Disconnect and Reconnect: What You Learn When You Return Home

Disconnect and Reconnect: What You Learn When You Return Home

Brain Droppings from a Sitdown with Skyler Mueller
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Friday, July 31st, 2015

“My name is Skyler Mueller. I am a junior at Virginia Tech, and I am from Malvern, Pennsylvania, a small Philadelphia suburb on the Main Line. I have two loving parents, a[n] older brother, and I want to teach.”

“I would say I have spent no more than two weeks at home since I began my second semester in sophomore year.”

Skyler on College

  • Until I went to college, I think I enjoyed more peace in my life and thinking.
  • I truly believed upon entering college that I knew myself. I remember actually saying it to a couple of my hallmates, and not a few weeks later, I was spinning as my whole world went upside down. So I have learned to never assume I have discovered myself completely.
  • I was completely away from everyone who had fostered my beliefs, away from that safety. That is a quick and easy gut-check, to see what you really believe.
  • There is no growth without pain. Embracing pain or discomfort when it comes will help growth.
  • I hope to be the RA to my residents that my RA was to me. She was a companion through tough times, through inner turmoil, and also through times of happiness.
  • There are many times where you are teacher and a learner, just at the same time.
  • I’m not usually someone who decorates my room, so people are like, “Oh, so you don’t have a personality?” So now I am trying to find things to decorate my room.

Skyler on Home

  • I went on a cross country road trip last summer – 10,000 miles all around the country, in a huge circle. And although I was very happy and fortunate to explore, and eager to explore and discover, throughout the trip I always wanted to be home. Not as in, “turn the car around, turn it around right now.” I always knew I wanted to finish my trip at home. The destination was home. I went through, and passed through and arrived at so many homes across this country, and that was what was so crazy to me. I passed by so many places that are home, like what I have been describing, for so many other people.
  • I’ve always had a strong affinity, a feeling of kinship around home. I feel very much myself. Someone could drive through my town, through those streets on a trip, and to them it is just another town, but I can’t see it in that way. The memories are in the air. To me there is so much more import surrounding this place. I see home as a reminder of my roots; the core of me.
  • Even though I am changing, and I could be very different from who I was however long ago, my home updates with me. Home has never felt outdated, so far in my life. It has felt like it has always been alongside me. Home has been a companion; but it has been more than that. It has been a lot of things.
  • Home is safety and comfort, but not complacency. I do not feel stagnant here. It is a safe place to grow. I can be challenged even in a place so familiar, and sometimes in the best ways.
  • When I come home, sometimes, it feels like it knows me better than I know myself, in the sense that I am learning about myself by just being home.
  • There is something about this location, this geography, that knows me, in some way.

Skyler on Family

  • My family and I are very fortunate; we never had much conflict or many problems, and so when I brought some problems and some conflict, I think it was very healthy in a very great way, and made connections I had never made with my family before.

Skyler on Skyler

  • I am happy, I am. But it is a little more complicated than that. You know, I am content.
  • Disillusioned and delusional are two very different words. Why are they so close? I remember saying disillusioned a lot when I meant to say deluded or delusional, and when I finally looked it up it was like “Ahhhhh, shit.” Exact opposites almost.
  • I usually view growth in what I gain, but inevitably there has to be a loss. I have lost a faith. I was Christian, and now I am Agnostic. I gained some new beliefs and doubts, and I lost others.
  • It is very uncomfortable to start to believe that what you used to believe is wrong.
  • My excitement for life, I haven’t lost that, not yet. There is never a moment when I feel like there isn’t something to learn, and I am constantly captivated by the dynamics of life.

Parting Shots

  • Why don’t we do this more? I don’t mean like a Diane Sawyer sit down interview, but with people I care about, this is such a great concept for learning about each other, and learning about yourself. I want to reciprocate this. Why don’t we, not just you and me, but people, sit down and ask each other those essential questions? Is it time?
  • The people are the primary destination.

“They won’t know you care, until you care to know.”

–Said by many, not accredited to any.

Cover Image Credit: Malcolm D. Anderson

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