A Little Bit of Growing Up

I’ve been very absent in the blog world lately but I’m sure that only a handful of people have noticed. It seems like every time I try to write, something juts feels off. I’m not sure if it’s because my world has been spun in so many directions these past few months or if I just needed some time to breathe and think without expressing those thoughts. Either way, I feel like I’m well over due a post.

As I accepted this internship and prepared to head out, I’m not sure what my expectations were. I knew I wanted to see more of the country; I wanted to make more friends outside of my circle; and I wanted to learn more about myself. I think that all three of those have pretty much been met. As I flipped back in my journal to the days when I first found out I would be coming up here, I was so excited. It seemed to be all I could talk or write about. I was initially disappointed I wasn’t going to be going to Hawaii or some where tropical, but I also felt like there was a reason I was chosen to come up here instead. I can’t say that there aren’t days that I wish I was laying in the sunshine on an island somewhere, because there definitley are. But I also can’t say I would redo anything if I was given the chance – not that I would be anwyays.

If I would have gotten sent to a different location everything would be different. I would have never met any of the people that I have this summer. I wouldn’t have gotten to experience the beauty of this really weird state. Not only have I learned to live with girls from different states, we’ve learned to rely on each other and be there for each other. Being 1,300 miles away from my support system has been difficult, to say the least. On days when I simply wanted to go to my sister’s room and plop down on her bed to chat, I had to instead go to my roommate’s. On nights when I just wanted my mom to cook me dinner, I had to cook something myself or make a sandwich. To say that I’ve grown up and became more independent is an understatement.

I debated a lot about throwing in the towel and coming home early these last couple of weeks. I had many conversations with my family and friends about what I should do. Do I stick it out? Do I come home and enjoy the last few weeks of summer with my people? Do I say screw my contract? Or do I honor it out and suck it up?

I’ll be honest here, I actually bought a plane ticket. I was gonna board a plane and come back to Nashville with my best friend after her visit. I was gonna do it. I was so excited. But I had a knot in my stomach immediately after I bought it. It didn’t feel right. Quitting isn’t in my blood. My parents hadn’t raised me to bail when things got tough, no matter how much we missed each other. From as early as I can remember my parents have taught me to push through difficult situations and try to make the most of them.

One night, my mom called me and told me how proud she was that I had been up here for so long when I’ve been pretty homesick. She told me that it would be okay if I ended things a little bit early. She told me she would support me no matter what I did and that she wanted me to do what was going to be best for myself. I wanted to go home and hug her so badly. But I knew I would look back and be frustrated with myself. I’d feel like I gave up, like I wasn’t tough enough to finish something that I had started. And the thought of that was greater than my homesickness right then, and that was a lot.

So I refunded my plane ticket; I put my suitcase back in my closet; I decided to suck it up and do what I’d been taught to do. As much as I love traveling and experiencing new things, I’m not sure if being away from my family long term is what’s best for me right now. I still want to see so many places and do so many things. I want to study abroad for a semester; I want to hike the AT through, but I also wanna hang out with my parents on a Friday night, laughing as my dad makes fun of my mom for falling asleep at nine pm.

In a perfect world, I could bring my people with me everywhere that I go. But life is complicated and messy and some of the things that I desire and crave aren’t the desires of the people that I love the most in this world. I guess this summer I’ve learned to be okay with.

I have a couple of weekend trips planned with my roommates to wrap up the summer that I’m really looking forward to, but I’m also looking forward to boarding a plane that flashes Nashville. 

1,300 miles away and I still feel the love and support of my people. I still have a place to call home even if I haven’t seen it in a couple of months. I still have a life waiting for me back in the mountains, even when my time here feels endless. And I’m not sure if things could get any better than that.

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A Big Smile

Yesterday was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the air was warm, and the best part was that I didn’t have to work. One of my roommates had the day off too, so we decided it was the perfect day to go to Acadia Park and do some exploring. 

We packed some lunches and decided to call a cab to take us to the park entrance we wanted to be at that was about six miles away. 

