Oftentimes people say, “Time stops for no one.” But, what if that’s not always true? What if time does pause, but you’re the only person who realizes it?
I met my parents at the arrivals gate of Logan Airport, taking my first breath of Boston air. The place I left over 100 days before was the exact same place I had come back to, the same old Boston I had known all my life: buildings reaching for the sky, unbearable traffic that somehow occurs with a different reason each time, and Dunkin on every corner.
Coming back to Boston meant finding my new normal in what used to be my typical environment. The brief transit to school, the ability to look out of my high windows and hear the commotion of the city was something I liked about my three and a half months in France; coming back to Boston made me appreciate those little things even more. France was a break from the same cycle of every school year as the temperatures began to drop, free time became scarce, and sunshine didn’t feel so present anymore. I had been dreading the repetition of the full year in Boston and breaking out of that in my study abroad provided a breath of fresh air that part of me wished lasted forever because it was too good to let go.
Before leaving for my semester away in France, I had assumed that I was going to see big changes among all of the places and people I was so familiar with but by the time I got back, I realized I was sorely mistaken. To this day, I’m still shocked at how few things changed while I was away. Life continued on in Boston whether I was there or not. Although a lot of new people joined the Upper School community including the incoming freshman class and new faculty members, BB&N still felt much the same as when I left it in June.
However, as I sit here and watch the Massachusetts snow fall to the pavement, I have to understand that changes are both apparent and invisible. It’s how I learn to make them work for me that makes them all more worth my while.