I once was lost. 39 to go…

I want to tell you about The People’s Climate March, which I was at this past weekend, but there’s something I really need to write about.

I use an app which shows me what I did on social media on this date over the past couple years and usually it makes me either laugh at the stupid things I’ve said and done (a year ago today I said “even in a room full of blind people, I could still make awkward eye contact,” and I laughed about that for 20 minutes,) or cringe at the horrible things 15-year-old Abby posted (5 years ago today I posted something very bitter about being the only person not going to homecoming. Goodness gracious I was a miserable 15 year old.) But today I came across a blog post that I wrote one year ago today.

I wrote this post while sitting between the door to my dorm and the door outside. I sat there repeatedly calling my best friend with tears in my eyes just hoping she would answer and that I wouldn’t have to be alone. But she didn’t answer. So I sobbed and did the only thing I could think to do, I wrote. I remember that night like it was yesterday, and it broke me all over again to read these raw feelings. It was an ugly time in my life that I don’t really want to elaborate on, but I’ll tell you a little bit about it.

I had been messing around with a boy who I knew I shouldn’t. He was bad news and I knew it. But he was around and I was so desperate to feel wanted that I would have done anything. I was so desperate to be seen and noticed and desired, and he was the first person to notice me. Well it was that night a year ago that he told me that things had to end. I wasn’t so upset about it ending as I was upset at myself for getting myself into this situation in the first place.

How could I have been so stupid? How could I have thought things were going to work out? How could I have thought things weren’t going to blow up in my face? These questions ran through my head over and over again as I sat there and cried. I felt so helpless, broken, and useless. I felt worse about myself in that moment than I ever have in my whole life.

This is honestly one of the ugliest moments of my whole life, but the end is why I knew I had to write about it.

I wish I didn’t have to go through this, but this is life. Life means failing and falling short and growing because of it. I don’t feel like I’m growing yet, and maybe it will take a long time before I will but it will come.

I couldn’t feel myself growing in that moment, but now as I look back I can see how much I’ve grown. I can see the person I was and I can see the person I am. I can see the scars that guy left on me fading with time. I can hear the words he said to me that made me feel so desired being replaced by words of the people I know really love me. I see the broken girl I was and I can see her standing again.

I was at women’s Bible study a couple weeks ago and these words stuck out to me so much that I had to write them on my arm and just stare at them:

Being found isn’t as beautiful if you don’t admit that you were once lost.

I don’t know about you, but it’s so easy to look at the hard times in my life and just say “I’m not that person anymore,” and to dismiss the times we messed up and that things were hard. But I’m realizing more and more that I am the person I am because of the decisions I’ve made, good and bad. I have to be willing to admit that I was lost, broken, and ugly to truly understand how found, whole, and beautiful I am. It doesn’t do me justice to just say I turned out like this, and it certainly does not do God justice. God is glorified in our stories, the beautiful and the ugly. I believe that deeper than I’ve ever believed anything.

So there it is. I was broken. I was lost. I still am some days. But the beauty is that I once was lost but now am found.

Love you!

Abby

PS- I couldn’t find a good place to put this, but the last paragraph of that post really speaks to me.

This too shall pass. All things do. The good and the bad. That’s why you can’t be too attached to moments, because they are all so transient. Here for a minute and gone the next, never lasting long enough to do more than tempt us with hope and beauty or break us with sadness and bitter loneliness. This too shall pass.

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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

I don’t know. 45 to go…

I’m living in a perpetual state of “I don’t know” right now.

I’ve been really struggling through some hard feelings recently and the hardest thing about feeling these things is that I don’t know why I feel the way I do. I just broke down the other night and in trying to explain to my parents what I was feeling all I could say was “I don’t know, I just don’t know.” I know that life is good, and that I’m blessed and loved, but that doesn’t make these horrible, irrational feelings any better. If anything, knowing that my life is so good makes it worse, it makes me feel guilty for feeling so horrible all the time. My wonderful best friend Meesh said the most meaningful thing to me last night, she looked at me and said “this is not your fault, this is not some weakness that you have, this is just a hard thing in life that you are going through,” and I’ve never been that happy to hear anything in my life.

