Goodbyes suck. I’ll be the first to address that elephant in the room. And I’m also extremely bad at them. Surprise.
I sat in a church pew a couple nights ago & sobbed my eyes out, more than once, because change and I have a bad relationship. We will never see eye-to-eye. Change wrecks my heart & so do goodbyes. I understand why those have to be a thing, but I still have a strong dislike towards them.
And now I have all of these things to look forward to this week, especially since I finished my last Spanish final ever (praises for my last ever foreign language class). Coffee dates & a worship night & nights out with friends & photo shoots & watercolor painting & some much-needed and well-deserved quiet time, but in all of this & as excited as I am about the craziness, I pray that I don’t miss God in all of this. I pray that I wouldn’t miss Him in the sadness of goodbyes or the overwhelming feeling of being in crowded areas or the butterflies of new things, but that I would find Him in the midst.
I have a serious problem with over-planning/over-booking. I get really excited about free time and then I make a bunch of plans and then it’s not free time. I pray that I wouldn’t overcompensate for all of the goodbyes I have to say this week with a ton of plans. Staying busy is what I’m good at, but this also leads to missing the small details God has scattered throughout precious times. Today, I left my to-do list in my dorm room because they really are all mindless things. Sometimes it’s setting these boundaries or standards for myself that makes everything a little bit smoother.
I’ve had the most random things moving through my mind this week, and I mean my mind has been moving at about a million miles an hour for the entirety of the past few days. Mental to-do lists. Day dreams. I need coffee. Planning for time when a nap will take place. Bible verses. Song lyrics. More to-do lists. I need more coffee. Dinner times. Coffee dates. Boundaries, I should establish boundaries. Completing assignments. Boundaries. Taking pictures. Finding time to edit pictures. Eating. I really do need to sit down & think about these boundaries. Spoken word videos. Take-home tests. Misplaced favorite pens. Misplaced sunglasses. Misplaced coffee mug. Let’s talk about boundaries.
Let’s talk about boundaries.
These are the things that have frequently been coming to my mind lately, and I’m not talking physical or conversational. Those aren’t as much of a problem for me. It’s the time thing. I love to give my time, sometimes too much. I love to dedicate my time to people. I love to be intentional with my time. I love quality time more than most things. I think all of those are very good things, but there’s a way to do it proportionally. I forget I’m an introvert & will go crazy without just me time. I easily forget that.
Boundaries are hard & I’ve always looked at them as a thing to be hated because I just like to say yes. But boundaries are beautiful & empowering & all the good things. And that’s what I’ve felt lately: all the good things.
And now tonight, I have the pleasure of sitting in a living room with some of the closest people to family I have here at Berry while we get paper plate awards & recollect this past year. Doing life with these people is incredible & if I don’t stop myself now, I’ll get all nostalgic and sad, so I’ll leave it at this: I can’t imagine having navigated my freshman year without such a stable family unit & I cannot even fathom not seeing some of these people every day. Without realizing it, the impact they have had on me will affect the rest of my years here at Berry, and even into adulthood. Words won’t do a good enough job of describing how much their mentorship has meant to me.
Sunday night, I was reminded why God placed me at Berry. I can’t imagine not doing life with all of these people & I can’t even begin to explain the growth that has come out of this year. Immeasurable growth from an immeasurable God. I know it’s been a few weeks since the last post, but it has been wild, to say the least. Everything is happening so quickly, and honestly, the end of the year completely sneaked up on me (I thought it was snuck, but apparently sneaked is a word…who knew?).
My roommate and I just spent this past Sunday night on the floor of our dorm, her last night, and talked for 4 hours. Coffee brewed, gummy worms, Reese’s, dark chocolate covered espresso beans, a camera, silly videos we cry laughing about, long prayers, and all of the pillows and blankets from our beds right on the floor. This conversation was a good one. I mean, knee-deep in the messiness of our hearts but also how beautiful this growth and messiness and brokenness has been this year. Aside from myself, she has been the one who has witnessed the growth and seen it firsthand. Unfortunately, we began to form this unspeakable bond over Jesus and boys and dancing and coffee-drinking and heart-to-hearts mostly over the past few weeks, but that only means that sophomore year is going to rock our worlds.
Knee deep in it. She gets me. She knows my heart & soul & I can’t imagine walking through freshman year with anyone else. She brings out my crazy & my sass at the same time, and if you ever find a friend capable of doing that, you’ve found your soul sister. On a more sappy & personal note: Thank you, Annie, for being the voice of reason and lover of my soul in this messiness. Thank you for walking with me & learning growth from the bottom up. Thank you for 1 AM dance parties to Beyoncé & Walk the Moon. Thank you for morning jam sessions to Steffany Gretzinger. Thank you for understanding that coffee is a way of life & not just an addiction. Thank you for always listening to my venting or life talks or boy talks (especially the boy talks). You have an effortless & beautiful love for the Lord & an obedience to follow what He has mapped out for you. Never lose that. I love ya, soul sister.
For three nights in a row, I sat in a car for about 2-3 hours every night until 1 (or 3) in the morning & I had some of the best conversations I have had to date. Side note: I have had some of the best conversations in the past week with some of the most important people in my life. God’s rocking it in the relational spectrum of things in my life. And in each conversation that was had in that car, I remembered the season that God has me in.
Intentionally learning how to love myself well so that I can love others well.
God’s hitting that one out of the park. Completely knocking it out. I have fallen in love with getting to know people’s hearts & their passions & why they do the things they do the way they do them.
Yesterday, I sat on top of my friend Kellye’s car at the top of Myrtle Hill cemetery, what seems to be one of the highest points in Rome, and we just talked. We reminisced on this past year & the lessons we’ve learned. She understands my love for words. She gets it. And we talked words that describe the seasons we’re both in, and I kept coming back to that phrase. Intentionally learning how to love myself well so that I can love others well. I also came to the realization that I am a super aware person. I have always know this about myself, but I never knew what to call it, but now I do. I am aware. I love to analyze and distinctly recognize what is going on in my life, and I think that’s how I came to know that phrase so well. I like to recognize my efforts or why I’m doing what I’m doing or what little things I’ve done a lot of lately, and this may sound extremely exhausting to some people, to be that aware so much of the time, but I love it. It’s a comfort to me.
And so I will continue to navigate this extremely aware season of intentionally learning how to love myself well so that I can love others well because I think that’s what ministry and mentoring looks like. And that is my heart.
Sappiness is one of my strong suits. It’s my forte. If I could sit around & write sappy love story sad movies and provide people with chocolate and coffee and sappy love letters and all the good things that make you joyful cry for the rest of my life, I would totally do that. I would get into the business of messy hearts. Messy hearts are my love language. Messy hearts, including my own, are what I am beginning to understand.
This year. One for the books. And honestly, I’m sitting here trying to find the culminating words to identify this year & all I can think is: growth & adventure & newness. I like those words. As Annie would say, “It’s been 9 months. Like a full term pregnancy.” (Disclaimer: this had nothing to do with anything whatsoever & that shows you how random our relationship really is). And these have been some of the best months of my life thus far. God outdid Himself & now I’m sitting at the end of my freshman year with a complete loss for words. Just grateful. So grateful. My cup overflows.