March 26, 2015

Surviving College

How to survive college in ten easy steps... or fighting depression 101. Just kidding, I'm not going to give you a list of ways to fight depression in college. It might be nice if I had such a list, but I'm sure they exist out there in the world wide web. After all, depression seems to be a sickeningly normal thing for college students, especially here up North where the sun disappears for half the year.

I don't want to say that I'm depressed, I've never been to a counselor or doctor or anything, and I can usually still function and have never been to the point where I absolutely needed help. But there's definitely something that makes college hard. Some weight on my chest that makes me choke. Something holding my throat to try and keep me from getting out of bed in the mornings.

I don't want to complain, though, or make you feel sorry for me, or anything. I cried at least once a day every day the week after spring break, and it was so hard. But it's been so much better these last few days, and for me writing has always been a way to cope. I know I'm doing better because I can write about this. Last week there's no way I would have had the energy to write a blog post.

So this blog is all about the girl behind the pages, but even while I hide behind the pages sometimes I feel like I cannot exist until I've written myself into the pages in some way. This blog is me getting better. Me admitting that this first year of college has not been the best year of my life.

But this is also me hoping. Hoping that I'll keep getting better. That I'll find joy in the mornings, that I'll take pride in my work, that I'll seek out my friends. This is me taking off the mask and praying that what's underneath will still be shaped into a smile.

It's also a confession that novels have suffered because of this darkness, but a finger-crossing that maybe some of the poems I've spat out have some potential.

In class we talk a lot about how grief, shadows, and pain can lead to great writing. So here's to new writing and the beginning of spring, which I hope to be a sort of turning point. Just four weeks of school left, and I know that words will carry me through.

March 18, 2015

Spring Break!

Last week I got a beautiful break from campus chaos. I got to go visit my amazing boyfriend and his family in Texas for a week of not so bitter cold and less obligations.

Granted, I did get all kinds of sick half way through my week, and rather than relaxing and resting from school I ended up resting because I had no choice and couldn't muster the energy to get up off the couch.

However, I should point out that I wasn't sick enough to lose card games, and still managed to beat my boyfriend in almost every card game we played. I didn't quite win at Nertz, but I was close second. And when my boyfriend and I teamed up for a game of Settlers of Catan, we totally destroyed the other players in our wonderful victory.

I was hoping for a really dramatic exciting post about the break, but in reality we didn't do anything dramatic. I spent a lot of time playing cards, and several hours curled up next to my boyfriend in the car, and we watched lots of movies and episodes of Parks and Recreation, and just enjoyed finally being in the same place again.

It's so good to be in the same place, and without school in the background and without homework and classes to tear us about before we can have a full conversation. I definitely wish the break had been longer than just one week. I could use another break already.

The whole week was wonderful (besides the sickness) but one of my favorite memories from the week was Thursday morning. My boyfriend's whole family and I were staying in this weird little hotel-like thing for missionaries, and we had to wake up early to go to the next place where we were going to stay. Once we were awake we had to wait for about an hour for a load of wash to finish.

This was right at the beginning of my sickness, and I wasn't feeling great but trying to suppress the sickness and pretend like I was okay. Anyway, my boyfriend made me a giant mug of coffee and we sat down on the couch to wait. (Sitting next to him on the couch is one of the most comfortable things in the world.) And anyway, he said that he had come into the room late the night before after working on job applications and such, and had been laying there trying to sleep and feeling annoyed at the array of snoring in the room when all of a sudden across the room I giggled in my sleep (something I actually do rather frequently) and he "fell asleep smiling like a fool".

For some reason hearing him tell me that I laugh in my sleep was one of the cutest things, and then we sat and talked about the Bible story I had read that morning and other strange Bible stories and verses hidden in the pages of the Bible and I just love talking to him so much.

He is one of those people I can sit next to in silence and still be bubbling with happiness, but he's also one of those people I can open up with and talk to about anything. Talking to him feels so easy compared to other people. So normal.

And coffee, well coffee in the morning is just wonderful. It makes everything better.

So, now I've finished my gushing, cheesy post.

I just had a wonderful week with a wonderful man and I can't help but gush a little bit and remind myself of that happiness now that I'm back in this cage of college.

And writing? Well, let's just say Equity will take a turn, and I may actually end up facing the Whisperers again for a while instead of Equity Blue. Is that crazy? That's crazy, isn't it? But, hey, sometimes a writer has to do what a writer has to do.