I’m also really struggling through one particular relationship in my life which has left me in a constant state of “I don’t know.” As Meesh and I talked last night she had lots of valid questions about this relationship and I just had no answers.
What do you want from this? I don’t know.
How do you feel? I don’t know.
Where is this going? I don’t know.
Do you think this is smart? I don’t know.
GUH I JUST DON’T KNOW

My mentor wants to know where I’m at spiritually and I just don’t know. However, I’m starting to understand this one better. I feel far from God, and for the first time, I feel like I’m not the one who moved. I feel abandoned and lonely a good bit of the time. I’m finding it really hard to not blame God for all of the confusion, frustration, and hurt that I’m feeling right now. It’s really hard to see how God is working this one together for good, it just hurts.

I find myself saying over and over “I just don’t know,” about the hard and important things in my life. I don’t know what I want, I don’t know how I feel, I don’t know why I feel what I do, I don’t know where I am, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to get out of bed, I don’t know.

I wanted to take a second to thank everyone for the encouragement that you’ve been to me. The comments, the e-mails, the Tumblr posts, they all mean so much to me. Thank you so much for sticking with me through this hard time. In these past couple of weeks it has been really hard to see the light at the end of this tunnel, but your support has meant so much to me. Thank you.

Love you!

Abby

Things I’m good enough at to hold a title in. 53 to go…

More and more I’ve been feeling like I’m not good at anything. I’ve always wished I was an artist or a musician or a writer. I make art, but I’m not an artist. I make music, but I’m not an musician. I write, but I’m not a writer. I’m not good enough at any of the things I do to hold a title in them.

Things I’m good enough at to hold a title in:
Sending ugly snapchats
Drinking tea
Dancing in a way that makes people uncomfortable
Laughing loudly
Getting emotionally attached to fictional characters
Improvising stupid songs to the chords C, Am, F, G
Making cringe-worthy puns
Stealing forks from dining halls
Doing stupid voices
Spilling stuff on myself
Falling asleep anywhere at any time of day
Tweeting stupid, self deprecating things
Reading books
Accidentally drawing attention to myself
Remembering just about anything you’ve ever said to me
Throwing clothing on the floor
Crying at movies about heroin addicts
Not washing my hair
Wearing clothing that doesn’t go together
Playing the same song on my ukulele over and over until my roommate is sick of it
Breaking/ruining/losing things
Eating pizza
Forgetting to use punctuation
Making lists about stupid things

I’ve been really struggling recently. I can’t get my room clean, I can’t wake up in the mornings, I can’t sing, I can’t eat right, I can’t listen to happy music. The number of times I’ve cried in public places over the past three weeks is actually embarrassing. There are times when this funk passes and I can see the Sunshine again and I feel like I’m coming over the hill but then there’s something to set me back.

Maybe it’s this boy, maybe it’s the fluctuating weather, maybe it’s that I’m homesick, maybe it’s that I’m physically sick, maybe it’s the stress of the end of the semester. I don’t know.

It’s not even that I’m struggling to feel happy, it’s that I’m struggling to feel normal.

I think the worst part is this not knowing. I don’t know how to express myself. I don’t know how to say what I’m feeling and even if I knew what to say, I don’t know who to tell.  I feel like I don’t make enough sense to explain myself to anyone, and I also don’t feel like anyone wants to hear what I have to say anyway. Guh. I don’t even know.  GUH.

I need a hug and 16 cups of tea and a good cry.

Mission of the Day- Make a list of things you are good enough at to hold a title in.

I’m sorry that I haven’t had anything of much value to say recently. One of these days I’m going to actually get out of this funk and then all will be well.

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