change is just hard

Well…It is midnight on a Sunday night and although I should be sleeping, I decided to write my first blog post in a very long time. I kind of fell out of writing last year just being busy but now, I have a lot of thought in my brain so I figured I should write them down, make sense of some stuff, and hopefully bring up some important things.

Just a life update, I am now a sophomore in college. I moved in to my first apartment with two of the sweetest roommates. I am taking a bunch of art classes this semester (ceramics & fabrics whatttt). Life is pretty fun. I am very blessed and have lots of things to be excited about. With that said, I am not a person who is good with change. My mom literally told me last year “You don’t handle change well.” And she is not wrong. I am a very structured, scheduled and organized person. I love to plan and check and re-check everything. So moving cities, learning to live with new people in a new place and starting school again is no small feat. Today it really hit me how different things are and how I never let myself process it.

There are a million things you could be going through right now. But I would venture to say almost every one of you is dealing with a big change and it might be throwing you for a loop. So let’s talk this out.

Change is hard. And change is also inevitable. So it doesn’t help to shallow it down and keep trucking. I will admit, that has been my tactic this semester. Don’t get me wrong, I think sophomore year is already an easier transition than freshman year but that doesn’t mean that it still isn’t hard. I just haven’t talked much about it because I want to have fun and enjoy my days. So this is my way of talking it all out (probably weird idk). I had a friend tell me yesterday that my life “looks like a movie” from Instagram. Ah instagram, how you always deceive us. Because that statement is WRONG. Here is me, publicly stating that I. do. not. know. what. I. am. doing.  Mhmm and it is totally normal if you don’t either (join the club). In fact, most people don’t.

A close friend of mine, Marley, told me that last year, she would say “No one cares but me” to herself when she found herself worrying about what other people thought. I have been using that for a while now and it is so true. How many times do you worry about something that doesn’t matter. It is so easy to get caught up trying to keep up with everyone around you that you stop enjoying moments because you think people are watching. I know I am guilty of this too.

When change comes, everything is new and different and scary honestly. Then you have that little devil on your shoulder trying to tell you to act the part and have your life together. So how about we both turn the other cheek. Instead, look at the little angel on your other shoulder. The one who tells you that you are so freaking cool just as you are. You are going to be okay (promise). Nothing is too hard for you. No one actually knows what they are doing. You can have bad moments, we all do. And in those moments, call your mom. Text a friend. Hug a dog (any dog, maybe not yours?) Take a nap. Eat some sugar. Play some music.

We are all trying our hardest. Change comes and goes but we all have to deal with it. We might as well deal with it together. So I hope my ramblings made someone feel a little less alone or a little more understood. If you are in need of a friend, reach out because I like coffee and new friends. If you have friends, do something special for them. Everyone needs a little love sometimes, especially yourself.

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to all my single ladies

Ah it is that time of year again when target is stocked with even more chocolate, teddy bears and pink than usual. Half of you see this and smile with dreams in your head about a special day all about l-o-v-e. Then the other half of you see this, roll your eyes and make a gagging noise. I can’t decide which of these I am. Partially because I honestly love the colors of valentines day and love any excuse to buy myself chocolate. But, then the dread seeps in, so I wanted to address single-ness. Not only because national singles awareness day (February 14th) is approaching but because this is something I feel strongly about but have yet to talk about openly. So excuse me if I rant…

If I am being completely honest with all of you, I pray nightly for my future boyfriends and husband in whatever they are facing at the moment, and pray that I will find him soon. I have been single for two years now. In that time, I have learned more about myself than I did in the previous 17 years. And that is a perk to having time for yourself. You can really take time to soul search, try new things and honestly do whatever you want because only you are in charge of yourself. This is not a secret and most of you know this already. I just wanted to tell you again in case it didn’t stick the first couple of times. But like many many people, we watch movies, see pictures on social media and have a wedding planning board on Pinterest that speaks for the hopes we have and we wish we could only have a love like Allie and Noah (from the Notebook). So this is what I have to say about that.

