Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Many Forms of a Friendship

Friendships come in all shapes and sizes. You really can't compare one to the other. Being in college and far from home I have come to really value all the different sorts of friends and relationships I have with people. They all seem to pop into your life exactly when you need them. And though its painful, some drift away when its time to let go. At least for awhile. Here are some of my friendship categories:
-The "We-never-really-talk-but-I-know-we-are-still-best-friends" Friend: This one is to my darling Christina whom I met by being an extremely awkward 6th grader. She was so tall and I was so short and I could stop staring at her! Ever since then we were best friends. I kid you not, that is actually how we met. Christina had to break the awkward silence by complimenting my shirt. She is at UCLA and I am in Texas. The two of us are some of the few who ventured out of state among our group of friends. I think that shows our similar sense of adventure and search for freedom. Christina is one of the most involved people I know and we will go almost a month without talking and then we can Skype and pick up right where we left off. She has been a blessing since the day we met and I know we will still be getting Starbucks together when we are old and gray.
-The "All-of-the-sudden-we-are-best-friends" Friend: Sarah. Over this Spring Break we hung out pretty much every single day and bonded so much I have no idea how I handled life before having her. We were friends a few months ago but now its blossomed into something way more beautiful. It is so exciting to watch friendships grow and change. Sarah and I met through a friend and we hung out a lot all last summer but never hung out much one on one. Sarah is a lover like me and she always makes me feel so happy and loved when I am feeling completely insignificant. She is the one I can really talk to when I am upset.
-The "Okay-only-those-two-girls-dont-make-me-want-to-cut-my-ears-off" Friends: Amanda and Emily! Met them somewhat by chance at a restaurant with some mutual"friends." Shortly after that night I realized I didn't really like any of my friends except those two girls I met at that Mexican restaurant. Basically Amanda and Emily saved me. I love them to death and would probably be digging my own grave at Baylor if it wasn't for them. Okay maybe that is slightly dramatic but you get the idea. Amanda is insane, weird, and excentric and never afraid to be her loud crazy self. Emily is quiter but still completely weird and quirky and full of surprises. They are such a blessing and always a reminder that there is some reason I am at Baylor.
-The "Are-you-two-dating?" Friend: Oh Matt. We met in 8th grade because he sat in front of me in Geography and signed his name on the Birthday calendar on the same day as me. After we straightened out the fact that he is indeed one hour older than me, we began passing notes all the time. I would definitely consider Matt my first, best guy friend who I really could tell anything to and that hasn't changed. Though he is way up north in Minnesota, we skype all the time. He is always there for me and I know he always will be. Hes probably the only guy who can say "You're so CUUUAAAATTTTEEEE when I have puffy eyes and snot running down my face and get away with it without receiving a slap in the face."
-The "Spontaneous-facebook-chat" Friend: Alex. He was a friend of one of my ex's and now neither of us talk to him but we talk to eachother a lot! This friendship is in its begining stages but he makes me laugh, we have a lot in common, and reminds me of home. I know we will hang out this summer though when I am home now that he sees me as a friend and not his ex-friend's ex.
-The "Oh-my-goodness!-you-are-from-Minnesota-too??!" Friend: Sean. Automaticaly felt the need to be his friend when I met him in boxing class because he understood where I was from. He knew the same culture, lifestyle, and quirky Minnesota things I did. And I thought maybe he would agree with me that Texas is a little weird compared to home. Having someone understand where you are from is a big step in understanding the person. I felt kinda like he already knew me once he knew I was from Minnesota and turns out I was right. He is a good friend who isn't afraid to be honest with me which I like a lot.
-The "Can-we-finally-be-'friends'?" Friend: Jae. My small group leader since 7th grade. She has been my leader at church for a long time and me and my friends would always ask her when we could be real friends. She finally told us that when we graduated the Senior High program we could be "friend friends." Now she is not only a mentor but a friend to me. She reminds me to pray and read my Bible but she also is a complete fool and can eat a horrendous amount of 0reos, hummus, vegetables, chips, and salsa with me while watching "Fairy Hollow."
Of course this isn't everyone but its a start. I was just thinking today how interesting friendships are. How once you begin a new one you never know where it will lead. That friend could introduce you to your best friend, boyfriend, or someone else you need. And as some friends go you keep the connections you made through that person. Its a comforting way of knowing that nothing was ever lost.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I always considered myself an adventurous girl. Despite the total girly girl I am, I love mud and climbing things and getting in to a little bit of trouble and discovering new places. When it came time to choose where to go to college I was positive it was time for a new adventure. One far far away from the Minnesota borders.
College in Texas has not been what I expected. Though to be honest, I have no idea what I expected. I decided to go to Baylor on some vague gut feeling. I don't regret that decision but I think I should have looked at my options better.
Sometimes having an adventure doesn't mean running away from everyone you love and trying to make it "on your own." Sometimes an adventure is finding out you love science when you thought you hated it, sometimes its trying a new food, or sometimes and my favorite time it means falling in love. I will always wonder what would have happened if I had stayed in Minnesota and gone to the U of M, but I have learned some valuable things from my decision to go to Baylor.
Your real friends will never leave you. I have kept in touch with all of my best friends. Skype is a life saver. The people you skype with at 1am with tears streaming down your face are your real best friends.
I discovered my high school romance is much more than that. I'm terrified but I am totally in love. I don't know why I am here spending four long years away from him. Nobody else will ever make me smile like he does.
My family is everything. Without their love and support I would be so lost. I know they just want me to be where I will be happy and successful. I just haven't figured out where that is yet. I am happier at Baylor than I have been but I wouldn't say I'm happy. Thats an annoying feeling to deal with and decide upon.
I don't know why I ran away. My senior year and summer after were the best days of my life. I want to be back with the people I love and who love me. But I also want to be independent and do this whole college thing on my own somewhere. I just have to pray and find what place is right for me.
But how can we really ever be sure? I thought Baylor was right. Maybe it was right but is it right for four years? A year and a half? Two years? Who knows...
I'm sick of being a runaway. Lately, I just want to come home.

