Memorial Day weekend this year was extremely dichotomous.

The pain of separation from my family and the freedom to visit our nation’s capital for the first time in my life.

The gratitude to be alive in the land of the free and walk the Vietnam Memorial and the aching sadness of watching loved ones crying and searching for their soldier’s name. 

Spending great time with an old friend as well as the bubbling excitement spent with my future colleagues. 

Hope and levity from big-dreamin’ and the fear and doubt that almost simultaneously attempts to hijack it. 

Bursting happiness with fresh/raw learning (from and with other open learners) and then the gravity that pulls you down to the sobering reality that it comes with a price – and not just financially. 

The pride of growing up in Springfield, Illinois, as you walk up to the breathtaking/grand Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., and then the humility of standing next to your fellow humans while reading Lincoln’s inaugural address – tears drip from your cheeks. 

May you experience the good and the bad this Memorial Day. Sometimes their lines blur and the bad is the good, and the good is the bad. I think it’s the union of such which makes us whole.