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Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Another year older, and maybe even a little wiser, though I have ended the year with more questions than answers. I turned 24 on Christmas Day this year, and I am still shocked at everwhere I have been and everything I have done in those 24 years. It will never cease to amaze me what can all be squeezed into just one year—memories and new understandings fitting in day-to-day life like packing peanuts. Last December I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in English. I moved back home in the beginning of March, went to the San Juan Islands in April, became single in May, went to Dallas, Texas in August for a Mary Kay Convention for the second time, took a road trip to Alabama where I saw friends I made in Italy that I hadn’t seen in two years, and flew to Wyoming for the first time in October to visit my best friend. I even wrote a new song on my guitar about a friend comforting another friend in pain. Recently, my favorite thing has been receiving a VHS player for my birthday. I have three boxes of VHS tapes in my bedroom closet that I was finally able to take down from its dusty shelf. So I spent a lot of the weekend watching old Christmas movies like Annie and Anabelle’s Wish, as well as rediscovering how many Disney movies I have on VHS. If they were unbreakable, I would have been tossing them all in the air to let them fall around me like some would do with money.

I ran my first 5k this year and made a lot of new friends that have become a big part of my life. I have felt the pain of missing loved friends more deeply this year than I have in a long time and discovered that a broken heart truly feels like your insides are cracking in every nook and cranny. I cried a lot more this year than I have in previous years. But that didn’t make it a bad year. I drank too much coffee, spent endless hours listening to music, and slept in too late too often. But I made it through another year with my loan payments up to date and no broken bones or sickness. I’d say I’m doing just fine.

This year has taught me that every single one of us could be better communicators. Especially when it comes to listening. In the midst of wanting to jump in and give our opinion in a conversation, we forget that listening is a significant part of communication. Why should anyone listen to us if we don’t take the time to listen to them? Are we really so prideful that we think what we have to say is more important than what they have to say? You don’t have to agree with the person, but that doesn’t mean you won’t learn or rediscover something. My goal for next year is to also have more conversations that are important. That sounds a little arrogant, but it’s not meant to be. I simply mean that we have too many conversations that are surface-level because that’s what’s comfortable. But there is so much to discuss and discover when we take the extra step to talk about deeper things than the weather. Getting to those topics can be tricky sometimes, so it takes some practice.

I could also use a little more practice when it comes to bravery. For the past two years, I’ve wanted to take my guitar to the nursing home sometime in the week before Christmas and sing Christmas songs to the elderly who may not get many guests if any at all, and maybe even stick around to listen to stories of those willing to talk with me. But I have been afraid to go alone because I have stage freight. I am insecure about my guitar playing abilities since I make mistakes while playing in front of people even though I don’t make mistakes when I’m by myself. But I also have a soft voice, and I don’t know how many would even be able to hear me. I also don’t talk to many people I don’t know. It’s always been hard for me to strike up a conversation with a stranger, even when I want to.

I’m filled to the brim of my glass with love today that I don’t know how to give it out any faster. I’ve been telling a lot of my friends and family the past couple days how much I treasure them, and I find myself in tears most of the time while writing to them. I think that’s partially because of the fact that my monthly gift arrived this morning. But the other half is truly because I feel blessed beyond words. I don’t know what this year would have looked like without them. There are so many hugs yet to give, so many experiences yet to occur, so many people to meet and stories to hear that part of me feels like I’m wasting time sitting here writing this. However, I’m only human, and there are days my glass is tipped over, kind of like how I’d like to flip over the tables of customers that test my patience. But thankfully those days are limited. Emotions for me tend to be overwhelming because they hit me like a train, and sometimes there’s not much I can do to hold them back. I found myself crying quite a bit at work this year, no matter what I told myself to calm down. But I will take those days if it means I can love people more deeply as well.

Only God knows what will become of me by next December. But I’m excited to see where I’m led.

 

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I’m running out of money to buy coffee from Starbucks or Caribou, and I forgot to bring my coffee maker from home, so I have succumbed to the free coffee that came from church after the service.

As I sip from the flimsy white paper cup, I smile as I watch someone from the window of our college library smack a snowball onto the back of his friend, bursting into a firework. Homemade snowflakes decorate the inside of the window, and I’m tempted to take one down and fold it back up so I can see how they cut it out. I have never been creative with snowflake cutting. Mine become deformed shapes that are barely symmetrical.

Only four days of finals left till Christmas break, and I have been so ready to go home. But for small things, such as the gorgeous view from this window that overlooks the main square of my college covered in snow, I am going to miss it very much. Back home, I am not as close to a library as I am here, and there is a Barns and Noble just a 7 minute drive away, whereas back home the closest one is almost an hour away.

Though I am stressed about finals and want to see my parents, I am going to miss this place. I am studying abroad in Italy next semester, so I won’t even have anymore classes here till next fall.

Though Christmas time is coming, and I am sure you are all planning your Christmas dinners, finding cookie and pie recipes that your mother-in-law will approve of, finishing finals, buying last minute Christmas presents for people you feel obligated to buy for, or even starting to buy presents like me, take a little time to relax for a minute. Pimples have been popping up lately on my face, but it is kind of my own fault because I haven’t been using my time wisely.

You may be stressed now, but one day your kids will be moved out. If you are the kid, you will be moved out of your parents and having Christmas with your own family. Maybe you will move a couple hours away and might not make it home for Christmas next year. In the spring, I will be across the world and won’t be able to spend Easter with my family, so I’m going to use this time now to spend with them.

If you hustle and bustle everyday until Christmas, then be running and organizing all day on Christmas…before you know it, it will be over, and you might not even have enjoyed yourself much. You don’t need to buy expensive stuff all the time. It is okay to save some of your paycheck for next week’s bills.

Take this day, this week, this holiday to remember the things you are blessed with. This holiday is not about getting what you want, or leaving cookies for Santa. Thanksgiving may be over, but Christmas is a time of giving, and even in this time we need to thank God for everything He has given us, for the money and jobs that we can afford to give to others.

Have a good Sunday everyone 🙂

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