It's homecoming week at EIU, and for the first time in at least 10 years, I'm going. The last time I was in Charleston for Homecoming, I wasn't yet married, but Chris accompanied me. Things are different now. And yet, in so many ways, I am more like the person I was when I was a student.
How refreshing is it to realize that who we essentially are cannot be altered? It may go on hiatus for awhile, but we always return to our core values. The last five years have taught me that the things I value are friendship, health, knowledge and fun. Not so different from Maggie circa 1997 ... except maybe the health thing. Maggie back then went to class, studied hard, worked hard, played hard. She made memories so vivid, it seems like only yesterday we were crawling through a grate in the floor of the gym hallway, or driving home from the St. Louis arch in the wee hours of the morning.
Maggie today works hard, plays hard, and yes, she's still making memories. Sometimes, with the same people she made them with back in '97.
I will spend a good portion of this weekend with Patty and Brian Poulter, two of the greatest professors at EIU. I will see my ish-bro Chunk and his fiance Erin. I will eat chili with the Journalism department, I will watch the homecoming parade, and I will smile, laugh and remember. And make more memories while I'm at it.