Yesterday I got coffee with a dear, dear friend of mine. We were talking about the things going on in our lives and she asked me if it’s been tough knowing that most of the kids I started school with in 2012 are now graduating.
Honestly, I was expecting it to be really hard for me – again, another reminder of where I “should” be and how I’m not anywhere close to being there. But I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by myself in regards to the whole graduation thing. For one thing, this time of graduation, celebration, etc is all about my very best friend, Brittany, and I’m trying to focus on her and celebrate her and all her successes. I love her more than she could ever realize and she has quickly become more of a big sister to me than I had ever imagined would be possible with any other human being. I had given up hope on any sister-ly relationship in my life until I met her. She is seriously such a gift from God and just proof that His timing is indeed absolutely perfect! So, I’ve been focusing on her and celebrating her many, many successes with her. She is one of the most strong and inspiring people I have ever had the privileged of knowing and it’s an honor to be able to celebrate with her!
But also, at the end of the day when I’m laying in bed with Rachi curled up in a ball right next to me…at the end of my recital…when I take out my instrument to practice each day…when I sit down in the morning before my parents wake up and I have my cup of coffee, my journal, and my bible…in those moments when it’s me, my brain, and my somewhat-pieced-together-heart, I am not bothered by the whole “graduation thing”. And I have come to the conclusion that the reason I am able to be happy for all my friends who are celebrating and the reason it hasn’t really bothered me is simply because I am so happy where I am. Michigan is the perfect fit – the perfect place for me. I can’t imagine being anywhere else, nor do I even want to entertain that thought. I am so, SO happy with my teacher, my friends, my life in Ann Arbor, that the crazy, backwards, round-about route I took to get there is slowly become more and more unimportant to the day to day journey I am embarking on. Yes, my time line looks different but there are so many blessings tucked between the folds of my calendar – the lines drawn through days that passed where it seemed as though I was running an endless marathon or peddling a bike that was going no where. There are thousands of tears, lots of laughter, new friends, new places, adventures, self realizations, growth in Christ, and the list could go on and on. I am beginning to be proud of and embrace my story for what it is. I am beginning to not feel shame when people ask about my age, my education timeline, my life, etc. I am coming to terms with the fact that what happened during the past few years, did indeed happen and to be quite frank – I am so glad that it did. Without this journey I’ve been on, I would never have met my true sister, my violin teacher who I studied with for 2 years, my amazing medical team that keeps me going day in and day out, my friends from Colorado…I would never have ended up at Michigan and made the musical/educational growth that I have. But even more importantly, I would still be participating in unhealthy relationships and behaviors and what’s by far the MOST important outcome of the past few years – I would not have the testimony and relationship with Christ that I do now.
There is ALWAYS progress to be made – in ALL areas of life. I am not perfect. I am not healed. I am far from both those things. I still struggle daily with many, many things. But everyone has struggles in their lives and I am finally at the point where I am standing tall, speaking too the mountains in my life and not running from them. I am starting to become proud of my story and even of the person I hope I am becoming.
I am not there quite yet, but I am learning. I am growing. I am healing. I am becoming.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
― Anaïs Nin
“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world.”