Life After Ripon: Katlyn Lee ’12

Chapter 11: Rediscovering Roots

[Editor’s Note: Katlyn Lee ’12 and Jeremy Johnson ’12 are writing monthly entries for the Ripon College Newsletter chronicling their own post-graduation experiences. We hope you enjoy their perspectives on Life After Ripon!]

May 4, 2013
Dear Journal,

Katlyn Lee

Katlyn Lee ’12

Today I went and did something a little bit, well, crazy. For a long while now I had been toying back and forth with the idea of taking this plunge, I think I may have even discussed it in passing in prior entries, but I never seemed to get myself to take that final step. Maybe I was afraid of the consequence of the action. After all, by doing what I did today I may find myself swept away into a life I had forgotten I could live. I’ve heard the side effects of my actions could be as serious as creating parallel worlds in my head, full of new scenery, people, and events different from my own. It could almost be classified as multiple personalities – dangerous for others but blissful for me. If you haven’t guessed by now, the forbidden deed I dared do was purchase not one, but two books. For shame.

You may ask, “Katlyn, why would you do such a thing? What would cause you to dive head first into such a crazy lifestyle? Reading is a dangerous thing to do.” Well, it’s funny that you ask these questions because it was actually a loss, or rather multiple losses, that pushed me to my decision to jump back into the land of story-telling. Two weeks ago was one of the roughest weeks I’ve had since moving home. I know I’ve mentioned some hardships with my health and adjusting to home life, but nothing hits quite as hard as losing things in your life, big or small.

In a matter of a week I made the difficult decision to end a relationship, lost a family friend I’ve known since I was a child, learned that I would soon be losing one of my closest friends as they will be moving across the country, and lost the opportunity to see a dear friend I haven’t seen in ages. Now, while some of these losses are very minor, others hit me quite hard. To cope I found myself attempting to bury my pain in fake relationships. My laptop, my work computers, my iPod, and my phone all became my best friends. I locked myself away with them searching tirelessly for music, videos, and games, anything that would occupy my time and fill a void.

After a few days of this relentless search to shut out the world around me, I realized that I was only creating more losses for myself. I was becoming a zombie to the electronic world that surrounds me. Sure, my job and some of my favorite pastimes are heavily based on technology, but why in the world should they become my entire life? My ridiculous obsession with being connected was causing me to not only lose sleep, but valuable time I needed for myself.

That’s why I bought the books. One of my favorite things to do before I entered college was to dive into a book before bed each night. Not only did it calm my mind and help me forget about the day’s events, it gave me inspiration and hope and another outlet to channel my feelings. What I realized over these past couple of weeks is that life really is short, things change quickly, and I won’t always be happy with how things go. I love my friends and family, I have wonderful relationships with both, but sometimes I lack a proper relationship with myself. Technology doesn’t give me that, if anything it was pulling me farther and farther away from myself. Sure, it will forever have a place in my life, but what I need to do to grow in myself and grow past my losses is go back to my roots. To go back to what always used to be such a big part of me and brought me so much joy. To once again find my happy little world and live merrily in it, if only for a half hour each night. I needed my books.

Now I have two.

Katlyn M. Lee ’12
[email protected]

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