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Grandpa

I never knew my biological grandfather on my mother's side. Fortunately I gained the greatest grandpa I could have hoped for when my Mammaw married an amazing man named Onis. He is one of the sweetest men I have ever known and will be sorely missed. I got a call from my father this afternoon saying Onis had passed away less than an hour ago. I was in complete shock. Hearing a loved one is gone when there is no family around you to support you is completely disorienting.
Onis is the grandfather I have known the longest. My grandfather on my dad's side died when I was only six. Onis meant something special to me. He was the grandfather who really got to see me grow up. He got to see me grow from six to 19. He would sit me in his lap and always tell me how much he loved this family. How our family opened up to him and loved him freely. I don't see how anyone could not love such a sweet man.
Onis loved the Lord with all of his heart. He would cite scripture from memory all the time. He would close his eyes in prayer while just sitting in his chair, shutting out everyone else in the living room. The last few times I saw him I heard him whisper "Take me home, Lord." It was horrible and heart-wrenching to me then, but now I realize he wasn't afraid of death. He knew where his real home was and he was ready to go and be with his Lord.
I remember visiting him once when I was around 15. I was going through some not so happy times of my life then and I remember him just telling me how special and wonderful I am over and over again. Perhaps he saw through my angsty, new teenager facade and knew I needed a little love. It might not seem like much but he was the only grandpa who has ever said something like that to me at a time when I needed it most.
For the past few years him and my Mamaw have lived in an assisted living center. The last few years we have visited have been more difficult. Onis was 101 when he died. He lived a long, good life and we knew this time was coming. I will never forget him playing his harmonica or telling stories I have heard a million times over. His hugs and kisses especially will always be my comfort. I still can hear him saying to me "You're a sweet girl, darlin." And some days knowing that is all you need.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rediscovering my Southern Roots

