Opinion

Venturing into unknown is Ok

This is a follow-up to a recent column where I whined about not knowing what I was doing here. Now I do know.

Seven months ago I packed up all I could fit in the back of my Subaru station wagon, strapped an antique trunk to the luggage rack on the roof, and drove down I-95 from Georgia, alone. It was a long drive with much left behind: job, friends, family, an ex-boyfriend, home. I didn’t even know where I was going to live, and I had to arrive by four for an interview for a job I didn’t even take.

Instead, I spent a month alone in a studio apartment reading eight hours a day by the pool or hiding inside from the rain, driving through Miami until I discovered that the avenues ran north-south and the streets ran east-west.

The quiet was a balm. I had set off partly driving away from something I no longer wanted and partly driving toward something I didn’t know. That month I was a monk, a nun, and a librarian who went days without a word.

You’d never know it to see me now: bright, open, and confident, writing these words for strangers to read. But I know I’m not the only one out there. Some of you are soon setting off on journeys of your own-either toward or away from something-across continents, across oceans or simply breaths of distance.

You are not alone.

Know this when the silence overtakes you.

I have built a world here and peopled it with friends and work and school. I have a home and a green backyard for Frisbee and neighbors with a grill and a fridge full of beer they’re willing to share. It is sad to think of leaving again for what is only partly known.

I said I did know why I was here, and I will tell you. Tonight I took a walk with two of my friends, women like me who are strong and who are weak. We did what women do and processed all that we don’t understand by sharing it as we pretended to exercise block after block. We went back home and drank wine and ate crackers and cheese with mustard and sat around the table and breathed the same air for just a moment.

I have been blessed enough to find this communion with women many times in my life, but it always comes as a surprise to find people who see the world the same way I do. And it is always a difficult sort of knowing when the honesty of a friend shows me things I couldn’t admit to myself before.

So what does all of this coming and going do for us? What do we learn from this constant uprooting that seems to be the new norm for our generation?

What I have learned is this: there is no uprooting, because we not a tree with roots but a vine with tendrils that climb and intertwine and make our way wherever we find ourselves, lending a small scent of green beauty to the dull gray stone we share.

Angie Henderson is a graduate student in the School of International Studies.

March 26, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It was maybe coincidence, but positioned just behind his left shoulder as Tyrique Stevenson spoke ab ...

The Miami Hurricanes unveiled a new turnover chain this season, replacing the bedazzled “U” that han ...

Before now, the last time the Miami Hurricanes scored 21 or fewer points in four consecutive games w ...

Keontra Smith waited a long time for the Miami Hurricnaes to finally offer him. The defensive back g ...

University of Miami true freshman running back Cam’ron Davis, known as Cam for short, is about to lo ...

A UM researcher is helping to lead a study on how smoke interacts with clouds and its impact on the ...

People are bombarded with news and information these days, providing opportunities for discourse tha ...

Students, faculty and staff stopped by the School of Architecture’s Korach Gallery to learn what Mag ...

The On Campus event featured innovative National Geographic Explorers—photographers, scientists, sto ...

UM Professor of Law Frances R. Hill tells us what we should know. ...

The No. 24 Miami women's basketball team is headed to Iowa State for the Preseason WNIT champio ...

The Canes hit the road for the final time in the 2018 regular season and it is to a familiar and hos ...

The Canes top the Golden Eagles to move onto the WNIT Championship game. ...

Miami wraps up its season-opening homestand with a 2 p.m. Saturday matchup against Bethune-Cookman a ...

University of Miami head golf coach Patti Rizzo announced Thursday the signing of three golfers to N ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.