Growth

Change is a good thing, right? 

That’s what I try to keep telling myself every time I get hit with a change.

Tonight I realized just how much has changed since I graduated high school a year ago. Here’s that story: my  group of friends from high school keep in touch through a group chat. Not frequently- just every once in a while one of us will see something on social media that we feel the urge to talk about. Normally the conversations get started with a screenshot of someone we all know; tonight it happened to be a girl from marching band who just announced she’s pregnant. As usual, that screenshot was accompanied by some pretty harsh gossip. Then, all of a sudden, that gossip morphs into “I miss you” and “let’s make plans.” And all I can think is: do I really want to be around these people?

Last year I wouldn’t have been bothered by these harshness of the conversation. Last year I would have joined in the laughter. Last year I wouldn’t have felt bad at all. But tonight I did. 

I think the reason I felt so bad is because I felt like I was in high school again. I got transported back to the cafeteria table and complaining about classes, fawning over stupid boys, and trash talking all the girls we didn’t like. The conversation was all too familiar. Uncomfortably familiar.

Then I realized: that’s not who I am anymore.

So many things have happened this past year that have shaped me into the person I am today. I made a new group of friends who encourage me instead of put me down. Me and my boyfriend broke up after a two year relationship.One of my best friends tried to end her life.  I could go on and on.

In the past 365 (ish) days, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, and I’ve laughed until I cried. More importantly, I’ve matured. I’m not the same girl I was in high school (praise Jesus). Meaningless conversation doesn’t interest me anymore. I want to have thoughtful conversations that make me think. I deserve someone who isn’t manipulative and who isn’t going to accuse me of things I didn’t do. I want to be there for my friends who are going through a hard time and let them know that someone loves them.

Even though I wouldn’t change a thing about the past year, I can’t help but think back to high school. Sometimes I wish I could perform one more time with the marching band. Sometimes I wish I was sitting at our crowded booth in the lunch room.  Sometimes I wish it could just be us sitting in the instrument closet in the band room trying to survive the mess that is pre-cal.

Change is inevitable. Growth is good.

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Stroll, Don’t Sprint.

Stroll: to walk leisurely as inclination directs.

I always feel so rushed during the summer, which seems very strange as so many use the summer as an opportunity to unwind and relax. Many see the copious amounts of free time as all the time in the world, but I have started to see it as too much time. To me, there is so much free time that doing nothing but relaxing almost seems wasteful. I feel like I need to do something productive every day if I want to make something of the summer. Of course, I could use the unscheduled time to sleep the day away, but what  would I gain from 12+ hours of sleep a day?  I can only rest so much before becoming restless.

My goal for this summer is to stroll. I’m tired of sprinting. I have been sprinting for the past 9 months in school. Homework, quizzes, tests, projects, meetings, studying, appointments. Always having a deadline to meet. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a schedule during school. It helps me feel less overwhelmed. But as soon as I get out of school, the abrupt lack of stuff is overwhelming. All of a sudden, I’m left thinking, “Okay, now what?” I’m almost begging for someone to tell me what to do. But not this summer.

I’m going to stroll. I’m not going to worry about doing something extraordinary every day. I’m going to go where the wind takes me. I’m going to gain something this summer; whether it be new knowledge, a new talent, a new hobby, or a new friend.

I could wake up at the crack of dawn and watch the sunrise every day. I could go for a run. I could drive to a small town  and explore. I could learn how to play an instrument. I could learn how to paint. I could spend time with a different friend each day. I could write about something on my mind every day. I could spend all day reading.

The possibilities are endless…and I’m just going to stroll.

Stroll

Sensing Summer

Sunlight: blue and yellow. Bright and blinding. Intense.

Grass: green and brown. Prickly and warm. Fresh.

Water: chemical and reflective. Sparkling and submerging. Unwind.

Hickory: woody and dark. Distant and calming. Familiar.

Honeysuckle: sweet and joyful. Wanted and cherished. Childhood.

Bird: nurture and sing. Present and fleeting. Delicate.

Heat: encompassing and heavy. Pressured and radiating. Slow.

 

See. Touch. Smell. Taste. Hear. Feel. Live. Repeat.