More than a feeling. 33 to go…

I’ve been really homesick recently so I’ve been spending some time reminiscing. Some of my favorite memories of high school are of me and my parents laughing in the kitchen and singing along to the oldies jams that would come on my “Newsies” Pandora station. Journey, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Rick Springfield and more. One song in particular stands out to me, my mom always loved the song “More Than A Feeling” by Boston. I just remember her dancing around and singing loudly and it always makes me smile.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about feelings this week. I’ve been realizing that feelings, like most things, pass. I had a really hard week, and today I feel great. It’s odd how much things change in such short periods of time. And for people like me it’s really hard not to just ride on the highs and lows that come with each day. You see, I feel things. Hard. I don’t half heartedly feel things, I feel everything with every part of me. When I’m in love, the whole world is the most beautiful place. When I’m depressed, the sun is never coming back. I understand that this isn’t the healthiest way to live and that a lot of life is lived in the in-betweens, this is just how it is for me.

But this dopamine high I’m riding on at the moment will fade. It will be overshadowed by the darkness of winter and the stress of finals. And as we get further into November I find that I’m clinging to the bits of sunshine and the happy moments I can find in between the rainy days. I hate being at the mercy of my emotions. Feeling like I physically cannot get out of bed because there’s no happiness left to keep going on. Crying alone late into the nights and not being able to explain why I’m so damn tired. I know that all of these feelings pass in their time, but until they do I am manipulated by their every whim.

I find myself looking for something that will not pass, and I’ve begun to find it in little things. The love of the people closest to me, the way green tea makes me feel, my love of butt-jokes, or the warmth of sweaters. I’m also starting to understand that there are some things that do not pass. Hope, Joy, Peace. These promise not to fade as time goes on, they’re less a feeling and more of a mindset.

I’m starting to see a change in my life. I can see things differently. I’d like to write a little bit more about this later, but I’m feeling a change even in my brain chemistry. So I’m trying to get in the mindset of Joy and Peace. I don’t really know how to do that, but I think it comes with just looking at the world with a more positive outlook. So we’ll see.

Love you!

Abby

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One perfect day. 51 to go…

If every day were as beautiful as today was I would die from over exposure to beauty and love.

I went to church with my two dear friends David and Meg. The sun was shining, the breeze smelled like summer, the trees were blooming, the birds were singing. All was beautiful. The worship at church was beautiful and uplifting and encouraging. They showed a beautiful video about mothers for Mother’s Day which made me incredibly homesick, but also deeply thankful for my beautiful and kind and wonderful mother. After church we decided to go to the lilac festival which is happening this week.

We parked at Meg’s house and walked a good ways to the lilac festival. We all held hands and walked in stride and marveled at the beauty of our little corner of the world and laughed together. Walking around the festival there were so many beautiful people in happy little dresses and gorgeous long skirts and Meg and I couldn’t help but point out all of the stunning people we walked past. There was so much to see and so many people so we just explored a little bit before our hungry stomachs got the better of us and we had to stop and eat. We sat down on a grassy hill and listened to this incredible group called Driftwood. The female vocalist had this slow and sultry voice that just drew me in. We listened to them for a while and watched all of the people around us. There were all of these wonderful people in long skirts who were dancing and just thoroughly enjoying the music.

Driftwood finished up and while we were waiting for the next group to come on my mom called me. I’ve been missing her so much and it was so good to just talk even for a little bit and laugh about all of the silly things that have been going on. Good heavens, I love her.

Between the two groups David, Meg, and I just laid in the grass and enjoyed the sun and then David said “just sitting in the sun with two of my best friends. This is great.” I just stopped and looked at both of them and was filled with so much happiness. It’s not every day that someone tells you that you’re one of their best friends, and it’s not every day that you realize that they’re yours. I’ve spent almost the entire weekend with my lovely friend Katie (who took my side bar picture, aint she great?) and David and more and more I’ve been realizing that they’re some of my best friends and that I love them both so much. I’ve been so blessed by Meg and her kind heart and encouraging attitude. Sitting there made me realize that she’s been the big sister I’ve never had and I was so grateful. More and more I’ve just been looking at my friends here and thinking that I don’t know what I’ll do without them for three months. They’ve come to be such big parts of my life over the past couple months. Grace, Kelly, Mike, David, Katie, Meg and so many more. I just love them all so much.

