• Jessica McDonald

Learning and Loving Through Distance

Updated: Apr 12, 2020

It’s incredible the amount of things I’m learning being in such a new environment. Of course that’s expected but it’s so different when I'm actually living it. I have been learning the importance of accepting people for the way they are, altering aspects of myself to cohabitate better and acknowledging that everyone has isms that don't change. 

I have had flashes of high school and how I see it now is different from how I saw it then. Being in an arts school was a gift. Having teachers who cared deeply about their students and being surrounded by like minded people seemed like it was just the norm. I have learned this is so rare and so special. In the moment, high school was overwhelming and ESA was a crazy place, always going full speed ahead with lots happening at once. But now I realize the value that gave me that I get to bring to University life.

My friends. All I heard from people before I went to university is I am going to meet the friends of a lifetime. People I’ll be close with forever. And when a couple weeks went by and a couple months went by and I didn’t find that, I got so discouraged. But now I’m realizing I actually have already met those people. My friends I’ve met through high school and my old job are people I connect with in a second and feel close with like no other. These people have been right next to me for at least 3 years and it’s taken distance of not seeing each other everyday at school or every week at work for me to acknowledge the love and connection I share with them and the importance they hold in my life.

It takes time apart to learn this and I’m so grateful for that. Especially for this realization with my relationship with my mom too. I’ve always known our relationship was different than a lot of people and we were closer than your average most mother and daughter. Now that I don't live with her, when I see her and then go back to school I miss her so much it hurts. Being away from her is allowing me to acknowledge the enormous presence and importance she holds in my life. Mom isn’t just my mother, she truly is my best friend. Being in university struggling to find people I vibe with has opened my eyes to the immediate connection I feel with mom on so many levels. 

I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to live away from home and learn a million things you never could through reading or listening. I feel like this experience that has only been of 3 months so far has given me tools to strength my relationships with my friends, my family, myself and one day my partner. Love, reflect and appreciate those around you that make you feel whole.

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