[By Lala Palazzolo]
These past two months have been a time of great transition for me, as I move out of one paradigm and into another. I think about my former “normal life” and have been back home briefly to visit and observe a dynamic I haven’t lived in, in months. Everything and everyone around me was just as I had left it. Nothing had changed except me. I felt removed and somewhat disconnected to the goings-on of everyday. I am reminded of “the ghost of Christmas past” in the story, The Christmas Carol. I was there as an observer of a life I no longer was a part of. Strangely, things that would have once triggered a response from me now seemed obvious and insignificant. The OCD tendencies I inherited from my mother’s side of the family, all but disappeared during my stay. I wasn’t bothered by the things that, just months ago, used to give me a rise. I’d look around my home, as I spring-cleaned and put all my houseplants out for the summer, and saw, with different eyes, how I lived, how I expressed that and my heart view of the world I helped to create. All the while, being a witness to other’s preoccupations. I resigned myself to be in the moment, without judgment, and just soak it all in………..making sure to dance, laugh and enjoy as much as I could.
By the time I returned back to camp, I was ready. I missed each and every one of my new friends……….their quirks and all. My reunion with them was both loving and wonderful. I truly love this awesomely-crazy group of people. We are a family of diverse characters and personalities. We say what we feel and mean what we say. We strive to bring out the good in each other, and sometimes, bring out the bad in ourselves instead. They have seen parts of me that, when reflected back at me, have opened my eyes to things about me that I wouldn’t have otherwise known had I not felt free to express, so unabashedly, who I am. Seeing yourself reflected back at you can be both joyful and quite sad. It surprises me how I feel when someone slathers me with their love. Its like, I don’t see these wonderful things about myself, so how do they? Yet, when I get the straight arrow truth, blurted out innocently and unspared, my heart sinks so deep, that I cry. Their honesty hits hard and true, and it hurts. I haven’t been able to voice this to but a few and they have helped to put it into perspective. Still, I am tender-hearted and somewhat bruised. All in all, I am grateful for all my experiences, no matter how painful, because they teach me about the nature of me. I have learned so much in just four months already. Can you imagine what these next four months will bring? …………….Neither can I.