So here I am, a Minnesotan/Missourian raised to be a southern lady placed in Texas. I am the only member on both sides of my family born north of the Mason-Dixon line. This has made me the yankee of the family which I have always despised. So of course when it came time to choose where I wanted to go to college very few northern schools got my attention. I always knew I wanted to go live in the south where my family is from and where I've always felt at home.
My roommate teases me for the random southern things I've never heard of. The fact that I didn't understand some joke about people loving cows more than other people, learning that tank means pond and limb means branch and other fun very decorative phrases that I have always loved about southern language.
This last weekend we went to this southern/cowboy/texan store that was just totally beyond anything I have ever experienced. I know about southern things and I know my mama had horses growin up, my granddaddy was a southern baptist pastor, my great uncle truman was a cowboy, and the list goes on of family members who would have totally understood this place. Nonetheless I walked into Cavendar's boot shop and was totally fascinated by everything. I ran to the boots section (I'm sure seeiming way too excited to every southern-born person in the store)and pointed to one with flowers all over it and my roommate laughed and says, "yes now look at how much that one costs." Following orders I read the $400 price tag with dismay. I turned to her and asked her to show me less expensive ones and soon I was at gazing walls upon walls of beautiful boots (I love shoes, and boots are the diamond of shoes to me so this was just magnificent). I spent probably 20 minutes trying on boots with the assistance of Haley who explained that the letters next to the shoe size corresponded with the width, the pointy toe boots are not as comfy and make your toes grow together, and that its better for the boots to fit tight because they will shape to your feet and be loose after breaking them in. Ended up I chose a pair of boots that Haley actually owns. Roommates. Guess ya kinda rub off on each other.
I love my first pair of real cowboy boots. It makes me feel like I belong here in some strange, slightly superficial way. But it also makes me feel connected to my family in Texas, and my Papaw whom I never met but I know is proud I am attending Baylor, where he attended medical school many years ago.
I sent a picture to my best friend, Christina, who is currently at UCLA of me in my new kicks the night I bought them. Her reply, "I knew you'd be converted! But they're cute!"

Friday, October 28, 2011


I grew up in St.Louis, Missouri in the nose bleeds at Busch stadium. I have many memories of my family there. I remember my dad and brother teaching me how to keep score at a very young age. I remember my dad barely cracking open the peanuts then putting them on his earlobes, thus "peanut earings." I would then take the bag of peanuts and suck the salt off and put them back in the bag...disgusting I know but when you are seven opening peanuts is not so easy. We would always go to Ted Drew's after a game to get the best frozen custard, a St. Louis specialty. Those oreo concretes always tasted the best after hours in the stands cheering for the Cards.
The Cardinals seem to always bring our family together in an interesting way, especially in this age of so much technology. Tonight during the 9th inning of Game 7 of the 2011 World Series I skyped my parents in Minnesota. Being in Texas surrounded by Rangers fans it was so good to see some fellow Cardinals hats back home.
My brother is the only one in St. Louis tonight still and I definitely envy him for that.
My sister is in Minnesota but of course we had to discuss over facebook who was marrying which Cardinals player. I called the MVP David Freese which worked for her cus she wants "Carpenter with a side of Berkman."
The Cardinals are so special to me. I can't really explain it. I was six while watching Mark McGwire break the homerun record with 70 homeruns that year. The Cardinals will always be my team no matter where I live.
Can't adaquetly explain my joy tonight watching my Redbirds win their 11th title as World Series Champs, making them 2nd to the Yankees.
I wish I was in St. Louis tonight, my pulse is still racing. I can't believe this.
To end a very rambling/too excited post.
I love the St. Louis Cardinals. WORLD SERIES CHAMPS 2011!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Wander: to move about without a definite destination or purpose. Wandering usually has negative connotations but to me it is one of the most beautiful words. And I know I am and always have been a wanderer in multiple ways.
Dreamers tend to be wanderers and I am definitely a dreamer. I have countless childhood memories of me wandering off outside by myself, talking to myself, closing my eyes, spinning around...wandering into my own world. Tuning out completely the reality of everything else around me. Catch me walking by myself today and I probably won't notice you no matter how violently you wave your arms. Whenever I'm alone still, I am in my own world inside my head.
My sister left for the Peace Corps when I was in 4th grade. She is a wanderer too. Around that time I started to think about how amazing it would be to wander somewhere I've never been before. Somewhere across a big ocean. Some place that feels like another world. I think I terrified my mom by telling her I wanted to be in the Peace Corps at such a young age. Sorry mom, us wanderers can't be held back.
I always dreamed of going off to college as much as I dreamed about my wedding when I was little. I always knew I'd be far from home but I am definitely the farthest from home of any of my friends. This is terrifying at times and I miss home but I've waited so long to finally seek things even though I dont know what I'm looking for and find things by stumbling upon them by accident.
"Not all those who wander are lost" is a quote from J.R.R. Tolkein. I could not agree with him more. All of my friends have their major and next 6 years planned out while I am an undecided major with too many passions and loves that I'm having trouble choosing. I definitely feel like I'm wandering through college right now with no exact view of what I want my life to look like afterwards. I usually have a plan for everything so this freaks me out at times but I know I'm just taking my time to discover where I am supposed to be.
I am by no means "lost" though the last month has been interesting for me. Its hard for me to pin down what I want and don't want, what I want to attempt and what I don't, because everything is an experience so why not try it all. Sometimes I can barely handle my own sense of adventure though, and when my mind gets a head of itself, I feel off balance, and like I will never figure out what it is I am trully meant for I know Jeremiah 29:11 speaks the truth, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
I am glad I wander and wonder. I'm glad I am not too rooted in one place. I'm glad my heart feels at home in four different states, maybe one day Texas will be added to the list. But most of all I am glad to know that no matter how far I wander from home, friends, family, my feet will always be standing on the solid rock. And He wont let me get lost.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Missing home...(or something like it)

