Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Retrospective Introspection

Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody. ~~Jane Austen

Right now college means one thing to me:


which of course equal:

loads and loads of work.

Writing essays, I'm fine with. What was really starting to get to me was the never-ending checking boxes, filling out the SAME information over and over, squeezing words into limited spaces, number crunching, etc., etc., etc. in never ending succession!

*insert plaintive sigh here*

And furthermore, the endless and monolithic process known as "APPLYING TO COLLEGES" takes up lots of TIME.

*insert groan here*

Time that could be spent enjoying oneself, laughing and talking with friends, scrapbooking, journaling, going for a walk, or any other infinitely more enjoyable activity.

So. Those were my feelings up until about 5:00 today.

As I look over these words that I originally wrote here, I can't help but smile. I remember exactly what had happened the day I wrote them, the emotional state I was in, the frustration I was feeling, the heartbreak, the happiness, and the beauty that abounded.

Senior year.

There's absolutely nothing like it.

If you’ve already experienced it; look back on it and savor your memories.

And smile.

If you’re on the verge of it: get ready. You’re in for the adventure of a lifetime. I promise you you’ll be stressed out of your mind, you’ll get pushed to places you never knew you could go, and you’ll grow in unbelievable, incredible and beautiful ways. Oh, and you’ll have fun, and lots of it-even while filling out applications- as long as you make up your mind to enjoy the bumpy ride. It’s like a roller coaster-you can spend the whole ride worrying about flying off the tracks, and being scared out of your wits. Or else you can just let go, scream, laugh, put your hands in the air, and have fun on the Ride God’s put you on. Because there’s really no point in riding a roller coaster unless you’re willing to relinquish control.

So, on the way home from my show this afternoon, I stopped by my church's Eucharistic adoration chapel. It was lovely and peaceful, and I sat in front of Jesus, finishing up my calc homework. I've always found the adoration chapel is the best place to work through my problems. I now know that math problems can be worked out there as well.

Moral of the story: the Eucharist is indispensible, irreplaceable, and incandescently incredible. And so healing. The Eucharist is definitely what got me through Senior year. He’s the fix for every problem:

When you’ve got too much calculus homework-go to Adoration.
When you want a good cry-go to Adoration.
When you want to share good news with someone-go to Adoration.

I think you get my drift… :)

My favorite is when you don't really have anything to say to Jesus, but you just pop in to say hi real quick. Basking in the glorious warmth, joy, and love pulsating from Him, you just plop yourself in front of the Eucharist, and let go of your problems. It's lovely. Which is basically the reason I chose to go to Notre Dame-there’s a chapel in each dorm. Jesus lives in every dorm, folks. How wicked awesome is that?

Then, I got home, and I sat down at the computer and I got my first college application submitted! One down. Five to go. I can do this.

And, I realized I've been letting my laziness get in my way. There were some points over the past week I was debating whether college was really worth it or not. In reality, though, I was just bogged down in the mire of applications, and also, scared of leaving home, friends, and family. Then, I realized how absolutely stupid I was being. Because, I AM excited for college-I know it'll be awesome. Anything that is awesome won't come without hard work; and I hate to admit it, but hard work is an acquired taste for me. I have to teach myself to enjoy it.

Oh boy. I'm going to have to work harder this fall than I ever have before. But I'm so excited for it. I'm so ready to take on the challenge, and as Hamlet would say: the readiness is all. I'm so glad that I found the courage to choose to leave home back in May. Now, I'm realizing that life at home is going to continue without me. It's not as if your friends and family magically put their life on "pause" while you're gone-they continue on with their lives. Without you. Not gonna lie, my friends, that thought often saddens me. But then I recall my life's not going being paused either; it’s barreling on full-speed ahead. As C.S. Lewis would say: we’re all travelling into the future at the rate of sixty seconds per minute, whether we would wish it or no. Peace comes when we cease to resist that fact; we lift our hands in the air and enjoy the breath-taking beauty of the Ride.

There are certain parts of ourselves that we want to choke out of existence: the parts of us that snap sassy retorts to our parents, or groan instead of grin when asked to clear the table. There are other facets of our selves that we cultivate and nourish. I'm so excited to nourish the artist within me, to push myself, to explore, to tell stories, to drink in the joy of performing, the joy of art. I love it. And I can't wait to cultivate the scholar in me. The scholar who thirsts for knowledge. The student who relishes the victory of completing a laborious assignment. The student who grows in appreciation of her art. The student who thirsts for God and hungers for Truth.

Thankfully, we stopped at my Grandma’s house on our way down to Notre Dame. There’s a painting hanging up in my grandma’s house. I noticed that simple little drawing for the first time; and hidden in that picture I found the words Psalm 37:4. So, I looked up the verse in the Bible, and this is what I found:

Find your delight in the LORD who will give you your heart's desire.

And it’s definitely what I needed to here. Often, College overwhelms me with the limitless opportunities that lie before me. What passions of mine do I pursue? How do I make sure no hidden talent or facet of my person go unexplored? How do I become Balanced and Well-Rounded? The answer is simple.
Go to adoration.
Pursue God.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you, and all that jazz.
I love God-He’s awesome sauce. For many reasons, of course, but one of the happiest being that He sends us the answers when we least expect it.
Have a beautiful autumn/first semester, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Yes dear, that intimidating, exciting, fabulous, and just right awesomely epic time has arrived.

    Hope the first few days of college have gone smoothly!