home is where your thoughts are


This is only the second night that I’ve been home since finishing up with school, and I can already tell that it’s going to be a long couple of months.  It’s not that I’m counting down the days until I leave for China, and it’s certainly not the case that I dislike being at home.  I am very thankful to have a home to come to and a place to rest and relax before embarking on the next big path in my life.  However, being at home can be tough, and for me it takes a lot of mental preparation.  There are just so many memories from so many years of living here, and after being away for a while, the memories just seem to come flooding back, demanding attention.  It feels as if I must remember each memory as it was and store it away again, even with memories that I’ve done this with dozens of times already.  Coming home, for me, often means confronting the past and things that I thought I’d left behind.  Truthfully, I’m beginning to wonder if this ever ends.  Certainly all of the memories aren’t bad.  Most of them are wonderful, and I love and cherish them.  I’d just like to come home once in a while without feeling emotionally bombarded by all of the memories.  It’s really hard to explain, and I don’t feel like I’m doing a great job at all, but maybe you understand.


The problem with thinking about all the things that happened here when I was in high school and middle school is that these memories are endless and they keep me up at night.  I’m not sure why they all come flooding back like this or why I feel that each memory requires extra time, thought, and attention.  That’s just the way it seems to go.  After all, I spent 7 years of my life in this very bedroom at night replaying the day, cataloguing memories, and praying and preparing for the next day.  I guess it’s just a habit, but it’s gotten so bad that oftentimes I have to sleep on the couch (which is rather comfy, thank goodness) or in the guest bedroom just to slow down my thoughts and fall asleep at a decent hour.  Well, it probably also doesn’t help that I don’t really have an agenda here.  I’m not super busy making more memories, so I guess it makes sense that my mind defaults to the old ones.  I have a tendency to spend way too much time in the past, so I’m going to have to find  a way to focus more on the future and get some rest!

Thanks for reading my random rants.  Hopefully I can catch a few hours of sleep now that I’ve vented for a bit.


Loyal Sons & Daughters

Loyal Sons & Daughters

For my senior homecoming, we painted the guys up to read “Come all ye loyal sons &,” and the ladies stood in as the daughters on the front row. “Come all ye loyal sons & daughters” is the first line of Mercer’s fight song, which has found a special place in my heart over the past three years.

homecoming no. 8

Do you ever have one of those days that takes you back several years and at the same time makes you wonder how the future will turn out?

My best friend from high school was nominated for homecoming court for her university.  When I found out about this a couple of weeks ago, I was not surprised at all.  Carmen is the kind of person who seems to instantly click with anyone she meets.  Carmen genuinely cares about people, and that really inspires the way she interacts with others.  It’s no surprise to me that everyone sees the best in her because that’s exactly what she does–she sees the best in everyone.  I am very proud of her for staying true to herself throughout college and for loving and inspiring others around her.

This is a photo of Mary Kathryn, myself, Carmen, and Carmen’s sister, Joy Beth, from the homecoming game today:

Honestly, the fact that Carmen was on the court was not what took me back to the days of high school.  It was more of the fact that this was one of the few times Carmen, Mary Kathryn, and I have been together since high school.  The summer right before my freshman year in high school, Mary Kathryn and I met when we were trying out for cheerleading and volleyball.  Carmen and I met the week before school started when we were both shopping for school supplies in Office Max with our moms.  I remember her mom picking up a rolling backpack with light up wheels, and we all laughed about how much we would get made fun of if we had those for the first day of high school.  In those moments, I had no idea just how much these two would mean to me over the course of high school.

This photo is from the first day of my junior year of high school.

Looking back on how far we have come together, and sometimes apart got me to thinking about where we will end up in five, ten, fifteen plus years.  We all seem to be going our separate ways: getting married, applying to Teach for America, living abroad in China.  Our lives really couldn’t be taking us in more different directions, but there is something in me that really wants to believe that the past we have all shared together is stronger than anything in the future that will threaten to pull us apart.  Perhaps that is wishful thinking, or perhaps that is exactly the kind of thinking that keeps good friends together–probably the former.  And even if we do not remain close (because let’s face it, we don’t always talk or hang out like we used to), we still have our memories that we have shared together.  I know that sounds trite, but there really is something powerful about a memory, don’t you think?

To close, here is one of my more recent favorite songs about high school memories:

When I think about you, I think about seventeen;
I think about my old jeep.  I think about the stars in the sky.
Funny how a melody sounds like a memory, like a soundtrack to a July Saturday night.