This morning I went to my two favourite places on campus, so they are my last memories of being there. I went and stood in Abbey Chapel and sang the melody of the Goodnight Song, remembering standing between two of my best friends and feeling surrounded by pure beauty. I went to Chapin and sat on the stage and talked to the space that had meant so much to me. I realized that I am in mourning for the versions of myself that I will never be again. But then I remembered the advice I gave to my classmates at Baccalaureate: to bring those former versions of ourselves on into our new lives as we continue to grow.
Goodnight, Holyoke, goodnight. Here’s to the next adventure.
Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential-as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.
Louise Erdich, The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse