This year has held a lot of changes. I graduated high school, moved to a new place, and started school with thousands of strangers. Most of these changes are good. In fact, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I've met so many new people and made so many new friends that made me think "How have I not been friends with them my whole life?"
I have found my people and my place slowly yet surely.
And then I left for five weeks.
I can admit, other than celebrating Christmas with my family, I was wholeheartedly dreading Winter Break. I mean it's over a month in a place where my entire life used to be. It's seeing old friends and being a little confused because all of a sudden you're living the same life you did during high school, but it just doesn't feel the same.
I've gotten to spend intentional time with old friends from different colleges and those still in high school (ok the one who is still in high school--hey Audrey). I have realized that these will always be my people and I treasure our time together. But I've also realized my new people are hours (or continents away--hey Gabie) away.
I'm stuck in this weird in-between where I'm waiting. Waiting to go back to school. Waiting for the same exciting plans I see everyone else having on Instagram. Waiting to see my college friends. Waiting to feel just as settled as I was a few short weeks ago.
Amidst the weirdness of this break, I think I'm finally realizing just what this break is for. Rest. Family. Peace.
I realized just how intentional this time should be for family.
I have a bad habit of putting this weird pressure on myself that if I'm not hanging out with friends almost every day then I am somewhat left out--not included in what I think everyone else's winter break looks like. I see everyone's thumbnails of winter break on Instagram and think. "UGH! I guess this means I have to constantly be with friends, too." There's nothing wrong with this, but there is something wrong with being with friends for the sake of being with friends.
I believe in intentionality, realness, and firm plans (if you know me you know this is annoyingly true). But I also believe in growing in self, in spirit, and in family.
Going to movies with my mom, learning how to crochet, reading books, journaling--THIS is what rest is. It's basking in purposeful and intentional silence to hear things beyond what I can in the hustle of everyday life. It's sitting in the kitchen with my Mimi and watching her cook dinner.
This IS a weird, in-between time where you're so used to being simultaneously alone and included. It is frustrating to go back and forth. It's so sweet to have a place to call home, a place to see watch movies and eat dinner with friends. It's so sweet to have a month to treasure home-cooked meals and your mom.
I think the whole issue of feeling a little bit left out is grasping contentment. This isn't going to be the same Christmas break you had in high school. Your friends are gone or you've lost touch. Your hometown probably seems a little boring and prude.
And that's ok. Soon enough, you'll be back to the grind of college life. You'll be back to meal swipes and all-nighters. You'll be back with your people, but probably, you'll be missing the nights sitting in the living room with your family.
To the girl that feels a little bit left out during winter break, it's ok. I think it's a more normal feeling than you and I give credit to.
Take it in. Enjoy the peace and comfort of the familiar things while it lasts.