You all remember I went to Berkeley, right? It was back in 2008 but I still see it as the most defining six months I’ve ever spent anywhere. Without that semester, I never would have realized that I wanted to go into academics and get that PhD and I would never have had the confidence to try. That semester showed me I can keep up with the nerds out there and even hold my own. It showed me I come alive in college libraries in a way I don’t anywhere else and that I needed to find a way to incorporate that in my life.

That semester showed me how to live a life of faith that isn’t poisonous. It showed me how to love God and his people without losing sight of who I am. It showed me the power of ritual and liturgy and tradition and what it can do for people like me that bring a lot of baggage to the pew.

That semester showed me how to be a good roommate without losing sight of my own boundaries. It taught me the power of lived communities as well as its limitations (and how to find a sense of personal space even when living with so many other people). That’s a pretty useful skill right there, for an introvert like me.

I could talk about Berkeley all day, but I won’t, since the purpose of this post was to show you this picture.

You remember the dinosaur, right? And now you’ve seen my sister. You know we like to dress up Dino for special occasions. Well, my sister obviously thought a visit to CafĂ© Strada warranted an outfit, and I couldn’t agree more. Thanks, E. You’re the best.


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