When we got there, we decided to the do the Beehive Trail. I was excited, but a little nervous because the hike is basically straight up a mountain. The entire climb, my legs were shaky and I felt like I was hanging on to the metal rings for dear life, but the views were so worth it. The sky didn’t have a cloud in it; the water was the prettiest color of blue; the trees seemed to stretch on for miles. The higher we climbed, the prettier everything kept getting. 


It made me remember why I was so excited for this internship: I’m living in on of the prettiest places in the country and I get to explore it everyday. 


After we took a million pictures and finished the hike, we decided to go to Sand Beach, since it was right up the road. We really wanted to swim, but the water was colder than water should be allowed to be. We tried to brave it out and swim, but we only lasted about five minutes before our lower bodies went numb and we imagined our lips turning blue, so we got out. 


We laid around on the beach for about an hour, but the wind was blowing pretty hard and the sand was beginning to cake our skin. It was impossible to keep my eyes open, much less read my book. So we decided to explore some more. 

After we raked an incredible amount of sand from our bodies, we decided to to walk a short mile up the road to Thunder Hole. On the way, we got sidetracked and explored some of the bluffs. We ended up climbing down to the water and taking a million more pictures. The coast is breathtaking, freezing cold, but absolutely breathtaking. 

Don’t worry mom, it was safe and we were careful. ūüôā



This place is growing on me slowly, but surely. 

When we finally got to Thunder Hole, I was unimpressed. There were a lot of people there, more people there than I’d yet to see in the park. Leading down to the hike between the two cliffs were manmade stairs, making it an easy twenty step walk from the road. The actual hole was pretty cool though. The space between the cliffs seemed to be naturally hollowed-out and when big waves crashed in and filled the space, it sounded like thunder had cracked in the sky. We stayed there for a while and listened to several big waves and each time we were surprised it sounded exactly like thunder, even though we knew it would. 


‚ÄčI’m so thankful for days like this; I’m thankful to have the opportunity to live in such a beautiful place and on such a beautiful planet; I’m thankful for friends who explore with me. I can’t help but stop to appreciate everything I have. I definitely ended the day with a huge grin plastered across my face. 

Find You Here

I grew up a lot during my first year of college, but I’ve already grown so much in the short month I’ve been out of Tennessee.¬†I guess being a¬†thousand miles from my people didn’t really give me a choice.¬†

I’d be lying to you if I said my relationship with Jesus has improved since I’ve been gone, because it hasn’t. I don’t feel His presence here and I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t really been looking for it.

I had Saturday off work and I was frustrated with how the last couple of days had gone, so I knew that in order to keep my sanity and my positive mindset, I needed to get outside for a while.

So around 10 am, I started walking towards a trail. The day started out relatively warm. The sun wasn’t overbearing, but it was definitely present. The rain in the forecast kept getting pushed later and later in the day, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

As the day went on and I walked farther and farther from civilization, I began to feel better. I was going to be fine. I was going to make it through the next couple of months and make the most out of them. I was going to learn from this and grow through this. I was going to find Jesus in the midst of this chaos.

After walking for a couple of hours, I came upon a picnic area and stopped to eat my sandwich. It was the first place I had service in a couple of hours, so I began scrolling through my Instagram feed when I saw that one of my favorite authors Annie Downs had posted something, I went to her profile and began going through her posts, which then led me to her podcast, That Sounds Fun.¬†I’d listened to a couple of her episodes before and I really enjoyed them.

 

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As I was going through them, I noticed one with Ellie Holcomb, a Christian singer. I’d listened to a couple of her songs before and really liked them so I figured,¬†why not?¬†I was a good distance from being home so I might as well do something to occupy my time.

 

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In the podcast, Ellie talked about her new album¬†Red¬†Sea Road.¬†I immediately began to love her not only as a musician, but as a person. Her love for Christ runs so deep and she’s¬†so sure¬†of her faith.

Annie asked her what her favorite song in the album was and she, without hesitation, said Find You Here. She wrote it when she found out that her dad was diagnosed with cancer, but still kept a smile of his face.

Wow. 

What a slap in the face. 

She found His presence after receiving potentially the worst news of someone’s life. And yet, they still managed to smile and trust Him.¬†Why are we so¬†quick to blame God in our times of sadness and frustration, but so¬†hesitant to praise Him in the times of joy and happiness?¬†

I’ve¬†always¬†been envious of people that¬†feel¬†Jesus’s presence. I want to feel like the Holy Spirit is always with me.

