Time To Say Goodbye


It is officially March 7th, 2017 and I am exactly a week and a day away from hopping on a plane to New Zealand. This past couple of months has been a whirlwind of events and emotions. Throughout the busyness, it was a challenge for me to just pause and reflect on what has happened in the last two years of my life. Given the honorary talons board for my early exit, this board became my golden opportunity to think about what my TALONS means to me.


Writing, sketching, and scribbling down whatever thought would submerge in my head, certain words seemed to flow from my heart into my hands. These words hold great meaning to me and my TALONS journey, for they have been an anchor throughout the storms. In this past couple days, I have been able to reflect on these words, redefine them, and engrave them on my heart for the many more life experiences I have ahead.

Passion, Dreams, Faith, Beauty, Creativity, Moments, Hope, Freedom, Stories, Time, Perspective, Connections, Compassion, Present, Question, Understanding, Curiouser and Curiouser, Inquisitive, Listen, Learn, Growth, Believe, Squidnéessa, Excitement, Plop, Community, Friendship, Family, Priority, La La Land, Human, Stars, Constellation, Film, Expression, Voice, Reconstruct, Perseverance, Gift, Explore, Life, Think, Ponder, Challenge, Magic, Universe, Humility, Interstellar, Kindness, Joy, Alice, Definition, Midnights, Balance, Art, Visualize, Imagination, Butterfly, Camp-Fire, Rest, Cinderella, Adaptation, Discovery, Inspiration, Brainstorms, Purpose, Jesus, Love


The human heart is something that I have found most interesting. So complex, yet so beautiful in its imperfections, I have found myself drawing the human heart in my journal and thinking about humanity in a much deeper way than I had before. The heart represents 3 things. That 1. in whatever I do, I choose to do it wholeheartedly. I have put so much of myself into TALONS and was given the freedom to be completely myself, and I have you all to thank for that. 2. the heart symbolizes the memories, feelings, and relationships that I hold so dear and close. I have met some of the greatest human beings in this program and I know that the family that we have built together will last a very long time. And 3. TALONS (meaning the people and the experiences) will always have a place in my heart. I have learned so much and have grown into a better and happier person than the Vanessa I was 2 years ago. Learning what friendship means, how to time-manage, how to be present, how to rest and take a break, how to prioritize, and how to not just dream but how to follow it, these life lessons will be something I carry with me forever. But perhaps the most important thing that I have learned is that there is so much more to life than just studying for the next test and worrying about tomorrow. Perfection is impossible and my happiness should always come first. Too long have been I been sacrificing my passions and my health for a number and mark, and TALONS has taught me that it is impossible to do and have it all. It’s okay to ask for help and honestly, the times in the uphill battles helped me realize how blessed I am to have such supportive people around me. I couldn’t have done this on my own, and I want to thank God, my family, my friends, and my teachers for pulling me through. I’ve been able to create a stronger identity for myself, question and redefine what I thought I knew, and have the passion, drive, and tools to continue learning and adventuring in this world because of you all, and I can’t thank you enough.

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My passion for film and storytelling was discovered during my TALONS experience, so it only felt right to incorporate it into my board. This single frame represents the small frame of time TALONS holds in my life story, but the significance and vibrancy it has. TALONS will always hold a place in my heart and the memories and friendships that we created will last much longer than a single frame in my life long film reel. I am so excited for what comes next! I love you all very much and will treasure the time we spent writing our stories together.

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Vanessa Lee


  1. Kendra


    Vanessa!! This post is so sweet, TALONS already isn’t the same without you. Your box is beautiful, both visually and in its meaning. Now I’m starting to feel bad about the plans to make mine a meme. But then again, for my box, memeing is more fitting than meaning. Thank you for being part of my life, miss you already!

    • Vanessa


      Aww Kendra! Sorry I responded so late! It’s been a crazy past month! Thank you so much for the compliment and for being the beautiful friend and human being that you are! Missing you and TALONS more than i can say! As for your box, JUST DO IT and send me a pic of that MEME BOX ahhahahaha! Love you Kendra!

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