Tracks, Louise Erdrich
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the people I hold close to me. The immediate answer is the people from my childhood and my high school friends. Sometimes I wish I could be more social and start forming new relationships with people who I’m growing up with, the people who surround me in college. Growing up right now is an uncomfortable, difficult, nerve-racking process and having friends there who can relate truly relieves this process. Have I felt that close sense of camaraderie yet?
The closest I’ve felt this experience is with VSA and the VSA seniors. The last venture that we had was a camping trip in New Hampshire. Being stuck out in a semi-wild forest with half-strangers was an experience I’ll learn from. We weren’t prepared for the weather—it’s coldness; food—how to cook with the bare minimum; starting a fire—and sustaining it, etc. It was a new experience not having adults there to provide for us, and be the comforting factor saying “everything’s gonna be okay”. All we had was us, strangers and friends who had to figure it out together.
The other day we had our final Eboard meeting, a couple of the members talked about receiving their first tax return. The excitement in their faces and agreement about the choices they made, brought back this thought to me. Again, it was us growing up together.
What if all the people we have are right in front of us? Would we choose to hold them closer to us? At this time, I fall back on the people back home because they’re within reach. I feel a bit guilty when I don’t reach out enough, or speak enough because I know it would contribute to my sense of having a larger community.