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

19 and Crazy. 66 to go…

I turned 19 yesterday… That’s a feeling I’m still trying to grapple with. I don’t feel any different and I think that’s pretty normal. But it occurred to me that I’ll be turning twenty in one year. That’s the kind of stuff that freaks me out. I’m not ready to not be a teenager any more.

But enough of that scary growing up stuff. Let’s talk about this year.

This year has been so wonderful but also so difficult for me. It was full of incredible friends and experiences but also some hard times and pain.

I graduated high school, I went to senior prom, I bought a car, I brought an idea I had alive on stage, my choir won a singing competition, I went to Haiti, I chose a college, I found my passion, I made new friends, I lost myself in life’s little moments, I found myself in a song, I reached 10 thousand views on my blog, I sang the national anthem in front of 20,000 people, I passed Music Theory, I passed Calculus 2, I went to church by myself for the first time, I laughed, I grew, I learned, and I lived.

I want every year of my life to be the best year of my life and I know that while this wasn’t an easy year for me it was the best year of my life thus far.

I had a really hard time last semester, just trying to sort through who I was and what was important to me and even though I wouldn’t want to live through that again, I know that I am better because of it. I know who I am better than I have previously and I’m so ready to jump into this year head first.

It seems that every song written about being 19 are all about being young and reckless and carefree and about doing new things.

Sometimes I feel so alive 
Sometimes I see so clear 
Just like the way we always were 
So young and free from fear 

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. (All I want from life is to be a tree. No one understands.) I want to grow in Faith and in Grace. I want to be

Being free, being wild, being bulletproof
Back then we were rebels without a clue
Nothing in the world that we wouldn’t do

So here’s to being 19 and crazy,

Love you!

Abby

Some free time. 94 to go…

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have an 8 am Chemistry class and then an 11 am Biology class and so I have two hours in between them where I’m just too lazy to walk back to my room. So instead of going anywhere I just sit in the Math and Physics study lounge and get work done. I don’t talk to any one, I just listen to my iPod, send e-mails, write blog posts, do homework, drink tea and maybe (if I ever find time) read a book.

I love college life and dorm life, but you never get a minute alone. Not even in the shower (I shower on my own [obviously] but there are three showers next to each other. There’s no way to get a minute alone.) So I’m really enjoying this time to just sit down and productive and to not have to interact with people. Don’t get me wrong, I love people and I love my friends, but I need some time alone sometimes.

I’m a super extrovert. I’m loud, I like people, I would rather be exhausted than miss out on some social opportunity with people that I like. However, I still need time alone. I think that people don’t understand extroverts. They don’t understand that even though we are very socially inclined, we still need moments of peace. I need moments of rest and peace and of being alone.

One thing I don’t need, though, is quiet. I hate silence. I truly do. I don’t know. It’s a weird thing, but silence kinda freaks me out. I sleep with a fan running because I like the sound it makes, I always have music playing even if it’s just classical, I sing to myself in the shower. I just can’t stand silence. Maybe silence would be good for me, but I’m just not there yet.

Off to Bio!!

Love you!

Abby

PS- a guy just walked in wearing a Doctor Who shirt. More and more, I’m convinced that I picked the right college.

Deleting those texts. 208 to go…

I did something incredibly difficult today. I deleted all the texts from a boy I liked last summer. I also deleted all the Facebook messages from a boy I liked earlier this year. But the hardest thing was the texts.

This boy would text me the cutest things ranging from “good morning beautiful :)” to “you’re pretty attractive yourself” and such. We had little games we would play and little jokes that were just ours and it was really special to me. But when things got weird (as they do,) I started to cling to those texts as though they were a security blanket. I saved many of them and would look over them whenever I got down about life.

I realized that they’ve become a hindrance to me. They were holding me back and were a crutch for me.

I’m an incredibly sentimental person. I never throw things away, because, in my mind, throwing them away means that they don’t matter enough to keep around. And that had been my reason for saving those texts, but I realized how ridiculous that was. They truth of the matter is that they aren’t important enough to keep around. I have better things that I could hold on to. Better things to learn from. So I threw them away. I decided that they no longer mattered enough to keep around, and now I feel so free.

I can’t explain it, but I feel so relieved and so happy.

Love you!

Abby

Coincidences and College. 224 to go…

The Monday after I got back from CORE Reaction, I went to a college interview day. It was an interview for the honors program at this school and for a large scholarship. While I was there a girl got up and talked about her experience at this school. She is a sustainability studies major. She talked for a while about what she was studying and the projects she was involved with and I just knew that I needed to study that. I don’t know a ton about sustainability, but it is something that I am super interested in. I read and loved No Impact Man and feel very strongly about many of the issues he talked about. If you haven’t read this book, get on it. It’s phenomenal and challenging. I am passionate about saving this planet that we live on and about finding new and more sustainable solutions to our lack of food, water, fuel and housing for the growing population of this earth.

After this girl presented I went up and talked to her for a while and it convinced me that I need to look into it. It’s science-y and social and purposeful. Fispwbfisiwbdo.

This has driven me to almost decide that this is where I’m going. Obviously, no official decisions have been made, but It’s looking like that’s what’s going to happen. This is the only Christian school I applied to and the school that is closest to home. And originally those were the two reasons that I didn’t  want to go there, but I’m starting to see past that.

I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in a purposeful God who does things in His own time. There is one other school that I really love, but it has a very limited amount of majors. I was really worried about what major I could choose if I wanted to go to this school and now this opportunity has fallen out of the sky at this other school.

I’m feeling really good right now. I don’t know how I’ll feel about it next week, but right now I feel good.

Love you!

Abby