Layers and layers

At a trial a few weeks ago, two people who I admire very much gave me something important. Standing with me, they connected. They saw me and they said it — though not with words: hey, we see you. No excuses, no attempts to make me feel a certain way. They simply held a space for me, and let me in on their light for a while.

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For probably all of the 2013 fall semester and a little piece of the current one, I have been wrestling with some thoughts of regret. That has been an interesting journey to take on. Up to this point, I can’t say I have ever truly regretted anything in my life; I’m not sure I truly regret anything now. But pouring over the feelings for a minute feels right.

Before I started college I had many folks tell me I should leave Rev at home and experience dorm life for at least a year. There is no way I would, or could, ever — everevereverever — want to alter the choice I made to bring Rev to school with me and live off campus. There are many reasons why that is so. But… I do understand now why it was stressed to me that I would be missing something by not living on campus. Because I did miss something; I missed a lot of things.

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I missed meeting new people — new people, my age, who were also attempting to navigate in this strange, new world. I missed developing a variety of relationships, I missed truly seeing my school (would anyone like to take me on a tour? I’m a smidge better now, but I can still get lost), I missed early research opportunities and forming strong relationships with my professors.

I gained a shockingly brilliant list of experiences that I have mused over for years in this space. I would not trade a single experience for any amount of time travel and college life. These moments shaped who I am today, a completely different person from four years ago. Completely. And while I do regret the life I missed, I don’t regret the life I gained. That is a weird thing, and it is not one that I think we can fully realize until we live it. Maybe we live it early on, maybe we don’t feel the pain until further down the road. We probably live it again, and again, and again, would be my guess.

For me, twenty-one brought this struggle for the first time. It has been, and continues to be, a powerful year of truths, exploration and stretching. One of continued teachings from my little Rev spirit guide.

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I know this space has been relatively silent — and when I do write, I am not saying much. It is not that things are failing to bubble up in my heart and in my soul, but they are very sacred things. They are not delicate, no that is not the word. They’re rough and hard and constructed from pure power. They are also mine to keep, for now. I could muse about the injustice of Nationals qualifications, what it is like to raise a puppy (hah! nearly seven years now), the new handling movements that are taking the agility world by storm… but Rev has not deemed it so. She has given me a gift of time this year — time for inner reflection and stretching my soul to deeper levels. Time to experiment with vegan pancakes and hang photos from clothes pins on the wall, diving eagerly into my infinity.

This week we spent time with seven other brilliant souls, basking in the vitality of spring break at the beach. Inappropriate and crazy and immature and fun and real and healing. I’m enjoying these pieces; I need these pieces. I’m waking up again and finding the balance. Layers and layers of gratitude. You will need other people.

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  1. NJG says

    reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallygood! Clarity of thoughts and brilliant artistic photos. Miss ya. NJG

  2. Liz dodge says

    Your other world is still here, and will be when you want to step back into it. That’s the beauty of life…many worlds, many friends, many adventures. Experience as many as you can.

  3. Sarah Straub says

    Tori, you touched on so much that I have been thinking over in my college experience. I chose to live on campus but come home every weekend to compete and be with my dogs. I could never be away from them for more than a few days, which I imagine you feel when you thought about leaving Rev at home. Leaving my “babies” behind was never an option for me. So I compromised with my parents. Anyways, I do regret that I don’t have the relationships with other college students, I love my agility life and the people that support me in the ring. Its nice to know some people out there understand that our dogs, aren’t just dogs. They’re my life. And Agility is my life. No more regretting :)
    Thanks Tori!

  4. Whitney says

    Fantastic post with so much realization. You have had so many wonderful experiences and I’m very glad you’re taking advantage of your college ones right now. What a wonderful time in your life. Enjoy it while you can!

  5. Stefanie Rainer says

    Your bond with Rev is truly something special and your outlook on life is inspiring!
    We will certainly miss you at nationals this year!

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