Do you know how much I miss writing?
Very, very muchly. So I'm going to try to get back into blogging, especially since I think I think I'll have things to say again!
Right now I'm reading blog posts from a year ago, and my goodness....it's incredible how much I've changed. Some of what I wrote just makes me laugh and roll my eyes, but other parts just make me miss the innocent, trusting, idealistic me of only last year so very much. Well, it could be argued that these adjectives could still be used to describe me (the first and last, at least), but let's just say there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then. So much has been lost that will never be regained, but I'm realizing that that's the way it has to be. To gain, we must lose. To see the light, we must first see the darkness.
Well, to start things off, college is going well. It's taken a lot of adjustment and all-in-all I'm very glad that it turned out that I'm still living at home this year, but I've made friends and am enjoying my classes. Studying....that's another story. Ex-homeschooler = studying is a fail. Well, for me at least...maybe other ex-homeschoolers nonetheless have mad studying skills, and perhaps they'd like to aid me? I'm not too happy with the grades I've gotten so far, but like I said, I'm still developing the fine art of studying. Plus, I'm taking a lot of music classes, this is the first time I've done anything musical other than sing, and everyone tells me that this particular school is very tough (they like to fool you...you'd think a two-year college would be comparatively easy, right? Not necessarily so, my friends.), so I'm trying not to feel too much like I'm made of fail. Just enough to spur me on to harder work and better things... Voice lessons, however, are pretty much made of win. I have a wonderful teacher, I've made so much progress already which is very exciting, and I'll be starting to learn a song in a week or two!
It's been a coming-out-of-the-tunnel sort of weekend for me, metaphorically speaking. As I've mentioned previously, this has not been the easiest year. Lots of things happened and made me question just about everything, but I've finally been getting my priorities back in order and pulling all the bits and pieces together to figure out who I am. It's amazing how much happier that can make a person, that knowledge that who you are and what you believe in is something you can stand by and not be ashamed of.
Yesterday, my mom and I went on a pilgrimage with some people from our church to this shrine, the site of the only approved Marian apparition in the U.S, which is pretty amazing. We drove there with a family from our church and had a great conversation with them on both trips. One thing the father said really struck me: "God wants us to be either hot or cold...He can't stand it if we're just lukewarm." Well, not that He'd technically want us to be cold, but it makes a point. It's something I've always known, but have definitely needed to be reminded of lately. I really do not like how lukewarm I've become, both in regard to God and in regard to other things in my life. After all, what point is there to a life that isn't lived to its fullest? What point is there in having beliefs if you're afraid to live them? What is a person if they lack courage?
During Mass I started thinking, as usual, about the future and all my trepidation concerning it. But something has changed and I no longer feel quite so hopelessly rudderless...less like a drowning person reaching for driftwood and more like someone in a perfectly decent boat that actually might be steerable. Putting God back into His rightful place of number one in your life makes such a difference :) The future is suddenly looking much less hazy, and I've returned to my original plan of transferring to Christendom next year. Ah, you don't even know how happy this makes me. This is the third time I've seriously revisited that idea, and just the fact that I keep coming back to it and every time it seems more and more right is very reassuring. WOOHOO!
Lots of things lately have been coming together to nudge me in that direction, one of them being a radio segment I heard on the Catholic station last week in which they were discussing colleges. The main point that stuck with me was that, in the long term scheme of things, four years is really not that long, and you will have ample time to meet a wide diversity of people in your lifetime. A lot of young Catholics on the quest for their ideal college, and I include myself, will sometimes balk at a college that seems "too Catholic", or just a Catholic college, period, thinking that they're missing out on knowing a diverse mix of people, and fearing that they're just locking themselves in a big bubble. But, as this speaker pointed out, these four years of your life are one little, albeit important, step in the big picture. It's doubtful that not being exposed to a wide variety of people at a huge public university is going to change you into a narrowminded bigot. However, chances are that four years at a college where the values and beliefs you have already established are shared with the vast majority of students will help you become a person who is rock-solid in their beliefs, rich in true friendships, and confident in the person they are. Plus, the rumor that all Catholic colleges are full of socially inept nerds is just that...a rumor. Just from my one visit to Christendom, I learned that while some do fit into this mold (and hey, that is not necessarily a bad thing...most nerdy people are absolutely lovely and fascinating), the majority are very normal young adults who dress and and talk and act like most nice, upstanding people you'd meet anywhere else. Why wouldn't you want to spend four formative years of your life in their company?
I know that this can vary widely from person to person. I've met absolutely amazing people who fit perfectly at the public colleges they attend, and I wouldn't deny that for many, this is the road to take. I've concluded, however, that my road to higher education is the road to a Catholic college. That's where I'll truly grow and thrive and become the person I should be. Sure, I could be happy somewhere else, but a Catholic college is where I'll be free to really become myself, to make true, life-long friends, to get the education I truly desire. We only have one life. Why settle for second-best when you could reach your dream by stretching just a little bit farther?
Oh, and presenting my latest favorite song...