This girl is back at school, and (possibly) ready to go.
For those of you who don't know, my freshman year of college was tough, and by tough I mean it was one of the toughest years of my life, and, unfortunately, that is not an exaggeration. Between the homesickness, unfamiliar territory, and intensified education I was ready to call it quits after my first semester. Christmas break came and went, as did a wake up call.
It wasn't about having a perfect semester anymore, it was simply about having a better one.
In all honesty, as humans we shouldn't be allowed to use the word perfect, because none of us are and never will be. Unfortunately for us, we live in a society that doesn't believe the same thing. Always wanting more, or the next best thing we live a life of unrelenting expectations. Never satisfied, we search and search looking for something to somehow make us feel better, trying to have the perfect look, life, or for me, college experience.
This revelation hit me around New Years, and then again this fall when going back to school and setting some goals as a meaning of productivity. Life isn't going to be perfect, which is also to say it's never going to be always fair, always easy, or always compliant. It is what it is, and you play the hand you're dealt to the best of your ability. With going back to school, I had to make a change. Even if it was a little one, just something to make my year go a little better than the last one.
This didn't mean my life took a 180 degree turn around, it was more like a 1 degree turn every day.
Whether that was getting into The Word, making healthy meal choices, or working out three days out of the week. By the end of the semester I had done 180 degrees. And little by little I made a difference.
It's not about having that perfect day, or even a great day at that. It's choosing to be better, because when you say "perfection" you've literally just set out on mission impossible. Life happens, expectations remain unmet, and disappointment ensues as imperfection is inevitable. But when all you want is better, you suddenly give yourself a chance. You leave room in your day to smile at people, sip on a cup of coffee, or do something with a friend, and slowly but surely those little moments during the day are all you can remember when you go to sleep.
The word "better" simply means improvement. Surpassing what you can already do, and moving onto the next level. Perfect is a never met standard, (unless of course you're the second coming of Christ, in which case, we need to have a little chat) and something you can chase after but never meet because that's an impassable standard.
Challenge yourself to simply be better. Take a deep breath, lean in, and find something you can do to rest easy at night.
Out of the 15 weeks that make up a summer, I packed and unpacked a suitcase 26 different times. To say that I know what living out of a suitcase feels like, would be a complete and total understatement.
Looking back, as this summer quickly comes to close, just like all the summer before have mimicked, those 26 different suitcases indicate an excessive amount of travel. This summer was different because it felt like I had two lives to live: one that consisted of the everyday life here in Grand Island, and the other based on things that came into play because of my first year at college.
And let me be the first to say that managing both sides wasn't always easy.
Ya see, I'm a homebody, and I always have been. I remember being at my first sleepover as a 7 year old, calling home in a panic to my mother to come and get me, and, at 19, sometimes I wish I could do the same.
Packing my suitcase for good for my first year of school, and then on and off again in the weeks that followed my summer at home has probably been one of the harder things to overcome, but it's also taught me a lot about home and what that really means.
Webster dictionary defines
home:(n)(adj)-as the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.
However, I think I have my own definition.
Home isn't a place. It just can't be. Places are not promised, and never guaranteed. Anything can take away a home: wind, rain, a job transfer or move. If a home is only a physical space to you, then I think you're missing the point. I think that "home" is a much more complex and intangible thing.
It's a feeling. The one that you get when you hear your mom's laugh because your dad did something ridiculous in the kitchen again. It's smelling spaghetti when you walk in the door after a sports practice. It's jabbing your siblings in the side with your thumb because you know it annoys them. Home has nothing to do with the location of these events, it's the people that make them possible.
So to actually leave home requires a lot more than just leaving some drywall and shingles behind, because at the end of the day that's not what makes a place feel like home, and the great thing about a home consisting of its household members only means you have a mobile structure to follow you wherever you go: Your mom's laugh, your dad's humor, the family's cooking, and your siblings squeals are not going anywhere, regardless of where you end up in this big old world.
Home will always move with you, always be your support system, and only grow bigger as you come to know and love more people, because once your physical home changes, you only latch onto more people to give you that feeling of security and love that you feel with your family. It's not restricted to blood line, it's the people who love you where you're at. That new scary apartment doesn't seem so bad when you think about the people you're taking with you.
So pack your suitcase, and feel free to shed some tears, because in no way do I mean it's easy to leave. Those drywalls and shingles may not actually mean anything, but they were your sense of security for as long as you can remember, but they aren't the things that wiped away tears from your first loss in baseball, took your senior prom photos, and argued over who cheated playing Pitch. Those moments were the people.
And believe me, they aren't going anywhere.
So webster, here's my shot at what home really means:
Home:(n)(adj)- a place, or feeling, of a sense of security centered around the unconditional love, support, and faith from the people who've been there since the beginning.
Example sentence: Home is where the heart is, and that's never too far away.
To express, explain, and exclaim the lessons life continually throws at me, and my take on how to deal.