There is no time in my life greater than fall of 2002.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my current life. But if I can go back and visit any time of my life, it would be fall 2002.
I was living in this room, in Pemberton Hall, on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.
This was the first time in my life that I lived alone. It was my sophomore year and I had a dorm room all to myself. I had a course load full of general education classes (I was in between majors). My grades were the best they would ever be in college, and for the first time since I stepped on campus, I felt like I was exactly where I belonged.
I was so happy this semester.
On the left side of the room was a huge poster of Erykah Badu’s Mamas Gun album cover. The Brown Sugar soundtrack was constantly playing on that radio by the window, and I had absolutely no responsibilities other than my job at the dining hall, studying, and relaxing.
And I loved it that way.
At night, I used to lay in my bed and look out my window and stare at the peak of the castle we call Old Main.
This was a very peaceful time in my life.
Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed, and I feel as though I’m being pulled in every direction other than where I want to be, I think about the girl who lived in Pemberton Hall.
Life was simple.
Life was sweet.
Sometimes, when I think back on this special time, it reminds me of who I truly am.
It explains why I sometimes need solitude.
It explains why I disappear off the social scene for months or years at a time.
My lifestyle at that time…. that season…..almost 16 years ago…..was a true reflection of me.
Shout out to fall of 2002!
Dr. Lauren Meeks