A year ago, I was two weeks away from leaving home for the first time and in the midst of my packing and sorting clothes and whatnot, I took this photograph:
July 2013 was kinda really hectic, my busiest month of the summer. It was sad and stressful and exciting and hazy and very very warm and rainy. And now it is behind me as is most of this summer and nothing really went how I wanted it to in May when I unpacked all my stuff from school and reveled in being home for four whole(ish) months.
Last summer, I spent almost all of my time alone. I watched a lot of TV and a lot of Netflix and didn't read as much as I wanted and spent every single weekend at a graduation party, where I saw all of my friends. Importantly, I spent a lot of last summer in a Really Bad Mood.
Senior year was really bad and left me hard and raw and unwilling to really hang out with the people I'd spent the last four years laughing and having fun with. It wasn't really their fault. I shut myself off from them so that I could heal on my own, and even though I never let them in, I cursed them for not realizing or caring to notice that I wasn't alright and that I hadn't been in a very long time. (At the time, I didn't REALIZE or CARE TO NOTICE that they were going through their own stuff, too, see how great retrospect is????)
I didn't have a job but I wrote a lot a lot a lot and became even better friends with Rachel (we talked pretty much every day!) and learned a lot about myself by turning inward and thinking. I was excited for college, I guess, but more excited to leave all the hurt of high school behind me and to truly step into my role as an adult (even though in college everyone acts like they're still in high school for, like, two-ish years and I already felt beyond that).
I could write a billion things about college and how even though I literally lost every person I was friends with at university within a week I still really benefitted from the experience, but it would get trite eventually or whatever so I am here to notify that I have changed from the floral printed collared shirted long haired black and white filtered girl at the top of this page, just a lil bit.
I'm happier now than I was then and I feel better about myself and I like the way I look even though I feel small and big at the same time and I feel like I'm actually alive and not just a zombie. My time on my own helped me forge really good friendships via this scary vehicle known as the Internet and I am so glad that I got my year alone to have these friendships that I can't imagine the rest of my life without.
A year ago, I was looking forward to school and to "adulthood" for the wrong reasons. I was excited to get away from my family and my friends and my town and those aren't wrong reasons in the scope of other people but wrong on a personal level and this year, I am looking forward to so much, to my new classes, the possibilities afforded to me by attending university, even to things that are happening before I leave. Last year, it felt like all I ever had to look forward to was escaping, but now I've got so, so much more to be excited about.
And just for the fun of it all here is a pic of me a year later to round out this here article:
(Unfortunately, as it would seem, I look eXACTLY THE SAME!!! Kids entering college this fall DON'T EXPECT YOUR TIME AWAY TO CHANGE YOU you will still look like a little baby when you get home at the end of your first year!!)