Wet paper dries. Once the water evaporates, the paper strengthens again taking on a slightly different texture. It’s a bit more rigid and wrinkled, but when carefully attended to, its substance can be preserved and the stains tell the story of reality.

With two weeks and eight classes complete, I felt invigorated. I had managed through the travel delays and arrived on time to class despite the compounded schedules of trains, taxis, and airplanes; I had coordinated my son’s care to his delight and embraced my sisters and nieces; I handed in my research paper, took my exam, and was complimented by the instructor on the perfect symmetry of my diced potatoes; and I learned how to eviscerate Flounder and Spanish Mackerel and fabricate fish fillets. I washed the cutting board at the end of the day and walked back to my sister’s apartment. The achy soles of my feet felt buoyant.

On the plane ride home, my son fell asleep on my lap, and as I brushed his hair with my fingers, I thought about what I was teaching him. Would he think of this experience as an exciting time of travel where he lived a jet-setting life in New York City?  Would he see that dreams are not figments of our imagination but opportunities that we choose? Would he learn the virtue of work?

When Monday morning rolled around, I wearily carried my body to the bathroom and looked at my tired, worn self in the mirror. My legs were sore, my eyes swollen, my heart heavy. Although my search does not have a clear path, I believe in the direction of where I am headed. So I will rest when I can, take in the sights and sounds, and along the way, who knows what I may find.

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