We are always exactly where we are supposed to be. No matter the situation, not just relationships, there is no point rushing our lives because what is happening right now matters. So maybe you are waiting for a relationship, but are you being present? Are you making yourself the best version of yourself so when that person comes along, they are seeing the real, honest you? Are you focusing this personal time on God? That is the biggie. I have felt closer to God the most when I don’t have to worry about another person. And honestly, a relationship with God is the best relationship you will ever have. He will love you better than any partner could. He is alway there, always giving you attention, always willing to help, will never leave, will never EVER stop loving you. You want a relationship that last forever with unending love? Be with God. We are only on this Earth for so long. It is so important to have that deep loving relationship with Him so we can then spend eternity with Him in heaven. Sounds better than chocolate and a card right?

One of the things that makes me so mad is when people believe they, or others, are less worthy because they are not dating anyone. Like…WHAT. How could that ever make sense? We were created as individuals. If we were meant to only have purpose if we have a person with us, we would be born attached at the hip. So let me tell you that you are your own person. The other cliché thing that makes me cringe is when people say “you are my better half. You complete me”. Girlfriend, let me tell you, YOU ARE A WHOLE PERSON. A partner does not complete you. You are not half a person. A boyfriend or girlfriend does not, and never will, make all your problems go away. That person will not solve all of your problems.

Happiness is an emotion that we choose. I firmly believe we can choose to be happy and our mental process effects our mood. So if you are single and thinking “I will be happy when I start dating someone…” or “I will be happy when I am married…” then wake up people! You have everything you need to be happy in the moment. Another person can not be the only cause of happiness. I personally love doing a photoshoot with all my friends or having dance parties late at night or making chocolate chip waffles. All of those things bring me happiness. You have power over your own happiness so take control of it. Think of all of the things that make you happy.

So here is my resolution to the gagging in target problem. Use valentines day as a day to tell all of the people in your life how much you love them. Not one person, but anyone who is special to you whether it is your mom, your friends or your dog. Do sweet things for people, show strangers love, leaves notes places. Show people the love God has for you and for them. Who said you have to have a partner to spread love this valentines day? And also, go buy yourself flowers and chocolate. You deserve it.

 

 

settling like the little house you are

Thank goodness it is Friday. The weeks fly by but sometimes the days are long. But I just got done cleaning the dorm and have my laundry going so it is a productive day and good end to the week. Here in college, it is easy to have a really bad day then a really good day. And I feel that is true with anyone during any walk of life. We all are on this crazy emotional roller coaster called life. So how do you respond when someone asks “How are you doing?” or “How is college going?”? Most of us say “good” but truthfully answer the question in our heads. Or if you are a grammar person, you say “well”. But what would you say if you answered honestly?

To be completely transparent, I have had a rough go of college. When people ask how it is going, I feel like I am lying if I say “good”. It is not easy in the education aspect. Or the social aspect. Some days I feel so loved, like I am starting to thrive. Then, I have days were loneliness and anxiety are very real and I call my mom like five times (sorry mom). I know this is normal and all people go through season of this. My new goal is to settle. When you see the word settle, I am sure you think of many different things. Settle as in to settle with whatever is given while it may not be the best option. Or maybe you think about settlers that travel and build in new places. But I think of a house. An old house that creaks and shifts where it is, getting used to the land it is on. That is what I am trying to do. Settle like a house. I was placed somewhere, on land, probably foreign to me. God planned out the blue prints and knew exactly where He wanted me and what the finished product would look like. So here I am in Athens, a new little house, shifting and getting used to the land I was built on. Some days are sunny warm days and other days it is stormy and I have to endure it. We are all little houses, placed somewhere, settling and waiting out storms.

It is so easy to dwell on the hard days or believe they will last forever. But then one morning, you wake up and everything is so much brighter. More people smile at you, you make new friends and get a good coffee. Having to weather those storms really makes you appreciate the small things that bring you little moments of joy. If you can find those joys, then you tend to spread that happiness around. Spread it around to everyone you see! Spread it through all the neighborhoods of people with their settling houses. We are all settling, with our creaky floorboards or doors that stick. No one is perfect and some houses are fighting storms and leaks. But it is not hard spread joy around and help with those leaks and creaks. So learn to be okay with settling. We all do it. It may look different, but it isn’t easy for everyone, no matter how pretty their house is (literally & metaphorically).

out of breath but not because of the hills

I hesitate to write this because it could potentially come across as dramatic or emotional but at the same time, I need to get these words off of my chest and I think someone out there will agree with what I have to say.

