A changed me. 41 to go…

One of my favorite things about my college is all of the random and encouraging graffiti around. One of my favorite places on campus is the third floor bathroom in the library because it’s always full of honest and encouraging things written all over the walls. Well I was in there for the first time since last semester and I came across this map on the wall. 10625148_10153110326829972_2636383318552121710_n

This all began as a part of a question in the top left side of the picture “what are you guilty of?” I remembered seeing this last year and as I read the various comments surrounding it I recognized my own handwriting. “Not telling you how I feel.” As I stared at these words that past-Abby had written I was taken back to the moment when I wrote this in April and how I felt. I remembered the stupid and beautiful things he made me write. I remember thinking that I loved him and thinking that the physical pain of him not noticing would kill me. It all came flooding back and honestly it shocked me.

Those feelings suddenly feel so foreign to me. They feel so far away and sad to me. They feel like something from a dream, a sad dream. Part of me wonders if it’s because I’m in a happy and fulfilling relationship that I don’t feel like this anymore, but the rest of me knows that it’s because I’ve changed.

I’m not the same person I was when I wrote that back in April. I’m not the same girl who pined after him for months.

I’ve grown a lot and learned so much over these past couple months. I’ve become more confident in myself, I know what I want, I’ve learned how to say what I want, I’ve learned how to rest, I’ve become more OK with being me.

It has occurred to me as I’m writing this that I’ve written things like this before, and then I realized that this isn’t going to be a one time thing in my life. I’m going to continue to learn and grow and experience and become more of the person I want to be.

I was in a conversation with the person I’m with about being an awkward middle-schooler and about how much I’ve changed even since graduating high school and he told me he’s definitely noticed a difference in me since the end of high school. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in me to, and I think it’s come from living on my own, making better friends, learning from my mistakes, becoming more confident, and making my own decisions. I’ve changed in so many ways and I like this version of me so much better than every previous version, but I know there is still change to come.

So this is just something I’ve been thinking about a lot and that was really brought to the front of my mind by seeing this little note from past me.

Question of the Day – What are you guilty of? How have you changed?

Love you!

Abby

The best summer. 42 to go…

So it’s my last night of summer. Part of me is really excited for school to start again, I’ve been back at school for five days and I’ve really been enjoying that, but part of me is really sad to see this summer end. It’s been an absolutely amazing summer. I made new friends, I went on adventures, I fell in love. It’s been great. It’s the sort of summer I don’t want to end. So I’m going to reminisce.

I had the distinct pleasure of working with four lovely women this summer: Laura, Ashley, Ali, and Keely. I seriously could not have made it through this summer without these girls. They listened to all of my stupid drama, they laughed with me, they helped me up when I fell, and they just did life with me. These girls made work and life so much sweeter.Friends80Ali, Me, Keely, Laura after we all went out for dinner one night.

The highlight of my summer was my week-long mental vacation that I took back in July. I spent some time at two different camps, observing, speaking, sleeping, and relaxing. I was so blessed to spend time with some very dear people and to have some time to just rest and pray and put my life back in order.

20140724_153329This is me and my dear friend Cindy at the beach at the second camp I went to.

I got to spend a good bit of time with my gorgeous best friends this summer. Penelope, Meesh, Rachel, Nicole, Karrisa. I don’t know what I would have done without them to keep me occupied and crazy this summer. I love them all so dearly.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetPenelope, Me, and Ben at the Ren Faire dressed as Amy Pond, The Tenth Doctor, and The Eleventh Doctor.20140720_121747Meesh and I being cute as bagels, cause that’s what we do.

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My girls Rachel, Karrisa, and Nicole. What would I do without them?

I’m constantly blessed by the family I was put in. It was not always easy this summer, but I know that I can always count on these five people. I love them more than I could ever say.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Dad, Me, Jonathan, Daniel, Mom, Kayra. They’re just the best.

