One of my absolute favorite things in the entire world is that time just prior to sunset, when the sun gives everything this deep and warm golden hue. It doesn’t matter what season it is or what is going on in the world, in those brief golden moments, everything looks perfect, and beautiful, and timeless.
These moments stop me in my tracks. They demand my attention in such a way that I can’t help but pause for a minute and be free of the stress and confusion of life. They are moments that follow me wherever I go, moments that make the world seem a little smaller.
As my internship with To Write Love On Her Arms comes to an end, and I begin to look to the next chapter of life, these times become increasingly valuable. This semester has been, in its own way, like one of those golden moments. It has been beautiful, and wonderful, and a much-needed break from the life I was pursuing back in Kansas. It has been a period that required reflection, and meditation, and intentionality.
This semester has been one of the best of my life. Silly fun like visiting all four Disney parks in one day. Seeing manatees and my first lighthouse. Singing loudly and dancing in the car at stop lights. Bonding over family and community dinners. Late night walks to the beach. Sharing in the lives and stories, victories and triumphs of supporters who message us. These are moments that stand out in my mind as some of the happiest I have ever known. Moments I can pinpoint in my memory and say with confidence have changed my perspective on life.
But the entire semester wasn’t always moments of laughter and happiness. There were moments of stress, and pain, and longing. There were nights I spent lying on the floor of the kitchen or the living room of the intern house, crying with conflicting emotions. There was the day I broke down at the office because I had sent important emails to the wrong recipients. There were uncomfortable talks, and reality checks, and the moments of dread as I watched the numbers in my bank account steadily get lower. And most recently, there is the stress of trying to figure out how to return to everyday life—how to make loved ones back home understand how this semester has been much more than just an internship. It has been a season of learning and growing professionally, but even more so, a season of growing personally.
The things I have learned about myself since that first day in late August are immeasurable. I have learned to take breaks when my mind is overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. I’ve learned that it is OK to be vulnerable and ask for help when I need it. I have seen the power of the written word, as it reaches and connects people from all walks of life. But possibly most importantly, I have come to terms with my ongoing battle with depression, and I have made the decision to step back into a counselor’s office in the New Year.
Like those golden moments, this semester was always meant to be temporary. But I forget that. I get completely caught up in the moment, captivated by life. When I pause to admire those golden moments of sunlight, I don’t think about the end, that the sun will set and the world will grow cool and dark. I bask in those moments which seem eternal, and that is how I want this semester to be. But though I am sad to leave, I am also excited and content. I am excited to apply the things I have learned here to my life and relationships back home; I am content because the beauty of these moments is not confined to their brevity.