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I’m having a nostalgic week over here and am amazed at how invigorating it’s been.
A college friend sent a group text last week to myself and some other alums to let us know she was speaking the next night for Founders Weekend at our alma mater. She wondered if anyone was up for joining her.
I immediately thought, “Hell yeah!”
Now, Melissa is one of the least spontaneous people I know, so I approach her accordingly.
“Up for a crazy adventure?” I ask.
“Maybe?” she responds tentatively.
I encourage her to check her text messages and stand by silently as she reads it.
I see a spark in her eye before the resistance can enter.
“Tomorrow?!” she says.
“Yup! It’ll be a blast!” I say. “Not only do we get to see Janine, but we can go back to where it all began.”
You see, Melissa and I met in college. In fact, just a couple weeks back, I wrote a post about going with your gut and shared the story of how I chose what college to go to.
You can read the post here: https://kerririchardson.com/gowithyourgut
(That’s us in the picture in front of the dorm where we met 32 years ago.)
And now, here we are with an invitation to visit and relive some awesome memories.
“Let’s do it!” Melissa says.
I quickly text the group with a “We’re in!” and get to work lining up the pet sitter and reconfiguring my work commitments.
On our 3 1/2-hour drive to North Adams, MA, we rock out to our college playlist (Spin Doctors, anyone?) and are awestruck at the beauty along the ride. The Mohawk Trail is a stunner.
We must have said, with huge smiles on our faces, “This is so crazy,” about a million times. And it was.
From the energy in the car, you could tell we are both feeling more alive than we have in a while.
When we get to campus, we meet up with Bob, a fellow alum and now administrator at the college. He gives us the full tour of all things old and new.
As I stand in my freshman year dorm room, I wonder how many kids have lived in there over the years.
It’s all so wild.
The campus is as gorgeous as ever, and the downtown of the city is far more quaint than I recall.
We hit lots of the old haunts — Jack’s Hot Dog Stand, Village Pizza, Blackinton Street, and more.
I’m transported right back to 1990 while being flooded with all the happiness hormones my body could possibly produce.
After reminiscing with other graduates at the various events, we wrap up our trip with a visit to Mass MoCA, the museum of contemporary art that was merely an idea when we attended NASC.
It is stunning and so worth the trip if you ever find yourself in the Berkshires.
On our drive home, we’re both buzzing.
“I feel more connected to 20-year-old Kerri than I have in a long time,” I say. “What an awesome trip.”
“Totally agree,” Melissa says.
As if that wasn’t enough nostalgia, last night we went to see the new Top Gun movie. As the movie begins, the first notes of “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins transported me to 1986.
I could feel my entire body respond with excitement and joy.
Revisiting life from 25+ years ago in these ways reminds me of some important stuff:
- To be silly more often,
- That adventures can be local and easy,
- To sometimes give my inner hermit a nudge when she wants to say “no,”
- That spontaneity can be magical, and
- To make joy infusions a regular practice.
These past two years have muffled me and dimmed my light a bit. And while it might take some effort to clear the rubble, it’s worth it to feel so alive again.
I’m sure you’ve felt the same. With what we’ve all been through, you almost can’t help but energetically cocoon as a survival mechanism, am I right?
So to help you tap back into some joy, I ask, what’s hiding underneath your rubble? What part of you would you love to tap back into? Hit reply and let me know. Name it to claim it!
Here’s to joy, magic, and spontaneity!