Twenty. 30 to go…

It’s official, folks, I’m no longer a teenager. I’m twenty. Twenty. TWENTY. I actually have no idea how to process this. I’ve been a teenager for so long and now what? I’m twenty. Twenty is “in your twenties.” “In your twenties” is graduated from college. Graduated from college is married with four kids. Married with four kids is a midlife crisis. And a midlife crisis is basically the same as dead. UGH. I’m freaking out. What am I going to blame my angst on? I no longer have the excuse of being a hormonal teenager. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO???

I definitely am sad to see nineteen go, it has been a truly incredible year. I honestly didn’t have particularly high hopes for nineteen, it’s an odd in-between year where I thought nothing would change. I was wrong. This has easily been the best year of my life thus far. It’s been a year of me figuring out who I am and taking big steps to become a healthier and happier person. I’ve grown in my relationships with my friends and with my family. This was the year I fell in love for the first time. I’ve spent the better part of this year with someone who makes me happier than I know how to put into words and who makes me a better person. I have learned how to truly love this year.

Last year I posted that:

I want this to be my year. To be young and free of fear. But I also want to continue to learn and grow as a person. I want to be deeply rooted in Peace and want to flower with Joy.

and that is exactly what this year has been for me. It’s been a year of being young and wild and reckless. It’s a year that I’m walking out of with many happy memories and no regrets.

As scared as I am to jump into this new stage in my life I’m also so excited. This is the year I’m going to hopefully get my first co-op doing something in my field. This is the year I’m going to speak up. This is the year I’m going to be self motivated. I am so excited to fall deeper and deeper in love with my life and with the people in it.

Thanks for sticking with me through another year.

Love you!

Abby

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CORE, Growing Up, Poetry, and other Stuff. 70 to go…

I have about a billion things rolling around in my head right now, things that are long enough to write half a paragraph about, but not long enough to elaborate on. So this is going to be one of those stream of consciousness (a word I can never spell right,) kind of posts.

CORE Reaction was this weekend, and this is the first time in five years that I haven’t gone. It’s been incredible to see pictures, blog posts, FaceBook statuses and so much more about it from my friends back home. It seems like it was an incredible weekend and I’m so glad to hear about all the things everyone learned and experienced, at the same time I can’t help but be jealous. CORE was one of the places where I grew the most and made the most incredible friends I’ve ever had. I wish I had been able to be there with everyone.

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Meesh and I from last year’s CORE React. Aren’t we just so cute?

In thinking back to last year’s retreat I reread my post about it from last year (check that out here) and couldn’t help but feel that I’ve been in a similar place recently. A place where I’ve been running away from the big things, the scary things, the hard things. Running from the people who don’t say the easy things, running from hard conversations, running from reality, and running from consequences. I think I’ve been making steps back to where I want to be over the past couple weeks. (These New Semester Resolutions are doing me good.) It’s just a reminder of where I’m coming from and where I’m trying to go.

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Last year’s group from CORE React. I’ve been blessed time and time again to know these people and grow along side of them. 

I did a really scary thing this week. I went to church by myself for the first time in my life. If you know me at all or have been reading for a long time then you know that I’m a pastor’s kid and a missionary’s kid. I’ve pretty comfortable in churches. I’ve spent a lot of time standing up in front of churches speaking, singing, acting, or just watching my parents speak. But it’s totally different when you are by yourself. No parents to follow, no friends to sit with, no acquaintances (another word I can’t ever spell) to smile at. But that’s what I wanted. I wanted to go in by myself so that I would have no distractions. I’ve only visited one church, but I love it there. It’s very similar to my church back home and I think it’s a great fit for me. In the end I’m so glad that I went.

In looking for the two photos I posted above I had to scroll past hundreds and hundreds of pictures from the past year and I was filled with joy and great memories as I scrolled through a visual representation of my life. My birthday party, The Fifth, Roxbury, my last Choir Concert, my first visit to the College I’m now attending, Homeschool Prom, my Last Day of High School, Graduation, Haiti, College adventures, Ever After, Christmas, and so many other random moments in between.

