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.