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My young niece is touring the country visiting potential colleges this Spring Break. It reminded me when I visited my alma mater for the first time and the RA that gave me the campus tour told me that “College is what you make of it.”  I took that on as my motto in college and I tried to live the college experience to the fullest. I joined a sorority. I was yearbook editor. I made sure that I went to plays and musicals and studied to the best of my ability. Oh, and I went to some parties while I was there as well.

Overall, I fulfilled my dream of what college should be. I remember taking my books out onto this perfectly manicured green lawn and studying in the afternoon sun, and thinking, “this is what college students do.”  It was the picture that you always saw in all the college brochures; students congregating on park benches studying together. I checked that off my To Do list for college.

However, after I graduated from college I lost my way. I always thought I knew what my dreams were, but life got in the way. Let’s face it, paying rent is important. As such, trips to museums, plays, and concerts got pushed aside. Reading books in the park never happened anymore. Writing my novel got started, many times, but never finished. Because, life always seemed more pressing. Life was pressing in on my dreams.

Could life at 40 years of age, still be something I could “make?”  As I look at my niece, she is so filled with hope for the future.  I wonder where the last 20 years went. That used to be me with the unstoppable smile and optimism. I don’t think it is gone, it is just in hibernation. Is age like winter?  Can you dust off the snow of time and discover the new growth of spring dreams still living in your soul?

Life is what you make of it.

I’m going to start living my 42 year old life to the fullest.

Watch out world, cuz I’m dreaming big this time!

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