The second group that got up to play was The Adam Ezra Group who were also fantastic. They sang all of these great songs about beautiful women who live in the mountains and don’t wear shoes. My kind of people! Then in the middle of one of the songs the lead vocalist started improvising and I honestly can’t remember all of what he said, but it was beautiful. It was all about the Sunshine and good friends and happy music and love and joy and peace. He said the most beautiful thing: “I don’t know what I did to deserve this perfect day.”  I was overwhelmed with how incredibly happy I felt. I just sat there hugging Meg and thanking God for the friends he’s given me and for the Sunshine he’s placed in my life. I was reminded of all the ways in which God has provided good things for me this semester.

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David, Meg and me at the lilac festival. Not gonna lie, we’re kind of adorable.

Today has been a little vacation from the four week funk I’ve been living in. Maybe I’ll feel horrible tomorrow, but days like today serve to remind me that the sun still shines even if I can’t see it. It gives me hope that this funk will end and things will be good again. For just today, everything was perfect.

Love you!!

Abby

PS- I used the word beauty/beautiful 11 times in this post. There are just no other words for how great everything is and for how much I love my friends. Everything is just so beautiful! (Make that 12)

Deeply Happy. 57 to go…

I’ve been going to a women’s Bible study at my college since the beginning of this semester and last night we just all decided to get coffee together and just talk about our weeks and about what we’ve been learning this semester. As I was sitting there, drinking green tea, listening to these beautiful women share about their lives I was suddenly overcome with how full of joy I was that I teared up a little bit. I felt so happy and fulfilled that I just couldn’t contain it. We always share our highs and lows of the week and it just occurred to me that my week had been so full of highs that I just couldn’t choose one and I must have talked for ten minutes about how incredible my weekend was. It’s the kind of thing I never want to forget, so I’ll share it with you:

It rained all day Friday, which usually would make me sad but it means that Spring is on its way which makes me so incredibly happy. My lovely friend Zoë, who I went to high school with, came to visit my college and we sat in my room for a couple of hours and talked about all sorts of things while I cleaned my room. We then went to Cru and that was wonderful. Afterwards we went to Jay’s and just spent a couple of hours there hanging out and laughing. Being there always reminds me of long hours spent at the Cocoa Diner eating rice pudding with Meesh. We then went back to my room and watched 21 and Over which wasn’t a fantastic movie but was absolutely hilarious. Then a very dear friend called me to tell me she had a boyfriend now and I was so happy for her that I actually screamed and did a happy dance* for her. I ended up hanging out with my roommate and dear friends David and Graham into the wee hours of the morning.

*I just want to write a little more about this, I actually cannot say how happy I am for her. I am absolutely overcome with joy for her. For years I have been jealous of her ability to calm, cool, and collected around Guys because it is a skill that I generally don’t have. I’ve also spent a lot of time being jealous of her ability to be attractive without trying. In the past it has been really difficult for me to not be a little bitter when my friends were in relationships when I was so hopelessly single, but for the first time in my life I don’t feel like that. I mean, I want a relationship like the one she has, but I’m not jealous. You have no idea how freeing it is to feel like this, being free of the burden of jealousy and bitterness. I never want to stop feeling this way. I am so happy, so so happy for her. Honestly, I might be happier than she is.

I woke up around noon on Saturday and spent the whole afternoon showering, relaxing, and getting ready for the Cru formal which was that evening. It was a good couple of hours of quality time with my roommate as she coached me through how to put myself together in the most time efficient manner.

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I’d say she did a pretty good job. I actually love this dress so much because it makes 
me feel like the world’s most fabulous disco ball.

We then drove the the beautiful golf club where the formal was held, ate great food, and had a hilarious time sitting and laughing.

10247342_10152729594944972_2146947927_nMy stunning friends: Katie, Nathan, Sarah, Jamie, Aaron, Collin, David, and my right eye. Our dinner conversation centered around BibleMan, first date foods, and Meat Forks.

After watching some skits we celebrated the graduating seniors which always makes me tear up, even if I don’t know them. Maybe that’s just because graduating was so stinkin’ emotional for me. We then proceeded to dance the night away. It was honestly one of the most fun dances I’ve ever been to in my life and it felt vaguely reminiscent of Homeschool Prom where everyone was dancing and laughing and having a fantastic time. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better evening. We then drove back to campus and** watched Donnie Darko in my room before passing out.

