Quick note on my last post... thank you to everyone who commented, messaged, texted, asked to hang out, EVERYTHING. It was very sweet and reassuring to hear from a lot of people who have felt similarly. I do feel less alone knowing that other people struggle with these things too, but it is also a little sad how many people privately told me that they felt the pressure to seem happier or less scared... So I do feel less alone, but also just sad that our culture can feel so oppressive when you're struggling emotionally, yet seems to encourage you to share all your physical distress and ailments as some weird badge of honor.
And perhaps, the most comforting thing that came from that blog post was my mom's response... she said she wasn't worried at all, because she knows that the worrying I do during a major transition is just part of my process and that it always turns out better than okay. After all the well-intended messages of concern I received, it was a great relief to hear "I'm not worried about you. This is normal."
Ah, well! THAT is not what this post is about. This post is about rejuvenation. Something amazing happened last week... my little brother, Cade, was accepted early admission by his dream school of so many years, James Madison University, my alma mater/love. My mom thinks it's hilarious how excited I'VE been over his admission. But I have the greatest reason to be excited because I'm the one who knows what a wonderful experience he's going to have! I'm also the one who was deferred at early admission time, was completely devastated by it, and spent months worrying until I was finally accepted. (Are you guys sensing a theme here? Yes, I worry about stuff haha. Mostly when things are out of my control... which Erik thinks makes no sense, but hello, if I have control over things, there's nothing to worry about! I have faith in ME!)
I told all my friends how excited I was for Cade and all the happy JMU talk lead to a spontaneous trip to Harrisonburg, to relish in some snow, mountains, and JMU life. We met two of my bffs, who really MADE my JMU life so perfect, and traveled around Harrisonburg visiting our favorite restaurants, walking around campus, and remembering. We are nostalgic people, so we ate it up. And with some pretty snow showers too!? Yeah, it was basically perfect... and my soul needed that boost.
It doesn't feel like ten years ago that I moved onto that campus. When I met my future husband over a friendly group dinner where he couldn't remember my name to save his life. Where I discovered how much I enjoy YOGA (thanks Nicole!). Where I truly learned to talk to people without judgement and connect with people I didn't already know. There's something very special about that campus and the group of people it attracts that I think everyone tries to articulate and fails to do so. As lame as it sounds, there really is a spirit to that environment that's unique. Ask Erik, who entered college at one of the most difficult personal points in his life and found a healing there that really changed him at the core. Some people who know him attribute that change in him to me, but we know it was four years of living in a place where people save their tables with cell phones, hold doors open for people way longer than is normal, let cars get in front of you when they're in a tough spot, see three freshman girls on the side of the road late at night and realize they're waiting for a bus that will never come and offer them a ride back to campus, where professors actually care about you and just take your word when you say you're sick and can't take your exams this semester.
So I am THRILLED for Cade. And for all the new excuses I have to visit that happy place. And I am feeling refreshed after some heart to hearts with amazing friends about big life things. 2016 is going to be a hell of a year.