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Mortality 01/17/23

I would say Happy New Year, but my New Year’s resolution for 2023 was to become more original.

Rachtheblog here — it’s been a while, hasn’t it? First, during finals week I was completely obliterated. As in, I had written so many essays that I simply didn’t have anything to say anymore. Like, “in conclusion, I have no idea what I’ve been talking about throughout this entire essay but please give me an A.”

Next, I traveled to Australia, where I’m a citizen and visit every few years to see family. It was an insane experience to say the least. “Wonderful” is another way to explain it, but “insane” fully encapsulates the existential crisis I was going through during the whole trip. I hadn’t fully grasped the idea of mortality and time until I realized that my grandpa being 86 years old means he’s lived 4 of my lifetimes so far. FOUR. I’m only one down and am pretty exhausted. I thought about how he was born in 1937, a time period that I continue to learn about in history books. He lived through decades of crucial historical events, and it blows my mind. Imagine your grandparents, or even parents, growing up with their own experiences, perspectives, and thoughts. An unsettling feeling arises, doesn’t it?

With my existential crisis hiding in the back of my mind throughout the trip, I went to a Sundance, where I danced for a two straight hours in the woods. I went to the Crystal Castle, with crystals and rocks from a millennia ago. And went to the Currumbin rock pools, where I met a few cows. This was a freeing trip for me. It emphasized the glory in having first experiences. It’s so rewarding to live through new moments in life, especially as a younger person with no clue on how their life is going to go.

Once the trip came to an end, I had a sinking feeling that something wasn’t right. And sure enough, we didn’t have our American passports, meaning we had to wait to get them before traveling back home. Five days later, we secured the passports and a new flight. I ended up missing my first week of classes, which terrified me at the start. I also ended up missing a work trip that I was excited for. Yes, this wasn’t the best feeling, but also, it gave me the opportunity to be able to adjust to uncomfortable situations. I also thought of it as a sign from the universe that I wasn’t ready to leave yet; that I had more to experience before heading back to Chicago. So, the day after our first attempt to go home, I went to a festival with my sister and cousin. It was only one day long, but it was for sure an experience I will remember for a lifetime. Dancing for 12 hours? Yes please. Meeting strangers, having a heart to heart, and then never seeing them again? Yes please. Walking miles upon miles to see different artists? Well, maybe not my favorite part — but it was crucial!

Anyways, I’m writing this post on the plane heading back to what I call my home. The cold winds, the looming skyscrapers, the streetwear. I missed Chicago while I was gone, and realized that even though I feel connected to Australia, Chicago is where I’m meant to be.


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