Well, of course, I should have known that I wouldn’t have posted very regularly. My life took a turn, a brilliant leap. It’s as if I had been waiting in line all of those years and then with graduation and a summer after, it was my turn to get on the roller coaster, and that’s where I’ve been ever since, flying through this, trying to figure out if I should put my hands up and scream or hold on for dear life. And although it’s a wonderful place to be, and although I know I’ll never get to be here again, so I might as well throw my hands up, that doesn’t take away the fear that sets in when I realized I left my friends and family behind, on the ground, to watch me soar.
So, you see, I’ve been dealing with alot. Now, don’t take “dealing with” as “dealing with.” These two months (nine weeks! nine weeks?!!?) might have possibly been some of the best two in my life. The only other ones I can remember being this wonderful were those two months before graduation, when anticipation and excitement and pride began to set it, but alas, they were only preparation for these months. When Chris and Lori and Callie dropped me off, I had to be at lecture for Alabama Action at 4:30 (some place I did NOT want to go). Although my excitement about the whole thing was barely containable, dread began to set in as I watched the clock. I kept thinking to myself, “It’s okay. You still have four hours, three hours, two hours.” It was 10:15. 11:39. 12:57. 2:22. We moved quickly, cleaning and unloading, and setting up, and trying to make this place feel like home. Then, they knew they needed to go, and I walked them to the parking lot (perhaps the worst mistake I made). See, I walked them there, and I hugged them, and I teared up a little, but then I turned away. And they drove off. I did not look back, but as I headed back up those unfamilar steps to this unfamilar room, with all of these unfamilar people, I began to sob. My shoulders shook as loneliness took hold of me and squeezed me. I went to lecture that night, and came home, and ate some beefaroni. I was certain that this wasn’t going to work out for me.
But then. But then.
Then, I went to dinner- against my gut instinct, which told me that I should just go home to my beefaroni. But, regardless, on Monday night, I went to Mellow Mushroom and sat down with a group of girls that I had never met, that I was certain weren’t for me. And Janie Parker sat down across from me. You might say the rest is history- now would be a good time for that cliche to save my fingers some exercise- but I shall tell the story for whomever wants to here and for myself, when I am old and grey. Janie Parker sat down, wearing a dress that had more colors than a Crayola box of 64, and she introduced herself, and ten minutes later, my loneliness started to creep away. We competed for words as we talked; I don’t even remember about. Gracie sat next to Janie and Lauren sat next to me. Heather was on my left. We talked and talked, and we became to realize that God is powerful and wonderful and that He takes care of us. He gives you what you need before you even realize you needed it. He’s one heck of a God.
Now, I’ll go ahead and say the rest is history, because we’ve been somewhat inseparable since then. And, although Janie remained my best, I have met more wonderful, beautiful people than I ever could have imagined as I sat crying into my beefaroni those months ago. But I am not even sure that is the most wonderful part about college.
Callie says I have changed. I know it’s true. I am not who left home two and a half months ago; I am not the girl who cried all the way up the stairs.
I am the girl who will introduce herself to anyone.
I am the girl who exercises an hour a day.
I am the girl who spends hours at the library.
I am the girl who will enter a discussion in the middle of Bible Study or the classroom.
I am the girl who will make appointments, and meetings, and write them down in her planner.
I am the girl who calls home every three days at most.
I am the girl who cleans the bathroom, the dishes, and her room on a regular basis.
I am the girl who praises God with every breath.
I am the girl who looks forward to church, even though she doesn’t have to go.
I am the girl who rocks a meeting with her dean.
I am the girl who makes mistakes on a daily basis.
I am still, however, the girl who loses nearly everything (I’m not sure how I have anything left :(..)
I am the girl who eats healthily.
In fact, I am the girl who hasn’t had sweets in two weeks.
I am the girl who gained ten pounds, and who will lose them.
I am the girl who takes the scenic route.
I am the girl who dances, and sings, and runs anyway.
I am still the girl who will give you the silent treatment, though.
I am the girl who can eat cereal for dinner every. single. night.
I am the girl who doesn’t care about her hair or if she’s wearing makeup anymore, and who will wear tshirts and sweats most days.
I am the girl who loves to dress up.
I am the girl who only has one black high heel.
am the girl who will wear a cat mask and ding-dong ditch the President’s mansion.
I am still the black-and-white loving girl I always was.
But I’m different. Better? I like to think so. I like to think I’ve matured and grown into something that would make my mother proud. I like to think that although my mistakes are so many (traffic ticket! green dress! overdrawn bank account!), I am learning and learning and learning. I do know that my mistakes will probably never be any less, just different. But the saddest thing is to make the same mistake twice (unless you do. It’s okay, just a little ridiculous.)
This is my college life. This is my adult life. This is who I am, today. Is that okay? I think so. Maybe I’m more independent than I ever realized I could be.
Does this mean that I don’t get homesick? No.
I didn’t at all those first few weeks. My life was fast-paced, and this whole thing felt more like a few weeks at summer camp than my new life. But every now and again, now that this life has become mine, I feel it take hold, and I long to be back. Back on live Oak Drive. Back with my family, with my old friends. Back in the library. Back at my computer. And so, I put on my purple plaid pajama pants and I watch tv, and I feel a little sorry for myself. And it passes.
It’s a good life.