Sunday, June 7, 2009

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

“Do you remember the things you were worrying about a year ago? How did they work out? Didn't you waste a lot of fruitless energy on account of most of them? Didn't most of them turn out all right after all?”

Dale Carnegie hit the nail on the head with that quote. Since Jess posted her year summary, I've been thinking about my last year. And how much has happened. How much I worried, only to have things turn out right. And what I've learned.

I graduated last may being so confident about college. I was going to go into Meredith, graduate in 4 years with a political science major, go to law school, work for 3 years, then join the FBI. I was stupid, and refused to listen to the one man who knows me and the school system combined better than anyone. My granddad. Dan had been in school....well, most of his life while he jointly raised a family, worked a job, and got his graduate and doctorate degrees. And then after he got his doctorate, he worked jobs that varied from teaching, being a head school superintendent for VA, and working for UVA among many things. Dan knows every aspect of the school system better than anyone I know. And he told me that I had no business living on campus my freshman year. I can remember sitting in the family room, in the exact seat I'm sitting in now, talking to him about college and what the next year would hold. And I remember him telling me that there were pressures in college I wouldn't even know how to handle. And if I lived 24/7 in an environment like that, I would succumb. Not only that, but my grades would not be top-notch. Unfortunately, like a stupid teenager not willing to admit I didn't know it all, I decided to live on campus.

That summer, I was busy in preparation for college. That july, though, something happened that, even though I didn't know it at the time, would send me on a downward spiral with my faith and my life. My granddad, Dan, was diagnosed with cancer. I knew he hadn't been well for the past year, but we all thought it was something else. But cancer....even that word evokes fear in me. And the pain I felt then and still feel now isn't even describable. That same month, I went up there and spent a week with them. I can remember looking at Barbara and Dan, knowing that I wanted that kind of a marriage. For Better or for Worse. In Sickness and in Health. They were always there for each other. Throughout the next few months, their love for each other was so evident. As the next few months passed, I would find myself questioning everything. I remember remarking to a girl at school that everytime we'd go to church or crusade, I'd feel like a pretender. How could a loving God allow the man that had meant the most to me as a mentor, besides my dad that is, to be taken away? It wasn't fair. I'm so glad now that I never let either of my grandparents know how hard this was for me, because it would have broken their hearts.

In august, we moved into the dorms. Let's just say Dan was right. I did lose sight of my Savior. Not that I was a horrible kid, let's not get that wrong. But I did rebel against my values. I went clubbing (once, but that was enough for me), went to a couple parties, dressed up and went partying for halloween, had my first smoke (cigar, and once again, that was enough for me), and went to some shows that I regret now. I never drunk alcohol at school (occasionally I'll have a glass of wine if I'm at my roommate's house or something (she's french)), but I was still straying from what I believed. My morals were loosening as well. I started questioning whether things I knew were wrong were actually wrong. And my grades did start to drop. Not horribly, but more than they needed to.

Around late October, Dan was starting to get worse. We didn't know how much longer he would be with us. So one weekend when I was home, and mom was up there, Dad and I decided that, per my suggestion, I needed to go up there for that day, too. I needed to tell my granddad goodbye. That was the last time I saw Dan alive. Even then, I could see how much he and barbara loved each other. Mom was there when Dan died on November 24th. I can remember getting the phone call, and just going outside to my private place on campus and crying. Dan's funeral wasn't until the 11th of december, one month before my 19th. There were several people who talked and stuff, but John Arvelo, my granddad's best friend and mentor, sticks out most in my mind. John's another one of those guys that I respect like Dan, so I'm so glad he's around.

It took until halfway through the spring semester for me to actually realize that I was an idiot and was rebelling. And things changed then. I'm now an English and History double major with an education licensure. Law school...may be in my future, may not be. It's up to God.

Friends: Oh, gosh. That's the thing that's probably changed the most in my life. I kinda dropped off the face of the planet from my highschool friends once I hit college. I made my college friends, thought I had made good choices, and was good with that. Until a situation in March and then again in May let me realize who my real friends are. There's a couple at Meredith still. But my real friends are those who have always been there for me. Jess, Lizzie, Sarah, now Kara, Julie...they've been there for me through all this. And I'm so glad to have them as my best friends. I love you guys uber much!

While on the subject of friends, I have to touch on family. My family is amazing. I was sitting in the family room at the farm over thanksgiving, and I realized that we're not cousins anymore. We are siblings. I trust every single one of my cousins and aunts and uncles with my life. Any problem I have, I'll go to them about. If I need college help, I'll ask Tyler. And I love our relationship. It's one that I know will continue forever. <3!!!

I'm living at home this next year and commuting. After having the freedom that I had, it's a little interesting and difficult to learn to submit again to the will of my parents. Today's lunch was a prime example of that, since I didn't want to eat anything that was fixed, and I had to since I'm living home now. But I'm relearning again.

In other news, I've got Lizzie, Sarah, and Kara's voice recital tonight. Then maybe going to swim on monday, just to say hey since I can't swim right now....because on wednesday, I go in for my second opinion on the torn meniscus in my knee. Yippee. And if I have to have surgery on that thing...well, swimming won't be an option then. Then on friday, Jess is coming over for the weekend while we go to the plethora of Kara, Lizzie, and Sarah's shows that weekend. :P And Sunday is Roberts birthday. (well, monday is, but I won't be there then.) Then the following tuesday, I head up to barbara's for a week to help her move into her new house. :) Busy week!!