I've been back at school for a week now; thus far, things have been both awesome and overwhelming at the same time. I absolutely love and adore my new apartment; it's a lot more spacious and definitely reflects more of my personality than my other place did (there's a beach/Disney/Comfort theme going on here). I love being closer to campus and being able to get to class within ten minutes as opposed to thirty or forty-five.
It hit me on the first night I was here in regards to how unbelievably blessed I am; I came home after seeing a movie with a friend, and as I walked though the door, I felt enveloped by a sense of peace. Dirty Dishes were placed rightfully in a dishwasher rather than piled up in a sink. My living room was filled with the scent of lilacs instead of mildew, tension, and overall disrespect. It was comfortable. It was mine.
Upon that realization, I turned on the classic rock station via Pandora and danced around the living room like a little kid during Christmas.
This may not be a big deal to those who live with one or more persons, or those that have been living by themselves for some time already. It's not just the physical space that brings me joy, but the \emotional freedom as well. And for anyone that has had the experience of watching a damaged person continuously run into a brick wall, you know what that kind of freedom feels like.
Deep down, I was a little afraid; not about coming back to town, but to get excited about this school year. On the outside, I made it clear that I was moving forward and that everything that happened during sophomore year didn't matter anymore. However, every so often I would have obscure nightmares about having to live with my friend again. I don't think it was me trying to live in the past; in a way, the previous circumstances might very well have had a psychological effect on me. I don't know why. Perhaps it cut me deeper than I realized
The weekend before classes started, I participated in a sort of welcome-back retreat for Intervarsity. One of my close friends explained something to me that brought clarity that I had been longing for throughout the summer; instead of wanting to shrink back and guard myself from a person completely, I should reach out to them and treat them like I normally would. It's not forcing them to be best friends, but not allowing our differences to get in the way of interaction. In other words, it's loving boldly. Right now, I don't understand all of what that means, but it's refreshing; especially whenever the other alternative would be trying my hardest to avoid pain, which almost never works.
My second goal is to be intentional with my words, and not allow potential reactions to say what I need to say. Simply put, I don't want to beat around the bush anymore. If I want something, I need to ask for it; it doesn't mean that I'll get it, but it's better to have an answer than to speculate.
I'm not going to make any predictions about what this semester will bring; it's so much easier to embrace things as they happen, and not put too much faith in people or circumstances for the sake of happiness. I do think that I am entering into a new season in my life, one that I don't have a whole lot of previous experience with. It'll be interesting to see how I grow as a person and where God takes me in that time.
With that, here's to junior year, and all the blessings, lessons, and growth that will come with it!