i was a brave-faced (but quite terrified) freshman moving into a dorm room at Vanderbilt University.
i had never visited campus, and i knew no one else in my class. Just typing those words makes me wonder how i ever managed to convince myself that this was a good idea.
On one hand, i could. not. wait. to get out of my itty-bitty home town. On the other . . . i’d never made such a separation from everyone and everything i’d known. i’d traveled quite a bit, but usually with my family. i’d done long-term camps and trips away from family, but i’d usually had a friend or two nearby.
It was an adventure.
i learned. i grew. i cried. i laughed. i made some mistakes. i made some discoveries. i worked-hard. i loved getting mail and phone calls. i hated trips to the financial aid office. i was late to class. i traveled. i had my eyes opened, my heart stretched, and my mind challenged. i made big choices. i made great friends.
i became myself.
Tomorrow, my little brother (when did he grow over six feet tall?!) will be walking into his own big adventure. i wish i could be there – helping him unpack, laughing with him, drawing pictures for him (like the sweet ones he did for me…that i still have), looking around his new dorm room in wonder.
My hope and prayer, Baby Brudder, is that you take this ride for all it’s worth. Have no fear. Make good choices. Grow. Laugh. Cry. Study hard. Make great friends. Open your mind – and your heart. Travel. See. Hear. Love. Find new parts of yourself along the way. Show kindness to others. Learn patience, hope, joy, and forgiveness.
Know that i love you.