Lastly, I fell in love this summer. I fell in love with a boy who makes me laugh, makes me feel special, teaches me knew things, makes me blush, and makes me so incredibly happy. A boy with gorgeous eyes, and strong shoulders who thinks before he speaks and is wickedly talented. A boy who’s hand fits perfectly in mine and who makes me feel comfortable in my own skin. A boy who I could write about endlessly. I’m so thankful for the joy and excitement he has brought into my life.

I really didn’t have high expectations for this summer, in fact I was prepared for it to suck. But it was so full of joy and learning. It’s the sort of summer I want to remember forever. The summer of 19. It was a good one.

Tell me about your summer! What did you do? What were your highlights? I want to know!!

Love you!

Abby

Making room. 44 to go…

Have you ever read something at 1:42 am that changes your life?

“This year taught me that my loneliness has more to do with myself than anyone else. The loneliest I will ever be is when I don’t have the strength to love myself.”
-Marianna Paige

I’m sitting here crying over a boy because I’m frustrated and confused and hurt and oh so unsure when I scroll past this on my Tumblr feed. It might as well have been a giant finger pointing at me, a giant neon sign screaming at me:

YOU HAVE NOT HAD THE STRENGTH TO LOVE YOURSELF AND THIS ISN’T YOUR FAULT

I’ve been really low, like, really low. I’ve been depressed, unmotivated, and confused. Honestly, I’ve let feeling like this convince me that there was something wrong with me. That I have some incurable illness, or that I’m some freak, or that I’m just weak and therefore less than others. But I’m starting to get it. I haven’t had the strength to love myself. Honestly, I’ve had the strength to do very little for a long time. I’ve been trying to find things to fill this deep lonely hole in my chest: my friends, this boy, a banjo, work, my siblings, Game of Thrones, late nights, my parents and so many other things. I haven’t given myself space to love myself.

I can’t keep living like this. I feel like I’m dying. I need to breathe again.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to stop listening to happy music and start listening to good music. I’m going to read a book. I’m going to sleep. I’m going to get out of bed before noon. I’m going to cook. I’m going to pray. I’m going to go to church and listen. I’m not going to wear makeup. I’m going to go to the beach and listen to the waves. I’m going to cry if I need to. I’m going to laugh. I’m going to talk to my mom. I’m going to go to the doctor. I’m going to play my banjo. I’m going to clean my room. I’m going to journal a lot.

This song is healing me right now. “Life is not the mountaintops, it’s the walking in between.”

I took a couple of days off of work this week to go on a mini vacation and sort my life out. I’m going to be selfish this week. Maybe I won’t love myself this week, but I’ll make room to try.

How do you get your strength back? You rest and then you take it one step at a time.

Love you!

Abby

54 to go…

I keep hoping he’s going to walk into this coffee shop and see me and smile, he’ll sit down and ask how I am and what I’m writing about and I’ll tell him that I’m fine and I’m writing about a wonderful boy who I like a lot but who doesn’t like me back, he’ll say he’s sorry and I’ll say it’s OK and that I’m used to it and that I’ll be fine. I will be fine, but right now I’m not.

It’s one thing to have a Crush and to hope that maybe the other person feels the same. Every little thing they do makes you giggle. Every smile, every touch, every text, every kind gesture, every stupid joke, every gentle word, everything. You’re somehow better when they’re around, they make everything brighter. Every thing they do holds a special kind of potential. But all of this hope, all of these beautiful dreams die when you catch them looking at someone else the way you’ve looked at them. You catch his glance lingering on her and suddenly you know, it isn’t you. No. It isn’t me. It wasn’t me. It never is.

i won’t say that i
loved him
because all too often 

love is misplaced 
and misunderstood 
and i didn’t know him 
well enough 
to love him
but i loved his laugh 
and his ease 
and his eyes 
and his passion 
and i loved the way 
i felt 
around him

I want to write all sorts of stupid, angsty things about how this pain is a “special kind of devastation,”  and about how “my heart is drowning,” and all sorts of other ridiculous thing. But it’s true. To quote the marvelous John Green, “It hurt, and that is not a euphemism. It hurt like a beating.” It does hurt. It hurts so badly to not be liked. Every time it’s her and not me I hear the words “you are not good enough” over and over again in my head. It’s a constant reminder that I’m not enough. That I, once again, don’t measure up.