I want to address the elephant in the room here; college is hard. Like, no one told me what it would be like. People say “ahhhh college!!! best!!! four!!! years!!! of!!! my!!! life!!!” so here I am, sitting here feeling very lonely and confused about everything wondering what the heck they were talking about. I am really not getting that warm fuzzy feeling about walking around in the humidity smiling at strangers hoping they will turn into my future bridesmaids. Today while I was eating lunch, I ran into a girl I met at orientation. We talked a little and she was asking how my classes were going and how I was doing. Then she asked “so have you made lots of new friends or do you still have the same ones you came into this with?”. I just sat there and said “……” with my mouth open. Is it just me or is it only the second month of school and I am still trying to meet people? SO naturally after that I started to freak out and wonder what the heck is wrong with me. Someone please tell me I am not alone.

When I came into this, I was worried about being homesick for a couple weeks but no one describes what freshman year is like. For me personally, it feels like I am holding my breath. I have moments when I can breathe, like when I go home. But other than that, I am running around campus chasing buses just holding my breath. That is a really hard thing to do! I am still looking for those people, places and moments that allow me to relax and breathe. I know eventually I will find all of that but it is not easy right now.

At this point in my blogs, I usually turn it around and have a way to tie up all of my anecdotes into a central message. And that is where this post is different. I have no resolution to these stories. I am struggling right along everyone else. Maybe I felt the need to say this because it is easy to look at social media and think someone has everything put together. I’ve had people tell me “wow you look like you are living your best life”. And obviously I am not at the moment. So this is a completely vulnerable look into my life. Don’t get me wrong, I have had many fun, happy moments, but sometimes it really hits you. I think the main reason I am posting this is for support. To gain and give support. Some of you are (hopefully) feeling the same way and after reading this, you should text me and we can all struggle together. If you aren’t in college yet, well I am glad I can be here to tell you it is not all rainbows and unicorns. I am sure this time next year, I will be in a very different place but currently, this is where I am. My devotional this morning was talking about where God has you presently. Most of us live for the future but God wants us to stay present. That may be a challenge right now but these suffering will only lead to joy. So while I focus on the present, I have to remember to do something we all do without thinking. Breathing. No more holding my breath. I have to live in the moment and breath through it. Let’s all take a big ole gulp of air together.

knock that fear straight out of you

“Hi I am Emma. I am from Gainesville Georgia and I am a Fashion Merchandising and Journalism double major”. These are words I have said about a thousand times in the past month. I have met so many people and it wasn’t until recently that I realized I loved meeting new people and was not afraid to talk to them. I used to be terrified to order a coffee and would stumble through “can I have a latte with almond milk please”. And if I had to make a phone call, oh Lord help me! Don’t ask me why it freaked me out so much because I have no clue. But college has changed me man.

I now get on the elevator and just say something random to people to fill silence. I can’t stand to be alone. Usually, I would tell you I am an introvert. I like having alone time to think and ponder everything in life and people can be too much for me sometimes. Then the other night, I was talking to my friends and I mentioned being an introvert and my roomies said “wait, Emma you are an introvert?”. So I kept thinking about and how if I get the chance to sit alone, I text a friend to come down to hang out or I go sit in a coffee shop with other humans. I haven’t had alone time in weeks and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So maybe I am an extrovert now? Who knows. Can you change that fast? I have made plans for most days I am home to see my friends and honestly don’t know what to do when I don’t have plans. The amount of times I have reached for my phone to text one of friends that is super far away to come see me is hilarious. I just really love talking and want to be around people all the time.

I told my mom that college has taken all fear out of me. Being thrown into the crazy mess of it all and being independent really makes you pull up your pants, push your glasses farther up your nose and keep going. And nothing makes that easier than being around people. Even if they are just there to make you laugh, the fear is gone. So maybe I am an extrovert that will say weird things to you in the elevator just so it isn’t quiet but I would take that any day over stumbling through a coffee order. Go do something crazy. Crazy may just knock the fear our of you and make you never shut up. Either way, I don’t mind it one bit.

something to chat about over chips and guac

As I sit here on my back porch watching the rain, I think about the past month of my life. This is the first time I have been home in about four weeks and the first time I have had a day with no obligations. It is a good feeling but it is definitely weird not having anything to do. I have a couple days here at home to rest before I head back to Athens. While I look back on the many things I have learned these past couple weeks, I have noticed I have no patience. I know that sounds harsh but I have come to terms with it.

