- Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
A few days ago, I was sitting at home for the first time in a couple months. Out of the need for nostalgia, I dusted off a box from the basement and starting flipping through my family’s photo albums. I was holding almost two decades in my hands, and I wasn’t seeing faces. I was seeing stories.
A few decades ago, I was a fleeting thought in two people’s heads who hadn’t even met each other yet. My dad-to-be was a guy who drove around Newcastle, England fixing computers. My mom-to-be lived in Skokie, Illinois and sold grilled cheese sandwiches at Grateful Dead concerts. In 19 year’s time, I would become those stories.
A few years ago, I was conquering my fear of heights when I was in Disney World with my brother. I was starting my first day of big kid school and someone sat next to me at the lunch table. I was learning new languages from neighbors across the street. I was traveling to new countries with people from different countries. I was becoming those stories.
A few months ago, I was counting down the days until my first day of college. I was moving into a dorm room. I was meeting new people who I didn’t know would become such good friends. I was getting involved. I was discovering new passions. I became those stories.
A few minutes ago, I was thinking about all of this. In my 19 years of being alive, I have met more people than I could ever possibly count. I’m not the person I am today because I made myself that way. It’s because all the people I’ve met have left some sort of impact on me in some way. I’ve only been here for a few months, but I’ve already met people who have stayed up with me until four in the morning laughing at nothing. People who have taught me that it’s okay to cry and that it’s okay to feel important. I’ve met people who have gotten me to eat lettuce! Change isn’t always a bad thing. You never stop changing because you never stop meeting new people. You are those stories.
Programming and JLIC Intern