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Graduation with Meesh

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My Music Theory class on  the Last Day of High School

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Homeschool Prom with Erika, Penny, me, Meesh, and Tabitha.

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The Fifth with Kayla, Zach, Josh, me, and Bethany.

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Food after our last Choir Concert.

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Haiti, where I left a piece of my heart. 

It’s occurred to me that I don’t look like these pictures anymore. My hair has slowly changed color with less dye and more Dirty Hippie magic, I’ve gotten new glasses that I like enough to wear all the time, I’ve started wearing homemade makeup (maybe I’ll talk about that later. Email me if you wanna know about this,) my fashion sense (or lack there of,) has changed. It’s also occurred to me that it’s not just that I look different, but that I am different. I’m just not the same person I used to be. I’ve grown, experienced, seen, changed, felt, read, listened, learned.

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Because I don’t believe in attractive selfies, this is the best I could find.
Love these three. Me, Zach, Meesh, and Josh.

I’ve always preferred reading poetry to writing it (“Hazel Grace, you are the only teenager in America who prefers reading poetry to writing it. This tells me so much. You read a lot of capital-G great books, don’t you?“) So I brought back some of my favorite poetry books from home, and I’m just reminded of all the things I love. But now I’ve got all these words floating around in my head. I feel like I need to write something, I just have to get around to it.

Here’s a favorite poem of mine:

As a child I walked
with noisy fingers 

along the hemline
of so many meadows
back home

Green fabric
stretched out
   shy earth
   shock of sky

I’d sit on logs like pulpits
listen to the sermon
of sparrows
and find god in Simplicity
there amongst the dandelion
and thorn

Mission of the Day- Find me a Poem!!

Love you!!!

Abby

2 months since, 10 days until. 107 to go…

Today marks two months since graduation… what the heck have I done with the past two months? Haiti, work, friends, family. That’s about it. But it’s been great. I feel like so much has changed in the past two months. I’ve grown, I’ve changed, I’ve made friends. The usual. But there is so much that has yet to change.

In ten days I will be moving into my very own dorm room. I’ll be living on my own, making my own decisions (mostly) and meeting all sorts of new people.

I can’t wait.

I’m ready for the change, but I’m also going to miss what’s going on here. I’ve spent a lot of time building into the relationships that I have now because I don’t want to let them fade. It will be weird to not have these people around.

A lot has happened over the past week but I’ve spent so many nights watching Bones with my brother that I haven’t had time to blog. Sorry that I’m the worst.

Love you!

Abby

I believe in swings. 122 to go…

I love swings. I love going higher and higher and leaning back and letting your hair fly in the wind. I love the feeling of freedom. Free from gravity, free from worries, free from reality and somehow free from earth.

As a child you always dream of going over the bar. Of completing the circle. You dream of being the first. Of making history.

It seems, not only possible, but certain that you could do it.

What happened to us? When did we lose that desire to fly? When did we stop laughing at that funny feeling in your stomach? When did we stop trying to do the impossible? When did we stop believing in swings?

I never wanted to grow up. I still don’t. Growing up seems awfully boring, full of rules and dreadfully “realistic.” We get so tied down with jobs and worries and people. We focus on taking care of ourselves and the people who are close to us. We focus on surviving. We lose sight of living.

As we get older it seems like we lose our ability to let go. To just laugh. To feel the wind in our hair. To not care. To be free.

I don’t want to lose that. I want to believe that I can do crazy things and then I want to try them. I want to feel free and careless for just a moment. I want to be unrestrained by this crazy world and all of its rules and expectations.

So I still believe in swings. I believe in those moments and I believe in those feelings.

I believe in swings.

Love you!

Abby

Mandatory graduation post. 134 to go…

I guess that I should write about graduation.

It’s funny, some of the kids I go, *ahem* went, to school with had been there for all 13 years of school. It was all they knew. I have gone to this school for 5 years and this is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. This is my home. I may not have 13 years worth of Memories from that place but my 5 years make it very hard to leave.

