Last night, I attended an author at my “old” college which now goes by university. Dinaw Mengestu, author of All Our Names and The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, gave an author craft talk, and afterwards there was a cocktail reception, and later he read from All Our Names.
It was wonderful to listen to Mengestu speak about being an author and his relationship to the characters he creates as well as the process and inspirations he has when it comes to his writing. I sat in the audience next to the professor who had invited me, and I was really grateful she had contacted me about the event. Not only was it a wonderful event, but it was an opportunity for me to escape from The News. The college where I did my undergrad is a place I will always consider my second home. It was a place where I was able to focus on “me,” allowing myself to truly grow.
Although I graduated and am now referred to as an alumnus, the college continues to anchor me. Being back in that place where I spent years concentrating on myself, I was reminded of how I’ve been neglecting myself lately; instead of thinking about how to better myself and my situation, I’ve been distracted with The News. I chose to put myself on hold as I attempted to brace the walls of my family for potential cracks resulting from this crisis. But this only resulted in cracks in my life to the point where I need to rebuild some parts.
I walked back to my car last night haunted by echoes of my memories, emotions I had put away like an old college sweatshirt. I drove away happier than I’ve been in a long time and inspired by that happiness to aspire to live a life filled with living moments, pockets of time that whisper significance to the patchwork of existence.