Taking the scenic route.

Well, it looks as if I’ll be going back to Ball State in a few weeks.  I feel a little sheepish about it, to be honest.  I spent my first two years of college there, living in my beloved Elliott Hall.  Then last Spring I had a crummy semester and I was worried about finances, so I decided to move home to Indy and go to IUPUI with my then-boyfriend.

It was a rash decision, at best.  I see this now.  Hindsight, as they say…

Well, my then-boyfriend very quickly became my now-ex-boyfriend, but even so, I was determined to make good on my decision to complete my degree at IUPUI.  So I spent a year there, miserable for the first couple of months, and then mostly content for the rest.  Some of my readers may even remember how IUPUI came to feel like home to me, even though I never stopped missing Ball State.

Then I found out last week that if I want to graduate sometime in the next two years, it’ll have to be from Ball State.  I felt a little bit betrayed by IUPUI, and a lot relieved that Ball State would welcome me back with open arms.  And as I mentioned before, I feel a little bit sheepish about telling people that I’m going straight back to the very place I ran away from last Spring.

I should be used to it by now, I suppose.  It seems to be a pattern in my life.

When I was 19, I packed up my bags and moved to South Dakota for the Summer.  I had a job there in the gift shop at Mount Rushmore.  I was convinced it would be great to finally get out of Indiana on my own.  It felt like running away from home, in a good way.  But without my friends and family, I was miserable.   I realized that I had run away from home, but in a bad way.  So I quit my job at the gift shop and went home early.  I’ve been in love with Indiana ever since.

There are plenty of other stories I could tell of Leah making a rash decision to run away from something, and then coming to her senses and running right back like the Prodigal Son.  I don’t know why I do it.  Maybe one of these days I’ll learn to be a little less rash, a little more steadfast.  Maybe I’ve learned all my lessons, and going back to Ball State is the last time I’ll run home hoping to still be welcome.  I doubt it though.

With all of the mistakes I make, I wonder how it is that I have not completely messed up my life by now.  It’s nothing short of a miracle, if you ask me.  In fact, I have gained so much from so many of my mistakes that it doesn’t seem fitting to call them mistakes, though I do still wish I would stop making them.

I’m going to be a Senior in college this year.  And then after that, I’m going to be a Senior again.  And then after that, with any luck I’m going to graduate.  People ask me all the time if this is my last year of school, and then they act all surprised when they find out I’m not on my final lap yet.  So I’ve gotten into the habit of telling them that I seem to be taking the scenic route through college.  And I think that goes for everything else I do too.

For better or worse, I seem to be taking the scenic route through life.


About leahrayanne

Autumn. Long conversations. Tea. People. Undisturbed land. Cooking. Literature. Teaching. Learning. Hiking. Travel. Laughter. Things built to last. Love. Home.
This entry was posted in the confessions, the thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Taking the scenic route.

  1. blholder says:

    Hello Beautiful!
    I have been a One Dead Poet silent follower for awhile but this post struck me differently than many other post.
    First of all, you will be missed in Indy! I have really enjoyed getting to know you this past year. It was a pleasure to travel to Haiti with you and share that together. Leaving Indy may be the best thing for you academically. You know yourself and right now your vocation is a student. I undoubtedly respect you making the decision to fulfill your school vocation in the best way you know possible. (Plus, this will be a great excuse to road-trip to come see you!)
    Second, I personally do not believe something is a mistake unless you did not learn from it. If you learned a lesson, it is then an experience. From what you have said, you have experienced a lot. If your life ran on a perfect little conveyor belt it would not be your life, it would be an ideal.
    I have somewhat been in your shoes. Sort of…
    When I first came to school in Indy, away from my family, I expected the ideal perfect life. I thought I would get in a routine and live happily ever after… as you know and I now know, the ‘ideal perfect life’ does not exist.
    From this I learned, I have one life, and one chance to live it. One time to explore and find out who I am and who I am called to be. I too have made many mistakes, but I made them. I learned from them, so these experiences have become a part of my life and who I am.

    I love you greatly and hope all of my rambling makes a bit of sense. 🙂

    • leahrayanne says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, Dearest! I had no idea you read my blog!! You all have been the greatest blessing of my year at IUPUI, and I have come to love you all so very much. You are a true sister. Ah, but now this is starting to sound far too much like a goodbye. I’ll still be living in Fishers and I plan on being at St. John’s on Sundays for Mass (unlike the past three weeks. I’ve been a bad Catholic, haha), so I’ll still be seeing you all. Much love, B. And thanks for reading!

  2. I’ll have the mint ready…

  3. This is a brilliant post, just so you know. Fantastic job at being introspective and making it external. Those two worlds are hard to tie together sometimes.

    • leahrayanne says:

      Michael, I seriously did not mean for your comment to be the only one I didn’t respond to. I’m so sorry! I’m glad you thought this post was brilliant, because I really struggled to express myself without being boring when I wrote it. Victory! Thanks, Michael.

  4. Joe says:

    Leah, get happy about this. I remember you talking to me about how you had to leave Ball State and move home…You said you didn’t want to, but did it to save money. I think I told you that wasn’t the greatest reason, and whether or not I did I think you knew it, but you felt like you had to. And Hell, you made it a good experience anyway. Now, you get to go back where you wanted to be, even if now you could still see yourself where you are. Anyways, the fact is that ultimately your plans may be slowed down, but on the other hand you’ve gotten more time in one realm to prepare for another. This last year I have sat, jobless, thinking about amongst other things how I could have drawn out my time at OSU longer, enjoyed my years there even more than I did. Here, basically, you’ve got the chance that I wanted. Have fun with it.

    “We don’t have mistakes here, just happy little accidents.” Bob Ross might have been offering encouragement to people who were “just” painting, but it applies to life. If you are doing well enough, making your mistakes work for you…Than you are succeeding. Don’t even spend time considering how you could change. You’re doing better than most of us.

    • leahrayanne says:

      Aww, thanks Joe! Your words are so encouraging! I am happy to be going back to Ball State. Thanks for reminding me of your wise advice over a year ago! I’m just going to enjoy my years in college, because you’re right, I have heard a lot of grads say they wish they’d had more time. And you officially made my day by quoting Bob Ross. I love him!! As always, thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s