Riverside sunset
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Riverbank sunset

Well, as I type this, a week has already passed since I've been home, and it's gone by lickity split. Of course, I figured my time back with family would go by quickly. Nevertheless, I've been taking advantage of every second, and I plan to do the same in the upcoming week.

The flight back home was relaxing (except for the part where I nearly missed my connecting flight). I got to take a few hours to simply be in my thoughts for the first time in months. I love Dartmouth with all my heart, but its structure makes it seem like life is happening to you, not the other way around. It's easy to get caught up in everything that's going on in your life, and you may forget to focus on yourself. That's just what I've been doing the past seven days. However, the troubles that I left behind when I started winter term were beaming to greet me with open arms. Family conflicts and personal dilemmas will always be a part of my life, and I'm just now beginning to realize my happiness will stem from understanding that I can't control everything that goes on in my life, so I'll focus on the things that I can:

My view over Washington D.C. on my flight home!
My view over Washington D.C. on my flight home!

No doubt, the first thing that I was looking forward to was seeing my brother and sister Logan and Emma. I missed them terribly and them me. I tried my best to stay in contact with them through the term via phone calls, and I did a pretty decent job at that; but it's just not the same. I'm so happy that I get to spend time with them. Seeing my mother and father brought me mixed emotions as I've got a complicated history with them. Regardless of the status of our relationship, I'm always happy to see them… they're my mother and father. The good memories always tend to outweigh the bad.

Fishing on the river with my brother and sister!
Fishing on the river with my brother and sister!

I couldn't take a more picturesque photo if I tried.
I couldn't take a more picturesque photo if I tried.

Now, I have to admit that I've indulged in the things that make me happy on a personal level. First, I made a simple plan to go fishing on the riverbank that I grew up on. It's so simple to watch the sunset, hear the life around you, and allow nature to comfort you. At least, that's what it does for me, and it always has. It's a hobby of mine that's much more than a hobby, it's my therapy in addition to my favorite pastime. It means a lot to me.

Took a boat out on the local lake!
Took a boat out on the local lake!

A rainbow trout! He tasted great.
A rainbow trout! He tasted great.

Something just as important to me is golf. Although I stink at the game (most of the time), I absolutely cherish the time I get to spend out on the golf course. I do have to say, golf courses back at home in northeast Arkansas aren't as picturesque as back in the Upper Valley, but I'll sure take what I can get. I mean, playing with my lifelong friends and cutting up out on the course outweighs the scenery I suppose. I'm so grateful to have homed in on my golf skills enough to where it brings me so much satisfaction to play it. I absolutely love the sport.

Me and my best friend Jeff out on the golf course!
Me and my best friend Jeff out on the golf course!

And that's about where I am a week into "springterim" '22. It's been chaotic as I knew it would. Sometimes the problems I run into down here make my "college life" problems seem insignificant. However, I'm then reminded that I'm becoming an adult and developing problems, memories, and stories of my own. I think that's what maturity and life is all about, and I'm slowly realizing I'm reaching that point in life.

P.S. Let me introduce to you my favorite food items from back at home: 

You can't beat a grilled chicken club from Chick-fil-a! I missed it terribly.
You can't beat a grilled chicken club from Chick-fil-a! I missed it terribly.

A vanilla custard cone from Andy's heals my soul.
A vanilla custard cone from Andy's heals my soul.

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