Fall is here, and let me just say… I’m extremely excited. Fall/winter have always been my favorite seasons, but I am especially excited this time around. I’ve been experiencing about 8 months (a.k.a. way too long) of summer because I was in Australia for 4 months and then experienced summer in the states when I came back in June.
I struggled through 2 summers, so I am MORE than ready to wear cute boots, scarves, and stuff my face with fall treats (and proceed to cover up the result of all those fall treats with a big winter coat).
As I watch the seasons change and leaves fall gently to the ground, I can’t help but think about this new season of my life–similar to the change the trees are undergoing around me. I think about the things in my life that have developed different shades. I think about the things I need to let go of, and the roots that I hold onto.
I still can’t believe I’m in my senior year of college. Time seems to fly faster and faster and I find myself holding onto the memories but also looking forward to my future. I’m realizing I can’t permanently be a college student (as wonderful, or as horrible as that sounds). I have to admit there’s a lot of fear in the unknown, but I keep reminding myself to take it one step at a time. I don’t need a 20 year plan, I just need to follow what my heart desires, and surrender that to God to guide it.
I am still coming to grips with being home after spending last semester in Australia. My memories from it feel like a haze and almost a day dream. I snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, adventured in the Outback, surfed on the Sunshine Coast, pet a kangaroo… Most of the time I can’t believe I did these things.
My whole time there was surreal, and now I can’t help but feel bittersweet as I reflect on it. You would think after 4 months (I returned from Australia in June) , I could just go back to living my old life, but it’s not that simple. I love my life here, but I often find my mind flitting in and out of memories/ flashbacks from Australia. At this point, I am trying to hold onto the memories and friendships I created there, but letting go of the sadness I feel since I can’t relive it all over again.
I’m also learning to let go of painful experiences. My family lost a loved one about a week before I went back to school. I went through a sort of haze the whole time. My mind was so fixated on reuniting with friends I hadn’t seen for 9 months (since I left for Australia), that I couldn’t quite handle losing someone important in my life. I was ready to embrace my college friends, but at the same time, I had to let go of a relative I’ve known my whole life.
Experiences and other people who have come into my life may have hurt me, but I’m realizing it’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to question it or question them. It’s all a part of the healing process. However, the important thing is to not stay there. It was crucial for me to not let those events keep me in that low place emotionally or define me. I won’t always have the right thing to say or immediately react in the “right way”, but I must allow myself to process these situations so that I can move on.
I’ve coped, which is not always a nice looking process. Things have hit me in waves, so I can’t expect all of the pain or sadness to disappear. It will come and go, and I will have those memories, but I’m not ignoring them. Sometimes the best thing is to acknowledge the hurt so that I can see I don’t hold onto it as tightly as I did before. I can’t speak on behalf of everyone who has had painful experiences, but I’ve found this is what I’ve gone through, and if this resonates with even one person, then so be it.
I know this is a more vulnerable post, but I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to read!
“Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love;my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” Psalm 13:3-6