On this beautiful evening of my last Dandelion Day everything seems to be a bit different. An important thing that I’m trying to work on as my time here comes to a close, and probably for the rest of my life, is moving on gracefully.
I want to leave this University, and this city, knowing that I had an impact, but that it was not a destructive one. I want my footprint to be made in the lives of those I volunteer for and the minds of those I work for; I want to leave behind passion for the initiatives that I thought were great enough to fight for. I am certain that I don’t want the biggest impact I had to have been harming the earth.
It’s hard sometimes to think about what we’re leaving behind; sometimes we choose to keep it out of our minds for the sake of ease and comfort.
I can get so weighed down by the things I own that sometimes I feel like they own me. The trap of stuff-worshiping seems to be an easy rabbit hole to find oneself in; it pulls you deeper and deeper until you’re surrounded by a reality you didn’t mean to create.
I don’t want to get rid of the sentimental things, and there’s so many things that (I’ve been told) I just need. There is pressure to be stylish and to keep up with technology and to be involved in so many things that pile up in our lives both metaphorically and literally. Both are equally hard to deal with, but letting go gracefully is a practice that can take an entire lifetime to perfect. It’s okay that it isn’t the easiest thing to let go of what feel like memories or necessities. One of the most uncomfortable conversations to have with yourself is asking yourself if those sentimental or even utilitarian things are actually making your life better, or if they’re just making your life more cluttered.
My dream is to hold close to me only what is most valuable, not because of any value that is placed on it by others, but because it serves a meaningful purpose in my life. I want to pass on all of the things that can be useful and meaningful to someone else, and lighten my mind from all of the things I’ve let live in it for all of this time. Once I learn to move on gracefully, I will have mastered the art of traveling—and ultimately living—lightly, passionately, and sustainably.
Written by Mariah Greico, Class of 2018