I have adored high school. I have made incredible friends, seen amazing things, gone fantastic places, and done crazy things. It was a place of learning and laughing and falling in love and crying and growing. I’ve become who I am because of my experiences over these four years.

I suppose that the building isn’t what holds the meaning, but the years. These have been the four best years of my life so far.

It’s weird to know that I can’t have those years back and that things are never truly going to be the same.

I chose a dorm room today. I also went through “counseling” to accept a student loan. What? When did I become an adult who makes my own decisions?

One of the most prominent feelings that I had during graduation was: I’m not old enough. I haven’t done enough. I’m not smart enough or wise enough or experienced enough to graduate yet. Who made the decision that I am? It certainly wasn’t me. But somehow, I know that I’m ready.

I’m ready to live on my own. I’m ready to meet new people. I’m ready to see new things and figure out who I am and what the heck I’m doing with my life. I’m ready. I know that this is where I’m meant to go.

I was trying to write how I felt about graduating and this is as close as I’ve come to accurately describing it. It feels weird, good, weird, sad, weird, exciting, weird, scary and weird. I don’t know what all this summer holds but I have great expectations.

Mission of the Day- I know that a couple of you just graduated. Tell me about it. How do you feel?

Love you!

Abby

Healthy Rebellion. 138 to go…

My beautiful friend Gretchen has been here for me through so much and today we did a first.

I’m a strong believer in Healthy Rebellion. I think that It’s good for you and allows for personal expression and experience while still living within the rules.

I’m a pastor’s kid (PK) and I’ve heard every PK joke out there. I know that we are supposed to be sketchy characters who have sex in church parking lots and smoke on the roof. The truth is that Healthy Rebellion could be the savior or PKs everywhere.

Healthy Rebellions allow us to do something we might not normally do and to let our wild side out a little more.

This summer I want to accomplish all sorts of Healthy Rebellion. Let out my inner crazy in a healthy way.

Mission of the Day- Think about your Healthy Rebellions and try to think of some to do soon.

Love you!

Abby

Cantabile. 154 to go…

I had my last high school choir concert ever tonight. I don’t even know how to put into words how amazing it was. I can’t.

I have sung in various choirs since fifth grade, but over the past two years I have had the incredible joy of singing in my school’s auditioned choir, Cantabile. We have done some amazing things over the past two years but this year has been absolutely incredible. As I wrote about a couple months ago, we placed first in this big competition and we have delivered stellar performances on every account.

I have been so blessed to be in Cantabile and to have made such amazing friends and to have had such incredible experiences with them. I have learned so much both musically and practically. I have grown so much as a musician, leader, person and a friend. I have laughed so much.

I am so deeply grateful for every moment I have gotten to spend with these amazing people. I stand in the middle of 7 freshman and sophomore boys, which I hated at first but have grown love. They make me laugh, brighten my days, finish my song references and constantly encourage me. I love each and every one of you.

Also, there’s my teacher, Mr. Farrell. F-Dog is basically like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. He is big, strong, Italian, manly, has a deep voice and is a little scary, but I’m thankful for everything he has taught me. He has believed in me through everything. He has been there to help me with my singing, give me pointers and ask about my life. He has never given up on me and he has given me chances that I do not deserve. He respects me as a student in a way that most teachers don’t and I respect him so deeply. Before our concert, he said to us “For the first time in 13 years I do not want this school year to end.” He then cried as he was telling the audience about us and then he said “And to my seniors… Thank you.” And he was crying. This is the kind of man who wouldn’t even cry if someone he loved died, and here he was, crying for us.

I feel so deeply loved right now. I feel like I’ve done something right, and what’s beautiful is knowing that I didn’t do it alone.

I could write so much about this choir and the amazing people in it, but I will cry if I keep going.

Thank you all. Thank you so much. You mean so much more to me than you will ever know.

Love you!!!

Abby