**Driving in my high heels and my sparkly dress in my little red car made me feel a little bit like a secret agent in a really awesome kind of way. I wanted to turn up the music and drive for miles and miles until I was somewhere interesting where the sun was rising. I don’t know what it is about driving in the dark that makes me want to drive at a hundred miles an hour down country roads and look at the stars. It makes me want to roll the windows down and turn the heat the whole way up.

Sunday morning I woke up late for church and went to church with my wonderful friend, David, and then we spent the entire afternoon sitting outside, doing homework, listening to good music, and enjoying the Sunshine and the warmth. I didn’t get as much work done as I would have, but as a good friend once said “productivity is relative.” It was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

All in all it was just a beautiful weekend. I’m realizing more and more that I feel so fulfilled in the relationships I have and in my life in general. The new friendships I’m forming are starting to remind me of the beautiful and deep friendships I have at home. I’m so thankful for where I am in life at this point and I’m beginning to see my place here.

I’m just so happy. Not a surface level the-sun-is-up kind of happy, but a deep in-the-back-corners-of-my-soul kind of happy. Maybe it isn’t happiness at all. Maybe it’s a Peace about life and a Joy in living it.

Love you so much!!

Abby

Life is so good. 63 to go…

So my last post was a little heavy and I wanted to thank everyone for the support in writing my Story and to those who told me just a little piece of theirs. It means the absolute world to me. But this week we’re going to lighten it up a bit!

The sun came out yesterday and it made me so deeply happy. I feel entirely too happy. I got out of my sustainability class an hour early so I went and played the piano for an hour. I saw a beautiful friend and we hugged in the Sunshine. I just sat in my bed, played my ukulele, and soaked up the Sunshine.

Today is just as beautiful and on top of that it’s Friday!! I’ve got a happy song running through my head, I did my hair and it’s cute, I’m falling in love with the world. I know, it’s still winter, but for today I breathe in the Sun and breathe out the worries that have plagued me all season.

Happiness can come in such little things, a touch of sun, a smile, the sound of birds, a phone call, a mug of green tea, wearing a dress, taking a long shower, a hug, a good friends, a good book, a gentle breeze. I’m just trying to soak up as much of the Joy and Beauty in the world as I possibly can. Winter always makes me horribly depressed so I am enjoying this elated feeling while it lasts.

Honestly, this has been the best winter I’ve had in years. College is more work than high school, but there’s so much more time to relax. Time to take a nap, watch Bones, play a happy song, call my parents, cry. I’ve been eating better, exercising more, and sleeping longer than I have previously and I think that makes such an incredible difference.

I’ve also been making new friends who I really, really like. The kind of people who remind me why I love my friends from CORE so much. People who are kind and interesting and deeply rooted and hilarious.

I think it’s good for me to write when I’m feeling this way because it reminds me that the darkness of winter doesn’t last forever. The sun comes out. There is beauty. There is hope.

Things are looking up, looking up
There’s magic everywhere you go
People stop to say hello
So turn it up, turn it up
As loud as you can make it go
Cause love is on the radio

Random Fact of the Day- Bubble wrap was initially designed to be used as wallpaper.

Mission of the Day- Write a poem about how you’re feeling and then recite it in your best operatic voice to a friend.

Question of the Day- What helps you get through the winter?

Love you!!

Abby

Here’s to less bitterness! 68 to go…

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!

If you happen to be single or have single friends, then I’m sure you’ve seen all sorts of things like this:

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Now, I’ll admit that I’ve retweeted, reblogged, and shared plenty of these. I’ve been single for a long time and I’ve been bitter about being single for an almost-as-long time. Valentine’s day (apostrophe? I don’t know,) has always been a time to just bask in the misery of being alone while hating on every one who has ever been in a happy relationship in their life.

But I don’t feel bitter this year. Not even a little bit. I feel happy. I feel fulfilled. I feel content.

It’s not because I’ve met some perfect guy who completes me in every way, (although Purdy is truly the world’s best boyfriend.)

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Abby4 Purdy2
Aren’t we just the cutest couple you’ve ever seen in your life?

No, I’m not bitter this year because I’ve chosen to not be bitter. I think this started when I realized that I wasn’t bitter about being single. I remember being so bitter and angry about my perpetual singleness during high school. I spent so much time trying to seem confident so that people wouldn’t catch on to how much it hurt to be constantly single. And sometimes it does still hurt.

