It's the summer after my freshman year of college...what do I do with myself?
Well, it has been extremely hard to get back to blogging. For so long I’ve been struggling with what to write about...somehow simultaneously there are way too many topics swarming around in my head and none at all. I guess I’ll talk about this in between stage I’m at in my life right now. And by right now, I mean literally right now...the summer after freshman year of college. It’s pretty bizarre. I come back to a place I’ve lived for 10 years and second day back find myself accidentally referring to Greenville College as “home.” I was talking to a co-worker and telling them about the restaurants “back home” and immediately stopped myself and was like wait what? How can a place I’ve lived for 9 months be nearer and dearer to my heart than my hometown where my own family has made memories together for 10 years? I guess that’s how growing up works….Louisville feels like ours (me and my family’s), but Greenville feels like mine. A place full of memories I shared with the people there, a place where I had learned to do things for myself and live independently (not that I ever really had a problem with that anyways).
But now, after a whirlwind of a year (seriously, how is my freshman year already over? I’m old.) I find myself back in Louisville kinda without a purpose. I’m sure you who have experienced this know what I mean. At school I was constantly rushing around from class to rehearsal to class to another rehearsal...and then another...or hanging out with friends or practicing for hours at a time in my favorite beloved practice room. There, I always had somewhere to be or someone to be with. Then we all had to say the dreaded goodbyes to the people we had spent literally every day with, and go our separate ways for three months. Not to say that my friends in Louisville aren’t fantastic, because they are! It’s just different because no matter how hard you try, there’s no way to inform them of all of the happenings of your last 9 months of living, so jam-packed full of new experiences as they were. You feel like they kinda missed a very important section of your life, and like you missed one of theirs. And I love my Louisville friends, and hanging out with them this summer has without a doubt kept me sane, don’t get me wrong. It’s just a weird transition.
And speaking of weird transitions, how bout the whole being 19 thing? I turned 18 before I left for school and that was weird enough because I was an adult living in my parents’ house and could technically do whatever I wanted because I was legal but I also couldn’t because they were still my parents...but now it’s even weirder because I’ve been away for 9 months where I literally did do anything I wanted and any communication with them was not to ask permission, but to ask for help with bank info or proof-reading an essay or two. So now that I’m home it’s like, well, I’m gonna drive around in the car that they own and sleep in a bed in their house (which is still mine...or is it?) and do I need to tell them when I’m leaving and where I’m going like I used to have to when I lived at home? Am I expected to do the dishes or have a daily chore? Do my parents’ rules for the others kids apply to me? Probably not. But I also don’t want to be disrespectful...yeah, weird. Growing up is weird.
So this summer I’ve dedicated completely to working two jobs, one at a library from 8am-2pm, and one, of course, at Chick-fil-A from 3-close. Talk about exhausting. I must really love Greenville, huh? But I find myself living my life this summer just waiting for August 23rd when I can move back to school and start living what I’ve deemed my “exciting” life again. I miss my worship team, I miss my band, I even miss choir (yes, I said it)...I miss my Speech class even sometimes....okay, no I don’t. I’m subconsciously (or okay, very consciously) counting down the days and forgetting to live in these ones. It just seems so pointless to make a bunch of new friends at my jobs (though I have been and it’s so easy to because I work with some fantastic humans), because I’m leaving August 23rd and won’t see them again for 9 months, and who knows, possibly never again. August 23rd is like a ticking time bomb that I can’t wait to explode but also is limiting me from living right now because whatever happens in these three months of summer is gonna blow up once that bomb goes off.
When I first got back I found myself pretty depressed. What even is there for me here anymore? Everything I’m working towards is back at school and my heart ached for the people I’d spent every day with for nine months. What was I going to do with myself for three months? I found myself viewing it as a cage I would have to live in until August 23rd set me free.
All of this to say, I’m in a weird, awkward, tweenage-kinda three months of my life right now, and I’m a little unsure of how to treat them. Or at least, I have been until I sat down to write this blog. Every day is a gift. I’m sure that’s printed on at least a hundred Hallmark cards, but hey, it’s true. Every day that God has given me should not be treated as a waiting period for days in the future. I might get in a car accident and die before August 23rd and I would’ve wasted these last days as placeholders or days I have to “get through” instead of enjoy. God uses awkward times for good. He’s using this time in my life to give me time to breathe and space to grow before I’m thrown back into a crazy sophomore year. He’s given me the peace of heart to learn from His word and be able to reach out to others in a much different way than I can at school, and has given me a time jam-packed with work to provide me with endurance and drive. God has placed me in this town with beautiful people with whom I can spend time, minister to, and be ministered by, and I could not have asked for a greater gift or a better way to spend these three months of summer. Thanks God, you always know best.
So if you’re like me and feeling like you’re in an awkward in-between time in your life, don’t fret. Use every opportunity to love others in every situation and at every point in your life because every day, no matter where you are or how you feel, is an opportunity that God has given you to give glory to Him. And don’t worry, you’ll be back at school in no time.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”