I feel so stupid for feeling like this, I had no right to want him in the first place. I had no right to let my heart pretend that things were going to be different. I had no right to hope in the first place. There’s no one to blame but myself.

i asked a question
whose answer i didn’t
want

now i know

you love her

“of course he likes her
everyone knows that”

i’m such a fool

it’s not that i didn’t
see it
it’s that i didn’t
want to

i see the way you
look at her
like she is the most
beautiful thing
you’ve ever seen

and she is

she is so
beautiful
kind
funny
talented
graceful
artsy

i just hoped that you
were looking at me
like that
when i wasn’t
looking

but i guess not

I meant it when I said that I was OK being single, I do feel good about it. I feel whole and complete, and I know I don’t need him. But he is so wonderful and I care about him a lot. I almost feel guilty for wanting a relationship just because I am so happy being single, but I know that this is different. I didn’t want him to complete me, I wanted to know him and to learn from him and be close to him. Even though I’m happy and fulfilled on my own, this still hurts so deeply. So, so deeply.

I saw unrequited love defined as “Its like drowning but you just won’t … die.” I’m pretty sure that this is  the saddest, but also most accurate thing I’ve ever read in my life.

So now what? Now I guess I just go on pretending everything is OK and I try to get over it and try to kill these stupid feelings before they burrow any deeper and make this any harder. Now I just sleep a lot, drink tea, listen to sad music, write angsty poems, pray for peace, and cry. Cry a lot.

Love you!

Abby

Why can’t I be Normal?? 60 to go…

I feel like I want to cry and sleep a lot. I really hope that the Sunshine will be good for me, because I need it. I need a reason to smile and I need a reason to believe again. That’s the problem with depression like this. It’s not that I don’t know that life will be good again, because I do, but I almost don’t believe it. For moments I get a glimpse of the sun and the happiness it brings but then that moment passes and it’s as though my mind refuses to believe that it will ever be happy again. Squeezing, squashing, crushing sadness. Why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I be happy and functional like everyone else? Why Why Why?

The sadness of winter is almost a deep, physical ache in me. It will hit me in waves and I just have to lay down until it passes because I can’t physically deal with it. I watched a movie recently and there’s a scene with this girl lying on the floor in the fetal position shaking and crying because of her heroin addiction. I just watched that scene and saw myself lying on the floor like that, but I don’t have an excuse. I have no heroin addiction to blame, only the Cold.

I feel so stupid about it sometimes. It’s not like I’m living some crazy, dramatic, tragic life. It’s almost like I have no right to feel the way I do. I feel guilty and silly for hurting as deeply as I do. It’s not always just Winter, but sometimes it only takes an insensitive comment, a weird look, or a sarcastic joke to break me. I don’t want to be this fragile, I just want to be normal.

I’ve been so stressed these past couple of weeks. I’ve had so much school work and my room has been dirty and all of my clothes have been filthy and I have just felt like I can’t keep it together. If I was like most other girls I would just deal with it, but no. The thought of dealing with these stressors just causes me more stress so I just don’t deal with them. Why can’t I just deal with things like a normal human being??

I have a mind-blowing crush on this boy. It’s the kind of thing where I just want to talk about it all the time, but I also want no one to know. I want him to notice me. I want him to like me. I want so many selfish things. But I also just want to get to know him. I want to laugh with him and talk about what he wants to do with his life. I haven’t had a silly little crush like this in so long and it’s so weird to have one now. I don’t know how to act. I’m trying to look like I’ve got it all together but it’s like I can’t be normal around him. Guh! How do I act normal?? 