This year I have decided I hate the question "What is your hometown?" I always answer St.Louis, Missouri because I lived there until I was 12. I love it and still miss it often but classifying St. Louis as home makes me uneasy about how to classify Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
When my dad told me we were moving to Minnesota I was basically convinced I would be living in a frozen tundra/wasteland. Heck, you are basically in Canada when you get that far north. Somehow though despite the -20 windchill on occassion, in the last 6 winters I've spent there Minnesota has earned a special place in my heart.
When you have nothing to say to anyone in college they ask you where you are from and what your major is. Telling all the Texans I'm from Minnesota receives a variety of responses. After learning I'm from Minnesota they ask why I don't have the crazy accent. Then I have to explain St. Louis as my hometown but that I am from Minnesota.
I know a lot of people have this "hometown idenity crisis." And I never thought Minnesota would be a place I'd call home. The winters are horrendous but theres something kinda crazy awesome about living in a place that gets 30 FEET of snow. And I appreciate sunshine 10 times more in the summer because I know its not always around. Heres a short little list of the things I love/miss.

1.Fall (Its October 7th...90 degrees in Texas...)
2.The State Fair (I will miss it for the next 4 years. Guess I get to eat 4 times the allowed quantity of calories the year I finally will be there after college)
3.The ever changing weather (at least you get to mix it up a bit, one random day of 50 to bundle up for fun, then back to 70. Texas requires an infinite supply of cute tank tops and shorts.)
4.My friends (this is a given but I hung out with the same people all summer and when I walked in to a party and heard I Cant Stop by Flux Pavillion, I wanted to cry.)
5. Minnesotans (okay there are many stereotypes but "Minnesota-nice" and "Southern-hospitality" are two VERY different things and I miss my Minnesota peeps.)
6.Trees/green stuff (I understaaaaaand Texas you are in a drought and there are tons of wildfires but seriously even if there wasnt a drought...there are like no trees except on Baylor campus)
7.Uptown and the Lakes
8. So much ethiopian, thai, and indian food it stops your heart...or at least mine.
9. Being 20 minutes away from anything! If Waco doesn't have it...its an hour and a half to Austin.
10. Being vegan. Pretty much impossible when you have to eat campus food and live in a state that worships meat.

But despite missing home/where I am "from" I do love Baylor/Texas.
1. 3 spoons. Don't even feel guilty not being a vegan at this fro-yo shop. Its beyooond worth it.
2. Classes :) I love me some good learnin!
3. The fitness center supports my obsession with fitness and I have become obsessed with this Boxing/Conditioning class which is totally the reason I have avoided the freshman 15 (my instructor has little sympathy for our fatigue).
4. All the friendly people! Everyone seriously is so nice!
5. The salad bars. It is a simple joy to see kidney beans, chickpeas, and beets as a constant option for my daily salad.
6. Antioch, the church I go to here, is out of this world.
7.Football games. Love the school spirit.
8. I learned how to two-step.
9. I can finally recycle!!! My father was against paying for recycling.
10. 2 minute walk to Starbucks.

I am so happy here but I think of Minnesota and know I would be so happy there too. It makes me excited to go back and visit and excited I get to have a new and different experience here.