Sunday, December 26, 2010

and what a flammable heart i've been given.

it's nearing the end of the year, and it's about time to do one of those "year in retrospect" kind of things. i thought that i had done one before now, but looking back, i can't find any. perhaps in the switching over to the new blog format, i decided it wasn't relevant or was too whiny or personal, and i deleted it. or maybe it was the kind of post that lived in my head too long, so that when i finally got around to writing it, no words would come and it was never written.

whatever the reason, i find myself sitting at my desk at 3am after christmas, thinking back over my last semester. i'm chatting on skype and munching on chedder cheese covered crackers (which is really messy, and keeps ending up in the floor...), reaching for what i'm trying to say.

2010. not my best year academically, and the spring semester definitely fell under worst semester of my life. summer was long, and for the most part uneventful, not full of far-away road trip adventures serving communities so different than my own. instead, i had a summer full of working on the most social nights of the week - and all for free, just to guarantee myself a better future. now that we are all growing up, summers aren't full of carefree things like fishing and four-wheeler riding just because it's pretty and not that hot outside. or tanning by the pool and diving in when you start to scorch. we all had jobs (paying or not), and we all had to coordinate schedules to find nights to hang out. then came the so-called summer romance, which lasted all the way up until the beginning of football season. fall semester, again, not so great with the academics, but is already contesting my sophomore year for best year of my life. i've met people that i don't know how i previously lived without. i still had time to hang out with my old friends. i started a new job. fell in love with my staff slash family. had more stereotypical "college experiences" in one semester than the rest of my college career.

i had to make big-girl decisions. realize that my life wasn't going exactly the way i had planned it to. push back dates and deadlines. rush to get things done. run myself exhausted with the things i had to do. worried about the future and shared my secrets. ate 4am breakfasts and stayed up all night. i learned my secret fears, but also was able to share them with people that love me, and therefore, be reassured that everything will be okay in the end. i also had the chance to sit on someone's bed and have a conversation about faith, and look through their bible (i've always believed that you can learn a ton about a person by looking through their bible).

i also realized that i have two homes now. i have my home home, but starkville is also my home. and while i love being home home, and i love my friends that are still located around here, i feel that my real life is in starkville now. there are things missing from that life, like the fact that my family isn't there, and the real comforts of a home - like a shower without flipflops and my own kitchen and bathroom, and glow in the dark stars on the ceiling - aren't there, and neither is my cat. but i feel like now, i can transition from college to real life a little easier, when the time comes.

i'm at a loss for words now, but lately, when i think about life, i marvel at how very blessed i am. i am the first to admit that in my twenty-two years, i've experienced a lot of loss, but i am also the first to tell you that really, i have nothing to complain about. so things don't always work out the way i want them to. how many times does that work out to be better in the end, anyway? things may not be perfect, but i have a fantastic family, i've never gone without necessities, and my friends are beyond what i deserve. i have no words to express how grateful i am for the things that God has given me.

these are the things that came to mind, as i took the last thirty minutes to partially ignore my skype chat and let my mind drift over the last few months of my life. for the most part, it's been amazing, and i don't regret any of it. i can only imagine what will happen in the new year, with my new copious amounts of free time and my strictly weather-only classes. i know that whatever i can think of, the next few months will exceed my wildest dreams. all i can say is that i can't wait for it to begin.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the definition of family.

i stayed in starkville until midway through december. that has never happened before.

usually i am packed and ready to go before finals are done, and as soon as i can, i am in the car and on my way back home.

i think it's because starkville is just as much home now as my house. i just had no desire to leave this year. and i have a built in family, too. of course, i've always had the forest family, but now that one of us has graduated and the rest of us live in very different places and have to make time to see each other, it's not the same as a family that you live with and see every day.

that's what rice is to me. that's my family. especially over the last week, as i think back...we did everything together. we were apart to take tests and to shower and barely anything else. we even slept in the same room. and we act just like a family. we love each other even when we argue. we hang out when we don't have to. bobbie lee is like our mom, always checking up on us and telling us to be careful and safe. i don't know any other staff that is quite like ours.

i've been home about thirty-six hours or so. long enough to miss starkville. don't get me wrong, i love being here at my house and i love the holidays, but it just feels like something is missing. my other family.

and the funny thing is, is that i'm not the only one that feels like this. we've been texting each other several several times a day. not for anything in particular, but just to say something insignificant and end with an "i miss you". currently, i'm chatting with two of my family right now. we're counting down the days to our return in starkville.

next semester shall be epic, and i await the start of a new year with my other family.