I hate starting over

I fundamentally disagree with the concept of a “fresh start”. There is no such thing in reality. The idea of a fresh start relies on the premise of being able to truly let go of the burdens of one’s past and just starting over, but one cant unequip themself of the lessons they’ve learned. They can change their job, their school, their friends, their church, whatever, but wherever one goes, they’re still the same person, and they still carry the the same burdens. But, regardless of my feelings about fresh starts, I often still manage to find myself starting over. Just as annoying as a fresh start, but without the hope. This program was always meant to be temporary and I knew that going in, however somehow going back home feels like starting over, which was unanticipated. I have to begin my life again. I’ve been in a VRAC bubble and soon it’s going to pop. I have to resume getting my degree, and then one semester later, start over yet again, with a transfer (hopefully) here to Iowa State. Change is hard for me as it is for most people, but this change is good. This change is a mark of growth. And that I am happy about.

This morning while getting ready for work, my husband asked me if I got what I wanted out of this program, and quite honestly I did not know the answer. I see two reasons for this: first, I think I very much misunderstood what my role here would be when applying and therefore what I wanted was rather limited to imaginary constraints imposed by my own lack of understanding, and second, I can no longer really remember what I had hoped for, because as my understanding of this place grew, I began to forget the ideas I had before. It’s kind of like how, if you read a book before you see the movie, when you imagine the characters, they look one way, but once you watch the movie, you cannot un-see the way the movie made them look. So also is looking back when compared to looking forward. I look back now and I cannot remember how I imagined here to be, since the memory overwrites the dream. [insert “strange the passage of time” gif here]

So after my husband asked me if I got what I wanted out of this program, and after I finally got my brain to stop pondering how it was unable to recall what I had once imagined, he asked me a question that was much easier to answer, “Did you learn?” and the answer is unequivocally, yes. Yes, I learned. I have learned more than I could have imagined about so many different things. I have learned about research, and 3D printing, and rural Iowa. I have learned about blender and unity and grad school… but most importantly I’ve learned about myself. I have learned about my limits and I have learned about when I can push them. I have learned about how I prioritize things and I have learned about what I am actually capable of when I give my best effort. I have learned that I do not have to accept the limits often imposed on me because I am disabled, and I have learned that God will give me the strength as necessary to keep going. Overall, that’s a good list. I think, regardless of if I accomplished what I wanted to, I have accomplished that. So once again, thank you everyone who made this opportunity possible. I am very grateful.

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