At Blair Academy yesterday and this morning, speaking with high school students about life at Twin Oaks. This boarding school has so many similarities to Twin Oaks; it’s essentially an intentional community in itself! They aren’t responsible for their own economic sustenance or self-governance, but they are responsible for cultivating complicated relationships with the other people they live with in a close, intimate setting (the whole school is about 400 students). From the questions last night, I got the feeling that many of the students had a deeper understanding of what I was talking about than most of the college students I talk with! Everyone asked insightful questions, and many stayed around for half an hour afterwards to talk more.

I caught a glimpse of myself in a bathroom mirror last night after we finally wrapped up. I urgently have to pee after every talk I give because I gulp down water while I’m speaking… keeps me calm. Coming out of the bathroom stall last night in the empty school building, I paused briefly to smile at myself in the mirror that stretched along the wall. I looked like a person I want to be. I recognized a strength and beauty that I’ve hoped for, and beyond hoped, worked to cultivate. Bright, centered, strong, compassionate, understanding, insightful, confident. I’m very in touch with the pieces of Who I Am that I want to change, and last night in the mirror I saw a 25 year old me enjoying life, pursuing passions, confident and self-aware. What a gift, that perspective. I get so caught up in hating all the things about myself that I want to change (hating myself for not being perfect, for not having it all figured out). Last night I saw a fuller self, and she is beautiful.

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