And then I wondered: Am I even looking?  

Would I even realize if Jesus Himself stopped me? Or would I be too worried about the task I was on my way to do? Would I have my nose too deep in my phone to even look up?

It’s not that the Holy Spirit hasn’t come with me to Maine, it’s that I’m not looking for Him. Because let’s be honest, it’s hard. Sometimes we’d rather fall asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow than to talk to God for just two minutes or we skip our quite time with Him because we need an extra few minutes in the shower.

God is here, right now. All I have to do is open my eyes and look for Him. He’s right there during my walk to work in the rain. He’s right there as I look at old pictures of my family and realize how much as changed. He’s right with me, every single step of the way.

Before I left for Maine, my nana gave me one of her rings: a beautiful pearl with a gold band. I love it; it hasn’t left my hand and I’m not really a jewelry person. One morning as I stuck it back on after my shower, I felt the need to text her and told her how much I loved it and that I hadn’t taken it off and how much I loved her and missed her. I didn’t think much of it at the time, she was on my heart, so I let her know.

Later that day, my mom told me that my great grandma (my nana’s mom) had taken a nasty fall and was in surgery. I could only imagine how devastated my nana had been all morning.

It was ironic and probably not on accident that had been the morning I told my nana I was thinking about her, after all the morning when I mindlessly slipped her ring on. I can’t help but think that the Holy Spirit plays a role in things like that.

As I continue to move forward, I’m continually reminding myself to look for Jesus.¬†He’s not¬†going to leave you, find Him here.¬†

Reasons Why your Sister is a Lifelong BFF

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I can honestly say my life wouldn’t be as great if¬†I didn’t have a sister that was only two and a half years younger than me. She’s been my right hand long before I even knew what that was and I know that she’ll always¬†be on my team.

When my grandma noticed that I began having body odor and needed to start wearing deodorant, my sister cried. She wanted to need deodorant too; she didn’t understand why she didn’t if I did.

Two of my current roommates are sisters; sometimes when I’m with them, watching them talk or bicker or laugh, I catch myself smiling thinking about my own sister and how much I miss her. Being 1,200 miles away is tough, but I’m thankful that I have such an amazing family that will always welcome me home with open arms.

 

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So here’s to my baby sis.

She understands your crazy family, because it’s her crazy family too.

She hears all the family drama the same time you do and if she doesn’t, she’s the first, and usually the only, person you call to tell.

You can vent to each other and give advice.

As a big sister, it’s really important to me that I always have advice ready to give when my younger sister comes to me asking. But I’ve also learned a lot from her without directly asking for her advice.

Anytime either of you get an invite for something, you assume the other can tag along.

I remember a couple of times when I’d hang out with friends and she wouldn’t want to come because she wasn’t specifically invited, but I assured her if I was invited, she was too. And she always was. Besides, why would you even want to hang out with people if they didn’t love your sister??

Her clothes are also your clothes.

Let’s be honest, we all love when our sister goes shopping because we’re also getting new clothes, without having to pay for them. Having two closets is pretty nice.. Until she wears something of yours without asking and them posts a picture in it.. But you always get over it fast.

She makes you realize that you actually have maternal instincts.

If anybody even thinks about messing with her – guy or girl – you will step in before she even has the chance to defend herself.

She’ll be straight up with you when you’re being an idiot or making a bad decision.

Most of the time, you can’t even get mad when she calls out your bull-crap, because deep down you know she’s 100 % right.

Between the two of you, one of you is bound to be good at makeup and/or doing hair. 

My sister could spend an entire day watching makeup videos. She knows the top makeup brands when in Ulta or Sephora. Which is great, because I’ve never watched a single makeup video and I keep the same bottle of foundation until it’s empty and then get the exact same brand. Thank gosh I can sneak into her makeup bag and try out new things from time to time.

She will always stick around, no matter what.

Even after the worst arguments and fights, you’re still going¬†to be best friends. (I accidentally gave my sister a bloody nose one day and at the end of the day, she still let me sleep in her bed.) She’s the real MVP.

Few people are fortunate enough to have a sister, so you consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

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