I was wandering through the library stacks today.
Actually, it was my first time in the stacks of my new library. I had about a half hour until a talk I was supposed to attend, so I thought I would poke around. Yes, I did a catalog search of myself and made sure my own books were on the shelf. But then I started pulling some other titles–nothing directly related to my current work, but rather tangents that might point me in some other, yet-discovered direction.
The library at this university is so different from my last university. Here, the library is a hub of activity. Students were everywhere, working (or not working) alone or in groups of two or three. I felt myself in the middle of a vibrant, academic community.
And then it dawned on me: I’m part of that community as well.
I’ve mentioned before how in Atlanta, my work life and my daily life rarely intersected. I lived so far from campus that I never really “hung out” on campus, and I almost never could attend evening activities.
Now here I was, for the second evening in a row, taking part in a co-curricular event, and killing time in the stacks.
I suppose I am really just the collection of my daily practices. And as those daily habits shift, and I open myself up to new ways of being, the “fundamental question” is no longer: Who am I? but rather: Who shall I become?