There is something about coming back home that is so comforting and so frikkin' awkward at the same time. After such a long trip, so much contemplation on bow watch... It is so easy to just forget about everything and swing back into the same routine of casual jolly gallivanting. Which I by no means intend to insinuate is a bad thing. However, deep thoughts had surrounded me for so long, and I do not want them to have thought in vain.
I would say the biggest change about me can be summed up in my dread lock. It gets noticed by new people each day, usually with a negative connotation. But I simply do not give any fucks. I like it because it is a reminder of life on the sea. Life without judgement from anyone, where hard work meant that the boat would sail forward. The dread, however grimy, gives me the salty dog strength I need to choose caving over day drinking or applying to five Patagonia internships instead of skimming through Facebook. Side note: Blowhole on Sewanee is a wonderful cave. Although I have been asked multiple times if I have a blood disorder due to all the bruises on my body.
Of course, the Mountain is more beautiful than ever, and I have been welcomed back with open arms in ways that my anxious mind could have never imagined. And I am so grateful for Sewanee and every single individual that makes up this community. I had a momentary goal of learning every human's name on campus... Ever since, I've realized how many people I do not know. Maybe that goal was a long shot, but I still want to go about my day as though everyone is a friend.
"Don't talk to strangers so don't let anybody be a stranger."