Growing up, I had three younger brothers so you can imagine patience was a virtue I needed but didn’t necessarily use often. After I moved out, I found I still needed the patience I didn’t have but for different things. I want to know what to major in, what career would be best for me, why I am not in a relationship, all of these questions about my future that I want answers to ASAP. All of this was buried in the back of my mind and the Lord was trying to tell me through different things that I needed to work on patience. I heard a blogger talk about how the Lord showed her that she has thorns around the patient part of her heart and as I listened to her talk about it, I realized I was the same way. I keep hearing about patience and heard quotes like “everything happens for a reason” and “Your will be done”. Both of those quotes are things I have told myself growing up to keep my trust and faith in God.

Finally, a couple days ago, I was trying to pack to go home, finish a project for my biology class and order chipotle online (remember free guac day when they broke the internet?). I was trying to do too many things at once and wanted it all to go my way. I ended up sitting in my dorm crying over the broken chipotle app (yes, I was being far too dramatic). I happened to look at an instagram caption that talked about patience so after weeks of hearing “patience” whispered in my head, I read the caption and something clicked. The song “Take Courage” by Bethel was quoted so I went and listened to it. “Slow down, take time, breathe in, He said, He’d reveal what’s to come…He’s in the waiting“. It got me good y’all. Go listen to the lyrics if you need to work on patience too. It isn’t the patience you practice when a kid is doing the “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you” thing; it is the “I have no idea what is going to happen in my life but I want to know right now” kind of patience. It takes some extra faith and a lot of fighting with yourself. I have definitely not perfected this and am not even close to having the patience I need. But I know I need to work on it and have accepted that I don’t have as much patience as I should. So if you find yourself wondering why you can’t just know how your life will unfold or you find yourself crying about chipotle, go give Bethel a listen, say an extra prayer for patience and trust, and let me know if you want to talk about ways we can be more patient in life. I would love some suggestions or just accountability. We can even talk about it over chips and guac.

building a home in my heart

I am currently sitting in a coffee shop and should totally be studying for a biology exam I have in a couple days but my heart feels like writing so I’d rather follow my heart than listen to my head. I am now three weeks in to college and I remember last time I wrote on here, I talked about fear, uncertainty, worry, etc. I wish I could go back just three weeks and tell myself to keep my chin up. It is not scary or terrible. You won’t be lonely forever. You probably won’t even want to go home (I haven’t yet but love ya fam). I just feel so at peace and content.

There were many prayers that built up those couple of weeks on behalf of the future then, or my current life right now. Many were mine, some from my momma and some from friends & maybe strangers, if I am lucky. Social media is great for cheering on others when they go through difficult times and I definitely felt the love. But today, I reflect back and almost laugh at myself. It was a big unknown, and still kinda is, but I had no idea that while it would be scary, it would also be the best thing to happen to me. I have met the closest friends already and I think I may have to follow them around the rest of my life because I can’t imagine living without them. The people I have met, the tiny home Katie & I have made (my freaking amazing roomie) and the new adult freedom we have can only be put into the word “content”. My soul is at peace and my heart is still. Worry, stress, anxiety don’t find me often and if they do, I have lots of hugs waiting on me if I just ask.

I have learned to carry my home. I was always the homesick child at sleepovers and just knew college would be the same way. But recently, I have texted my friends after class saying “I am home so come to my room.” Home could be a place and it definitely was to me for 18 years. But then I packed up “home” in my heart and here I am with a new home. Home includes the people in it. And I have been building a home in my heart. It is full of the people I have met and fallen in love with. My little heart home is so warm and cozy. I can open up the windows on cool days and let in the fresh air. I can deep clean it when I am upset and the people that make it a home help me. It will always be there and can’t ever be destroyed. It may be a home for some people for a long time, or just hitch hikers stopping by for a little warmth. Either way, I hope my heart home is a place of light people can come to whenever they need. I want it to be open, inviting, and aesthetically pleasing (sorry I had to). If I have learned anything from my new friends, it is that giving is better than receiving so I hope I can wear my heart on my sleeve and let people in, whether it is for years & years of friendship, or just a pit stop. The door to my heart home is always open, stop by if you need. I am here.