My spring break started yesterday and I’m in Florida until next Saturday. I’m so glad to get out of the frozen tundra that is my college, but I’m so homesick. All of my best friends were home for break last week and I just wish I could have been there with them. I miss my parents and my brother and my bed. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s a good thing that I’m here and that I’m going to love it and learn lots.

I think that I’m just in need of some normalcy in my life.

I want to thank everyone for the kind comments and emails regarding my past couple of posts. Winter is a really hard time for me and I get so depressed and I’m just incredibly thankful that you all care enough to try to cheer me up. I really appreciate it. I hope to be posting more thought provoking and uplifting things this week, since I’m going to have time and will hopefully be in a better state of mind in these coming days.

Love you always!

Abby

An Angsty Poem. 65 to go…

How do I tell you
I barely know you
and yet I love you

Or I think it’s love

I know
you make
the butterflies
in my stomach
giggle

I want to be
so close
to you

I want to
know you

I want to know
your hands
your eyes
your laugh
your stories
your fears
your dreams

How do I tell
you
these things
that barely
make sense
to
me

I just know that
you
make
me
smile

And I know
that I want
you
to smile
because of
me

Isn’t that love
wanting
your joys
to be
my joys

I want
long nights
telling our histories
smiling
laughing
breathing
being
with you

All these
words
feelings
thoughts
what do they
mean
and how
do I
tell you

I want
I want
I want
I want you
I want you
to want
me too

So yea, there’s some teenage angst for you.

Abby

Being single. 85 to go…

“I must have gotten really hot since I’ve gotten to college.”

You see, I’m not the ugliest sad-sack on this planet, but I’ve never been particularly good at attracting guys. That’s just a fact that I’ve acknowledged in my life. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just the truth “Life keeps moving on.”

But college has been a different story. I’ve had guys just throw themselves at me. I mean, I do go to a very nerdy school with a pretty low guy:girl ratio, but it’s everyone. Guys at parties, guys I’m friends with, guys who sit down next to me while I’m playing the piano, guys in my classes, guys I see around. I really don’t know how to respond. It’s weird and vaguely uncomfortable at times.

I spent a lot of time in high school worrying about boys. I wanted so badly to not be single. I wanted to feel wanted and acceptable and Beautiful. It was one of the deepest desires of my heart. I spent hours and hours thinking about Guys and I spent years letting myself feel like I wasn’t enough because there wasn’t a guy who was interested in me. I spent way too much time thinking about how I looked or what I said or how I was being perceived by the guys around me. I wasted so much time and emotion and energy on boys who wouldn’t give me the time of day.

I don’t feel like that any more. I have a very dear friend who hasn’t spent much time single over the past couple years and my advice to her was that it might be good for her to learn what it’s like to be single and to discover who she is on her own. Now, I’ve been single for a long time, but I haven’t been single and happy for a long time. I haven’t learned how to be happy and single. I’ve spent a lot of time resenting my Single-ness.

A lot of my friends have gotten into relationships since getting to college. They’ve met people and have jumped right into relationships. Believe me, it’s tempting to do. You’re suddenly surrounded people who don’t know your past. People who don’t have the same biases that people in high school had and it would be so easy to just get into a relationship with the first good looking guy who was nice enough to give me the time of day, but no.

I’m ready to learn what it means to be content. To be OK with myself. To not feel the need to impress people. To just be myself. One of the things I experienced while I was in Haiti was Contentedness. (read about that here) Just feeling like life was good and OK and like I needed nothing else in the world. I’m ready to learn what that feels like in the day to day moments of being single.

So I’m going to take some time by myself. I’m not going to write about boys. I’m not going to listen to sappy love songs. I’m not going to try to impress people. I’m just going to be me and be good with that. If you’re in a place like me, it might be something cool for you to try out. Let me know what you thing of that.

Love you!

Abby