Tonight I’m lying in the bed of a family I’m house-sitting for over the weekend. It’s a little lonely, just me over here at the Carroll Cottage, but I like it. My iPhone tells me it would take me a mere 14 minutes to return home and fall asleep in my own bed tonight, but I’m staying here instead. It makes me feel connected for the weekend to the family that lives in this house, a family I won’t get to see again until Christmas-time; and it’s also given me time to think… and just… be.
My word for the year is “be,” and my summer this year has been anything but. This has been the best summer of my life, hands down, but it has been jam-packed full. Not much time to simply be. I’ve actually felt a little sad about that, and so I am thankful for this peaceful and solitary weekend in the midst of the pre-college mayhem.
While at my home away from home this weekend, many thoughts have entered into my head, and I’ve been able to give each of them the attention they deserve. Not too many thoughts, because you know… Netflix… but still, quite a fair amount. I’ve thought a lot about college and how I have less than two weeks before I move into Gardner dorm. Typing that sentence makes me tear up. I have mixed emotions about it all. Part of me is so excited, and part of me is kind of grieving this end of an era.
I know that a new and brighter one is just beginning, but I haven’t quite let go of the last one.
I really do think I am mourning it, in a sense. I’m a natural crier, but up that by about 95374, and you have my life currently. Places I have cried this week include, but are not limited to…
- my car, if any sort of sentimental song plays
- a fast-food drive-thru when the thought pops into my head that I’ll never be a kid again
- McAlister’s Deli over some salad and sandwiches with Dava Lynn
- last night with Karen and Matalee while watching a sweet movie (but any movie will work, people. I’ve got tears fo’ dayz), and then while getting into my car afterward because I love that family that I get to call partly mine
- in the middle of Target today, like a champ (that one’s for you, Bailey)
- the couch here today at the Carroll Cottage because something sweet happened on The Office that I can’t even remember now
- a few seconds ago because Lisa texts such lovely advice
- and Facebook, because we can’t forget the random, sweet videos that people link to. I used to scroll on by, but now I suddenly watch them all, like an addict. And then I google “sweet videos that make you cry” because that’s rational…
And the list goes on.
Send help. And Kleenex.
Something I don’t have to cry about however (although I’m sure you’re catching on by now and realizing that I do, heh) is how extremely thankful I am for my people… people that will not be leaving my life in 2 weeks, neither emotionally nor physically, when I go to college. Despite the adorable cards I’ve received from a few children I babysit explaining how much they will miss me when I go to college, I actually AM staying here (and coincidentally moving to their side of town, meaning I will see them even more. But, you know… details, details.)
And so I shake myself like hellllllo, you’re staying in Abilene for goodness sakes, Carlee, you are one strange girl to be so sad and teary. Right? I don’t know. I’m not saying there’s a method to my madness. I’m just someone that likes to feel her feelings. I’ve tried suppressing them and not feeling them, and this is better. Much better. Trust me.
And, please do hear me when I say that there is so much joy mixed in with the bit of sadness. I’m so excited for new beginnings, for new friendships, for a new outlook on life. I’m excited to finally have people I love so dearly as my professors, and to start a job in an amazing environment on campus. I’m excited to meet the girls that I’ll be a bridesmaid for in their weddings, and perhaps vice versa. I can’t wait to try new things, and to go to school to take classes in subjects that I love. Sayōnara, math class. I’m ready to go to the same school with people that I already love so dearly, and to grow those friendships even more. I’m anticipating traveling the world, and growing deeper into my own community. I’m excited to have a front row seat to watch children I love like siblings continue to grow. I’m thankful for that part of my life not changing one bit in two weeks; that I get to take my second families to college right alongside me. I’m grateful that I’ll get to see my sister make her way through high school and all the triumphs and challenges that come with that. I’ll even be able to go home, pet my dog, and sit down for a hot dinner with people I love, just across town. All this and more.
I’m so thankful for ACU, so thankful that I get to call such a wonderful place my home for a little while. Good things are in store. I must remind myself of these things and remind myself often. I must also remember that it’s okay and healthy to grieve the ending of a really great season in my life.
Things are changing, and they are changing oh-so-fast, but so many important things are staying the same. And so many things are changing for the better.
Ready or not… but I think I am.