If you’ve read any of my editor’s notes, dear reader, you know that I hate writing these with every fiber of my being. My latest qualm with the idea of editor’s notes is that I, a junior in college—whose greatest obstacles so far would make Syrian refugees scoff, laugh and lose even more faith in humanity—have to pontificate some grandiose insight into life that I discovered within myself after using my latest failed midterm to wipe away my tears on the third floor of Perkins. I found an inspirational Tumblr post about it; now I have to write about it. ~full body, emotionally-invested snaps for Dillon~
Because let’s be real. When people my age at this school have more empathy for that stray, glorified fat and fur sack of a cat at McClendon that gets 3 homes, blankets, five square meals and belly rubs every hour than most struggling humans, doesn’t that bother you? What does that say about us students as decent human beings? But, honestly, that cat is so sweet and when he snuggles adorably against your leg you realize he’s the only one that truly understands you in this world and gives you the love your father couldn’t. I think I speak for everyone when I say, “who cares?”
Yes, dear reader, I know, there are a few, seasoned students at Duke who have lived lives thus far to make the programming department at Lifetime quake at idea of turning their life story into a seductive TV movie for middle-aged housewives. I mean it’s the Lifetime motto:
Lifetime - “Programming that makes middle-aged housewives wet themselves when their husbands just can’t, est. 1984.”
But I can assure you that this Recess team probably does not fall into that rare cohort of weathered people. We are not philosophers by any means and can’t really say anything meaningful that a Hallmark Greeting Card already has. I feel that I need to actually experience some things before I find the truth about the world around me. I need to experience a breadth of emotions from love to loss that continue to vex artists and authors since the dawn of time. I need to experience the world through a different lens and find out the purpose and meaning of my life. At the very least, I heard that with Leah Remini out, there’s an opening in Scientology.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have not lived an eventful life. I have no muses. I mean, even Adele at the age of 21 (my age) had so much emotional trauma after separating with a lover that she could channel that rage and heartbreak into a raw, Grammy-whoring masterpiece that digs deep into the pain of every person’s life. The greatest devastating separation I’ve ever had is when I sprained my right hand for a week. I don’t think that experience qualifies me for any award except maybe inescapable Catholic-guilt.
So during my winter break, I went in with an open-mind back home to Fort Wayne that I would be open to the people and events that would take place over the three weeks. In high school, I definitely took the straight and narrow path, and as a result, I feel like I missed out on certain aspects of the social scene that most people had because I was never with the “popular crowd” or was really outgoing and I only ever hung around people that were sort of like me until senior year. Now, I consider Fort Wayne to be where my former self once lived. In the 2.5 years of college, independence shaped my personality and voice as a person into something most people from home would find foreign about me, and as a result, each time I go home, I begin to realize that my connection to my hometown is dissolving. However, with this renewed state of mind, I was going to do Fort Wayne right.
Coming back this time around, Fort Wayne just seems like there’s nothing left for me. The people from my high school who once ruled the school are trapped in the regiment of their 9-5s. The close friends I kept moved on with their lives, found new friends just like them, trapped in the regiment of the real world or school. It’s sad to think that once beaming people suddenly succumbed to the realities of paycheck to paycheck survival. Fort Wayne, which once seemed to be a place I would always grow into, now has become the place I’ve grown out of.
I may not have had a ton of life-shaping events or muses yet, but this winter break has shown me that I truly have exhausted Fort Wayne for what it’s worth, and that my life is supposed to move forward elsewhere. To experience the world from a perspective outside of a place I’ve been comfortable with my entire life and where I’ve never failed. And that’s scary. But it’s also the way my life should be.
Dillon Fernando is a Trinity junior and Recess Editor.