I've been thinking about you a lot recently too. I was thinking on the 31st (while recovering my sleep schedule) that it had been a year exactly since I had seen you last. I was wondering how your time in India went and where you went afterwords. Just yesterday I went to the quarry with friends and thought about that day. And just like actions, one thought leads to another....
So much has happened this year. I've gone crazy places, met crazy people, and gained crazy bonds. I've been learning more and more about myself and the world. And I do say that ADF and the trip to California has played a major part in kicking me in the ass to start actually experiencing the life and the world that I want and need.
After California I spent a semester at UNC just getting deeper and deeper into theater. Four of my five classes were theater classes, spread all across the discipline; acting, literature, history, and technical. It challenged me and stretched me, but best of all, all I wanted was more. So I took the next step the next semester: study abroad. I thought about a lot of places (Chicago, NY, London, Italy, etc.) but in the end I found an excellent program in Melbourne, Australia. Thus on January 28th I arrived in the southern hemisphere, not to return for six months and a day.
Needless to say it was an all-encompassing experience. In Australia I found that I love to build sets for the theater; I love to manipulate materials to make something creative and interesting, hold a purpose and achieve a goal, all the while learning how to do it better, faster, more completely than the time before. Maybe it's a feeling of creation, maybe it's overcoming challenges, or maybe it's the balance of the mindless joy of hammering nails with the intense thought behind figuring out where the nails need to go to create such a specific vision. I'm not sure but I love it.
Outside of the theater walls was a culture so different from my own and seeing it (as you well know and, actually, you inspired me to so fervently seek it) was fascinating, but even more fascinating were the similarities. Friendships, relationships, humanity, and love were all shared in a universal way and I gained a much further appreciation for each, especially love. I say especially because I met a girl there. I met a girl and—in short—I'm determined to find her again and marry her one day, this beautiful person named Elina Lim. I want to grow old with her and keep her safe. I am already learning so much from her and really seeing what the deepness of love could fathomably contain. It is achingly beautiful and so is she—in every imaginable way.
So that's a brief, concise summary of where I am right now, where this last year has taken me. It's been a wonderful journey and I have one more year until I leave University. This last year will—I hope—take me places I absolutely do not expect right now, as I am sure the year after will. At the moment every path outside a month's time is still hazy, but I'm doing everything I can do to have it include this sense of learning, wonder, travel, and love.