. I jogged around the mall to a different entrance, got in there, got the charm, and got out as quickly as I could. I returned to the table smoothly with the charm in pocket. I had discarded the bag along the way. The plan worked like a charm. Pun intended. After dinner, I slipped the charm into a box of chocolates and asked her if she wanted some. She was shocked. The look in her eyes was even more beautiful than it had been the night before.
The next morning as I was leaving, I was still sad. It was still hard. This is the first time our relationship has ever been long distance and I’m not the biggest fan of that. But I’m granted solace in the knowledge that our Love is as beautiful as it can be. I find comfort in knowing that given the circumstances we have, we are creating the best memories that we can. And I know that our future will be filled with so many more beautiful memories to come.
This week, let’s meditate on creating the most beautiful memories that we can. It’s easy to complain about out circumstances. But that doesn’t do us any good. We are not in control of all of life’s events, but we are in control of our attitudes. We are in control of how we choose to spend a day and sometimes we’re lucky enough to choose who to spend it with. Even if you have a busy schedule. Even if there’s a lot in life that is out of your control right now. Find a moment where you can see a new perspective. Find a moment where you can seize an opportunity and create a beautiful memory.
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