some seasons of life squeeze in a lifetime’s worth of golden memories and significant events in a whirlwind of days. these past spring months have characterized this quite well. I’m currently in denial that March, April, and now May have flown past. I guess graduation will do that to you.
that’s right, it actually happened. senior year came to a close. excuse me while I hold my eyes open in disbelief (because at this point they’re still pretty red rimmed and blurry from lack of sleep and overwhelming emotions).
it’s going to take a while for this all to sink in, for this college journey to unwind within. but along the way, here’s some fun things I learned in this season.
1. Whole Foods has exceptionally good coffee.
maybe one of the biggest eye openers of my spring break trip. now, I’ve even wandered in several times just for that purpose. I also discovered smoothie bowls are highly underrated (how have I missed out on this for so long?) on that trip. so in general, the trip was good for my quality eats education.
2. Coffee shops are where my best reflecting & learning happen.
my saturday routines of coffee shops & reflecting on His faithfulness became crucial to surviving the flood and waves of emotions. it’s almost like I couldn’t process until I sat in that familiar space. that still holds true, as today, it is hard to unpack things unless in that environment. and as I have done that, with each journal entry and memory, the theme that has been often repeated in my life showed up strong again. As a writer I admire puts it, “His past faithfulness demands my present trust.” – Audrey Roloff
3. Sometimes you just can’t journal or share the stories in the ways you usually would.
I tried. then I’d find myself weeks behind on journal entries, running away from the finality and acknowledgement that writing things down means. I wanted to blog about it, but yet again coherent thoughts and steady emotions were illusive. so most of it has fallen out in Instagram posts, which is funny because at the start of this year I told myself a goal was shorter Instagram captions. who was I kidding? sometimes you have to write how you can. so Instagram and I became best friends and I realized the journaling would come with time.
4. I’m that friend.
the tendency to write novel-long instagram captions made me realize that I’m that one friend. the over-the-top sentimental one. the one who writes way too many words with way too much feeling and can cry just looking at souvenirs of a good time. and I am (finally) okay with that. with the ways my heart bleeds out on my sleeve so easily. it is a part of how I am designed.
5. It feels good to get lost in the stories again.
whether that was visiting DC and being profoundly struck by the history and lives lived that greatly impact yours today, or it was making the trek to the local library again like you did as a kid on the hunt for new adventures, it seems stories have been surrounding me. DC was a time where Hamilton was stuck in my head and the words “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” seemed hauntingly true. add that to this summer, with having the time to read for enjoyment and dive into films and shows, stories have taken on a whole new life within. it has left my heart full and my desire to write fully alive.
6. Healing can look like many different things.
after over a year of wrestling with grief and changes, sometimes it feels like you’ll never get anywhere. but healing comes in so many places, if you just let go of your expectations for what it should be. healing looks like hitting the gym. like notes dropped off in mailboxes and on tables. like finally writing two sentences in your journal (see #3). like dance floors. like sunset walks and choosing to enjoy the reality of where you are right now. like bringing flowers to the graveside and facing the feelings head on, when it’s the last thing you want to do.
7. The best songs are sometimes sitting right under your nose.
how I was not really aware of the song Lovely by Twenty One Pilots until recently, the world will never know. the same goes for a lot of other musicians, such as Switchfoot, where I liked their songs but never explored their old gems. moral of the story, take the time to listen to all the albums if you’re a newer fan of an artist, you may discover your favorite songs.
8. When you get stuck in the holding pattern and uncertainty, write out everything you dream of doing.
it may be the single most powerful thing you can do. to acknowledge your long-held dreams and hopes. crafting out the lines from the heart, a roadmap of who you are. it can give clarity to your hopes and a gentle nudge towards the next direction. if nothing else, you will realize what makes you feel more fully alive.
as I’ve slowly been unraveling what this means for my writing, creativity, and all of life, this quote comes to mind. to just do the next right thing in love in this waiting season.
most of all, if you want to write but don’t know where to start, I hope you’ll simply remember this: do the next right thing in love.
9. Celebration is indeed an art. And we have good news worth celebrating.
heading to a Rend Collective concert was one of the best decisions I made. it was right at the tail end of the semester, when everything feels a little weary and the goodbyes you are dreading start to creep closer, along with the whispers of fear about life after this. I’ve long been an advocate the concerts are the most transforming experiences, and this was no exception. as we sang about the good news truth, about praising Him because He is good in every situation & our future is secure, my heart instantly felt lighter. celebration is an art worth pursuing.
10. Tetelestai is Greek for it is finished.
growing up, I perpetually struggled with meeting expectations & living a faith that was perfectionistic. while I knew that it wasn’t performance based, that it was grace alone & Christ alone, the way I lived didn’t reflect this. lately, with all the uncertainty and emotions, I defaulted back to that mindset. of trying to make it on my own. of doubting His faithfulness when I feel uncertain, incomplete, and not enough. I have to remind heart over and over again where our victory is found. that it indeed is all Jesus, all His work. that our past is history & that He redeems everything, right now and forever. that it is finished & we live in this reality. that our hope & future is sure in Jesus. rest in that today friends. and thus, this word, tetelestai has been oh-so-perfect.
These seasonal lists have quickly become one of my favorite ways of tracking the months. Each time I discover that the simple details have impacted me in ways I never expected.
Will you join me in taking time to appreciate these pieces of your story? If you would like to share your own list, here is the link to a post where you can add yours What We Learned.
Here’s to slowing down and paying attention to what happened, especially in the overwhelming full seasons,