[DAY 15] A Crab and a Farewell Letter

Today, I read The Element of Style written by Strunk and White and stumbled upon this, “… even the kind of writing that is essentially adventurous and impetuous will on examination be found to have a secret plan: Columbus didn’t just sail, he sailed west, and the New World took shape from this simple and, we now think, sensible design.”

I know there are controversies around Columbus and the result of his west-bound journey, but this paragraph is undeniably beautifully written and reminds me of how I have always been this wanderer in the woods, fascinated by every direction and tempted to try everything new. To me, having a specific vision seems surreal, because I fear to miss out a chance to be better when I don’t keep the doors open. I hope I have moved forward in this journey; undeniably, I have moved like a crab also – back and forth in my mind, stretching in all directions.

Of course, I am disappointed in myself for being a crab, but sometimes I shrugged it off. No matter what I do, I have failed to realize that one doesn’t often know what one wants. A direction is a good starting instrument, and maybe I should start there. And I thought about my meeting in the Learning Center yesterday. The last meeting of the year, we invited the directors and managers, and one saying from J.B. stood out to me:

When we moved everything online, we just simply tried to make it work, yet you guys have transformed the Zoom room into this amazing place for students and tutors to connect. We didn’t have this vision at the beginning, but I guess we are here and we made it.

J.B. (sorry, but not Justin Bieber)

I just finished my last shift in the Learning Center, saying good-bye to the people that I didn’t talk to for two years but now I feel like family members. Just like J.B., I didn’t know this would be how we ended up – laughing along with each other’s jokes and showing our food via a small screen. I love them all and have promised to drop in to the Zoom room sometimes. Nevertheless, I understand that we are all drifting apart, and I think that’s fine.

A part of being a crab perhaps is knowing that the world is grand and I will keep bumping into others along the way. The chance encounters. The long-lasting relationships. I am writing to remember you all. I don’t cry this time, just as I have always said I am not the kind of person who cries, but I am sentimental and I see you in your uniqueness. And writing is my own farewell ritual.

Alana, James, Misty, Sherri, Jason, Elisa, Candice, David, Lolly, Dante, Dan, Laura, Adrian, Leslie, Ale, Bri, Rylie, Dominic, Marisa, Amrit, Jacob, Elnaz, and all those I cannot recall names right now. All the students who have dropped by.

I apologize for my failure to show the expressions that actually live up to what I feel. As I have said earlier, you guys have been the reasons I move forward, no matter how much of a crab I am.

Published by Thi Le


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