Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Reflection, Discovery, Lying Upside-Down

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." -Marcel Proust

Tonight as I was sitting in my room, attempting to study, my roommate Michelle came in. "I want to do something!" she exclaimed. "I can't do homework anymore! I just want to...I don't know, do something!"

I thought a moment. "Okay. Let's hike the Y."

If you're unfamiliar with BYU, there's a giant white Y on a mountain, visible from pretty much anywhere in Provo. Hiking up to the Y is fairly commonplace among the students, but I just did it for the first time last weekend and I loved it, so I was eager to do it again tonight. I'm not sure what prompted me to make such a random decision, but within the next ten minutes I was dragging my roommate out the door and into the thick, hot evening air.

One of the best little decisions I've ever made. Michelle and I had a great talk walking up and down that mountain. We talked about life, goals, God. Things that matter.

It made me often do I take a minute to focus on the things that really matter? How often in life do I honestly step back and say, Okay. I've been trudging through every day and doing my best. But now it's time to reflect on why. 

So often I get caught up in the what of life. What am I going to do today? Am I going to do my homework? Watch TV? Call my parents? Read a book? Practice my French? None of these are necessarily bad, but do they link back to the why of my life?

I think life is kind of like a research paper. Every paragraph in the paper is supposed to link back to the thesis. You could have a paragraph in there that was really well researched, well written, and interesting, but if it has nothing to do with the thesis, then it only takes away from the paper. Life is like that. There are so many good things to pursue out there! But it's important that I recognize that I have a mission. I have a thesis. I have a dream. And as many good options as there are in the world, I need to be true to my dream. I need to stick to my thesis and be myself. 

When we got to the top of the Y, I decided to lie upside down on its steep surface (a friend had suggested I do it, and I was determined to try). It was more complicated than I had expected--it's steeper than it looks!--but once I was lying safely upside down, I was amazed by how different the world looked. Provo was an entirely different city. The sky, so much more vast, seemed to be supporting the city rather than simply acting as a backdrop as it always had before. I was literally seeing the world through new eyes--upside-down eyes.

I think at times I need to simply take a moment away from all the everyday responsibilities and just look at things a little differently. Remember the why. See the world from a fresh angle. Remember that life is an adventure. 

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