Bye Bye Ellen

Remember Ellen, a RE3.org guest blogger? Well she has moved on to “bluer water.” She is interning at the coast now. We will miss her but here is one of her final blog posts.

Lonely dreams

When I was a kid I imagined moving to be a huge deal. My sister moved from Illinois to California when I was about nine years old. "All the way to California?" I thought. It seemed so far away, and it confused me when I tried to think about what she would do when she needed someone to hug her, or someone to just sit with. I had never been to California at the time, but I knew she couldn't drive there in a day. When I got old enough to move away, I did too. It really scared me to move away. I was moving to Montana, where I didn't know a soul, to go to school. What I realized at that point for myself, and what I realize my sister must have felt too, was that even in the comfort and delight of home, something necessary was missing. I moved to Montana where I stayed for two years. Then I moved to California, D.C., Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio and back to Illinois. Most recently I moved to North Carolina (Chapel Hill) for school. Again I knew no one, and this time making friends wasn't as easy. And still, the reality of loneliness can sometimes be really terrifying. But the more I have moved, the more I have allowed myself to change, the more I become the individual I want to be.

I know this doesn't have much of a direct connection with recycling, but in my mind it sort of does. I think that people often don't change because of fear. It's scary to try something new, or do something that you hadn't done before. It's scary to claim a stance and worry that no one will be on your side, and it's scary to think about how being alone might feel. But I think change is essential. If we want the world to be better than it is today, sometimes we have to step out on a limb.

Yeah, it's terrifying to think you might be out there alone with your thoughts, but you have to try. You have to fight for the things you believe. Montana scared me. North Carolina scared me. A lot of things have scared me in the past, but what's important is how you deal with that. Montana turned out to be a good lesson, North Carolina is still teaching me many things. You can always get by somehow. I'm saying this all because the next step for me is in the direction of helping to save the world. That is not an easy thing to do. And there may be a lot of times when I am sitting alone on my limb. But we are all responsible for our own lives, if not for anything else. I'd like to always utilize mine to the best of my ability. And sometimes dreams are worth the loneliness you may feel along the way.

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