Just got back to the office after a long memorial day weekend in Providence. I started Brown University in 1989 as a computer science major. I finished Brown in January 1990 with a BA in religious studies -- affectionately known as an 89.5er. It's trite to say, but those four and a half years were some of the best in my life.
Returning to that place and period of time -- as a 42 year old -- was very emotional. I cried or teared up at least 4 times. The people that were there helped me define me -- and were present as I defined me. Sometimes that was beautiful -- and sometimes that wasn't so pretty.
Some take aways from the weekend:
- People I thought I'd be in touch with forever -- I'm not. I'm surprised at the flow of relationships. Who has been in my life and who is likely to continue to be in my life is not as I expected.
- It's not about the money. So much of success in America is driven and measured by money. Money is not and should not be the measure of success -- or happiness. One of the best conversations I had this weekend was with someone who has been unemployed for 2 years and spent 9 months meditating. He quit his 90K per year job to elect for unemployment because he felt the job was killing the life in him. Pretty fascinating guy. He was amongst the happiest -- if not the "wealthiest" people I met.
- Life happens to all of us -- parents die, people get sick, people get married and divorced. There is no stopping time.
- The guys (myself included) were fatter
- Going back to college is a bit like visiting family for the holidays -- everyone regresses.