It's amazing what a difference a year makes. On this unseasonably warm day in New Jersey (low 60's at the high end of January is nothing short of extraordinary), I am sitting in a hotel room and pondering life on the other side of the chasm. Never mind that I feel like more of a grown-up now, one month and some on from finishing my graduate studies. The student life is now but a figment of my imagination, a hallucination from the days I lived in the dungeon corridors of a building far, far away in Switzerland.
Tomorrow is my current reality. I will be meeting nearly all the staff of my newly joined department in an "all-hands" meeting, the annual meet-and-greet festival of powerpoint presentations and team-building exercises that kicks off a (hopefully) successful year. I am sure by the time this event comes around again next year, the world will look ever different, with a new set of thoughts and feelings to tide me over on such an evening - but for now I am digesting my newfound state. I feared that I would have these pangs of indescribable boredom coming back into the country after a year of international stimulation and exploration. It turns out that I am as happy as I could have imagined and disengaged for indescribable reasons. Who knows why?
I guess that a year on, I have gotten what I wished for, and now new wishes are begging to fall from my dreams. The trouble is, those new dreams have not descended from the heavens to paint my nights vivid with what's next in an ever-turning life. For now, I am contented and calm - not something to complain about but not something that feels like a continuing step along the evolutionary path of life. Who knows what the coming days will bring, but here's to dreams that carry them forward.