I think it’s normal for it to hurt. We as people desire closeness and intimacy and relationships. We want people close to us and we want people to understand us. We want people to hug and laugh with and to know deeply.

Days like Valentine’s day sometimes seem to make that pain so much worse. You look at the happy people around you and the love and relationships that people share and it’s a sharp reminder of the ever present pain of singleness. And if you’re anything like me, that pain often turns into bitterness toward those people. We resent them for being happier than us and for somehow being less screwed up than we are and for publicizing it.

“And that’s when I realized, making fun of Caroline Kraft wouldn’t stop her from beating me in this contest.” –Mean Girls

Growing up, my dad always told me that bitterness was like drinking poison and hoping it would kill the other person. I never really understood what he meant until I started becoming bitter about little things throughout my life and now I know that he was right. Hating couples on Valentine’s day isn’t going to make them less happy, it’s just going to make you more bitter and hateful. And bitterness is a poison-a poison that sucks you dry of joy and light-hearted-ness and optimism.

Now, I get it. My friends and I had the world’s best Anti-Valentine’s day party last year and just spent our time being single girls together and laughing. There was nothing bitter about it, it was just about us. Don’t be afraid to share some good single fun with a group of your friends.

On this quest to become a healthier person, I’m going to try my hardest to eliminate bitterness from my life. I don’t want to hold on to bitterness about anything or toward anyone. So I’m just not going to. I woke up one day realizing that Valentine’s day was no longer a source of bitterness in my life and realized how free I felt because of it and I want to feel that free and joyful in every aspect of my life.

If you want to hold on to your V-day bitterness, that’s your prerogative but I won’t be taking part.

Mission of the Day- Try to see the good things in Valentine’s day. Tell a friend or family member that you love them.

Random Fact of the Day- Around 15 percent of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.

Love you always!!

Abby

Making resolutions of sorts. 252 to go…

You know, it is hard for me to write a year in review post because for me, the year goes from February 23rd of one year to February 22nd of the next. My year isn’t over until I turn 18. And I have so much that I want to say about this year of being the Dancing Queen, but I want to wait until we are closer to the end.

So everyone is making resolutions and I don’t know what mine are. I have submitted all of my college applications and I’m accepted somewhere, so I’m less stressed about that. I’ve been doing pretty well in school. I’m in a good place in my friendships. I’ve been working on my relationship with my parents. I’m doing alright.

I need to keep working on this think-less-about-boys-thing, I need to get more sunlight, I need to sleep more, I need to start training for (hopefully) hiking the Grand Canyon this summer and I need to think about joy. These are my have-to’s for the next couple of months.

I feel lighter than I have in a while. Maybe It’s my hair color or maybe It’s the sweaters. Who knows. But I love it.

Random Fact of the Day- A nautical mile is equal to 1.15 regular miles.

Question of the Day- What are your New years resolutions?

Mission of the Day- Make someone smile and then give them a hug.

Love you!

Abby

The joys of good girl fun. 290 to go…

I often joke about my GoodGirl status and my poor luck with boys. Seriously, I haven’t had a boyfriend since freshman year (and I’m not sure that even counts) the only alcohol I’ve ever had was when I accidentally picked up my mom’s glass of red wine thinking it was coke (I was wrong) the only time I’ve ever taken a cigarette was from my grandmother and that’s when she was trying to quit so her cigarettes were caramel-apple lollipops. I’m generally a good kid. Some times It’s maddening, but most days I love it.

Today, I spent my evening with my dear friend Gretchen (Gretch, when I typed “dear” it autocorrected to “dead” Merp, that would have been awkward) we watched a few episodes of Doctor Who and ate ice cream and held hands during the scary parts and then we found a bag of crazy colored makeup and we made ourselves look hilarious. Seriously, just ridiculous. And we did it for the sake of laughter and fun. That’s the kind of fun I love, he kind of fun I live for.

I can hear the wind blowing outside, I’m cuddled up with my fluffy blanket, listening to Bing Crosby’s Christmas album and writing a blog post. So many things that I love. I love so many little things.

Tea cups.
Manual cars.
Leggings.
Cats.
Doctor Who.
Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
The way my moisturizer makes my face feel.
Sleeping with my ceiling fan on.
Making long, ridiculous lists.
Commas.
Taking my contacts out at the end of the day.

Question of the Day- What makes you happy? Seriously happy.

Love you!!

Abby