October 11, 2011

A Year of 18

Last October...
I was running 10 mile runs every other day for fun.
I was spinning and crashing on smiles and heartache in the course of a few weeks.
I was counting down days to go visit my sister in Europe.
I was 17 going on 18.
I was waiting to hear back from Disney.
I was a month away from graduation.
I was road tripping with Payton on perfect Autumn days just to get in the car and drive.
I was learning a lot about the consequences of sin.
I was loving the colored leaves.
I was listening to Mayday Parade nonstop.

Since last October...
I turned 18.
I graduated high school.
I moved halfway across the country to my own apartment to start a new job.
I spent Easter working a 12 hour day till 4 am.
I met hundreds of people from all over the world who changed my life.
I got a glimpse of my weaknesses and strengths.
I had my heart broken by a broken generation.
I ran from relationships like nothing else.
I laughed my way through parade vending and crazy days in the Magic Kingdom.
I ate way too many Mickey Premium bars.
I met the biggest Mayday Parade fan in the world...and she happened to live in my apartment.
I finished a 6 month long internship at the age of 18.
I moved back to Oklahoma to start college.
I met another group of friends who are so completely different from the people who changed my life in Florida...but I think that they'll steal my heart just as completely.

I'm 24 hours away from turning 19.
I'm looking back at a crazy year of life shaking, world re-arranging, heart altering, incredible memories.
I'm feeling so blessed by all of the people I've had the privilege of meeting in the past year.
I'm really wishing I was in Europe again right now, just because I still have the travel bug.
I'm trying to learn what it means to let down the guards around my heart just a little bit more.
I'm a little sad and a little reluctant to let go of this year, which isn't my typical reaction.
I'm most definitely listening to Mayday Parade as I write this.

This past year was huge for me. So many mile stones. My first paycheck. My first rent bill. Grocery shopping. Car wrecks. Real life. Adulthood. I'm so glad that my 17 going on 18 year old self couldn't see into the future, because I probably would have been crazy overwhelmed with the changes that would happen. As it is, taking this year one day at a time changed my life in the sneakiest of ways. It was an amazing year. A year of skydiving, adventures, non stop action, and the hardest faith but the most worthwhile relationship with God that I've ever had. I wonder where this next year will take me. I wonder what will happen in my life. There are so many things that I'm hoping for, track season, studying abroad, sophomore year, the new Mayday Parade CD, and a million memories to make with the new friends in my life. So here's to the lessons yet to be learned, the pictures yet to be taken, the memories yet to be made...here's to one another trip around the sun. :)

October 9, 2011

October 2011

This weekend was the best.
Friday afternoon, right after my Accounting class was over...
I booked it to the library.
I didn't even stop for lunch (which is a big deal for me.)
Instead, I played the student and I wrote a 4 page paper in 30 minutes...
I finished two Accounting assignments that weren't due till Monday...
J'ai fini mes devoirs de fran├žais pour lundi.
And after all of that hard work was complete, I packed up my backpack and began my weekend.
Best. Feeling. In. The. World.
No homework. No cross country meet. No obligations. Just me and my weekend.
Friday night we had our Powder Puff football game, which was pretty awesome.
If I'm being honest I have to say that the "cheerleaders" were the best part of the whole deal.
Then I got everybody lost after the game on our quest to find pancakes, but we survived and made it in time for midnight breakfast.
Saturday I got to sleep in (which is also a big deal for me, this is literally the first time in at least three weeks when I've had a day when I could sleep in past 8 am. Weekends are dominated by road trips and such.)
I thought that I would go stir crazy when all of my friends were doing their homework on Saturday afternoon, but I drove out and found a great new park to run at, so I had a great afternoon to pound out some pavement. By the way, I'm finally feeling better with the whole SI Joint thing. Now I just have to bump up my iron intake and I'll be as good as new. :)
Saturday night me and Sarah kicked around for awhile before hopping in the car with Andrew, Collin, and Trea to head out to Pops in Arcadia. After which we found an authentic, and I mean authentic, Mexican restaurant. All of this leads up to today, church in the morning with the gang, and afternoon with the family, then a wal-mart adventure that led to Hideaway Pizza with the crew. It's been a good weekend. Great actually.
I'm most definitely not ready for tomorrow, but I'm starting to beat out this restlessness that had me so discontent for the last few weeks. Maybe it's just learning to settle in. Maybe it's just me not wanting to settle down long term anywhere. But I'm beating it. I'm learning contentment again. And I love the friends who are making this such a great ride.
Oh and by the way, only three more full days as 18 year old for me. What a year this has been. What a year.

October 2, 2011

Running With Injuries

This week was rough, mentally.
I've been very demoralized.
My SI joint is out of place, and as a result...
running really hurts.
Really hurts.
And whether I'm fast or not...running keeps me sane.
So having a week when the one thing that relieves my stress all of a sudden has become a huge stress trigger...it hit me hard.
And then, I just got really down.
All of those questions sweeping in...
"What is my purpose here?
"Is this really where I am supposed to be?"
"Does anyone need me here?"
"Did I make the right choice?"
It's hard sometimes, because I felt so perfectly in place in Florida. I had a purpose there. I knew that it was where I was supposed to be. I was needed. I knew I made the right choice. And to go from such a strong confidence into a place where I'm still battling my pride over the very fact that I'm at this school, I tore myself up inside.
It's not that I want to go back in time.
I don't.
I just want the assurance that I felt while I was in Florida.
But besides the cut and dry fact that this is where God has led me for now...
I don't know why I'm here.

But this week we had an extra credit, student led chapel. I snuck into it at the last minute.
And I collapsed into the arms of Jesus.
Pure prayer.
Unadulterated worship.
My heart on the line.
My future thrown out of my hands.
My past pushed aside.
Just me and my Savior.
It was everything that I needed.
It was beyond what I expected.
It was God sweeping into my heart and dusting me off.
Picking me up from the floor.
Assuring me that I will never see the full picture.
I will never know if I made a difference in the lives of my friends in Florida.
I will never know if I'll ever make a difference here at SNU.
But the point is, I have to try.
I have to trust in God.
I have to run this race till I'm crawling.
I have to keep moving.

And then as if that wasn't enough, I've had some major time to connect with some of the girls on my team over the past few days.
Late nights talking.
Total open hearts.
And I don't know what he's doing in their lives, but God is taking my brokenness and leading me through it right now.
I've been so encouraged by the friends I have around me, every day I'm so thankful for this cross country team.
Having their support is getting me through these doubts and the discontentedness that I am battling.
They probably don't even realize how thankful I am for them.
Especially on weeks like this week, weeks when I have been so down and ready to just get in my car and drive till I can't see this state in the rearview mirror anyone.
Instead, I'm seeing friends sitting in my backseat, rocking out to Death Cab for Cutie and The Goo Goo Dolls on our way back from from an awesome night at Bricktown...
and I'm shushing up about the things that aren't what I expected.
This race is taking me to places that I never expected to go.
I booked it on the first leg, I've been running this year with a passion that I've never felt before, but now that I've hit a hill...I'm crawling.
I'm pushing up this hill like it's Mount Everest, but I'm still moving.
I'm not giving up.
And I'm learning over and over again that I'm not running this alone.