On my drive home from the upper peninsula, I think about who I was when I moved up to Marquette four years ago and who I am now. What is the U.P. Cynthia like? How is she different? Yes, she wears more plaid and doesn't bother with her hair much, but what else has that place done to her?
There are the obvious lifestyle changes: it's taught me how to cook and how to eat better, to think about walking or biking before driving. When we first moved up there, it only took 15 minutes to walk to campus, even less to bike, but it always seemed too far. By the time we moved to our new apartment, and I was walking 45 minutes to school, I realized how close we had been those first two years.
First Marquette taught me to make friends less, to keep a distance because they'd soon graduate and leave. But then it showed how they will return, and when they do, they'll bring with them the person you were when you were together. I realized I'll want to remember that Cynthia if only as a reminder to never become her again.
Thanks to Marquette, I know how to knit (kind of), how to keep a houseplant alive, how to play a table full of bingo cards, how to make sangria, how to teach, how to spend eight hours in a car, how to tell the difference between impatiens and vincas, but most of all, how to make a home.