Traditions

Traditions

Events that are guaranteed to refresh the soul
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tradition: the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way

tradition: candles, incense, the dark brought to light, He’s raised from the dead and I’m sitting in the pew, pastels and purity, Waffle House is not my god but at midnight on Easter it might be a close second

tradition: fruits the color of my brother’s hair, pine straw, hay rides, leaves crunching under my boots, apple pie, sitting in a wheelbarrow, laughter in the pits of our stomachs

tradition: the mashed potato bowl sits on the counter, smoke alarms have been deactivated and windows opened, silverware clinks and clatters onto the table, sprinting and rosy cheeks, restless toe tapping and leg kicking and hopeful glances until everyone has arrived

tradition: pine and cider and North Carolina air, Christmas trees galore as we point out the tallest and the greatest to place within our home, horses pass through and we laugh at their whinnying, coats cover arms and arms flail about

tradition: wrapping paper everywhere-- on the counter, on my bed, under the tree, evergreen and red, candy canes and cookies wait for me but I promised to finish this last present first, it’s late this Eve but not as late as it used to be, the Pope’s voice whispers on the TV, Steven Curtis Chapman hums through the stereo

tradition: a dull headache, a mess of hair, wrinkled pajamas, drooping eyes, even more wrapping paper, the yelling and excited squeals only add to the pain but it’s the kind of pain I am thankful for because the ones I love are here with me

tradition: something I can rely on, an event that will never fail me, a moment engrained in my soul

Cover Image Credit: Maggie Connolly

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Poetry On The Odyssey: You Don't Control Me

If I could speak to my anxiety, here is what I'd say.

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Anxiety,

You have controlled my life for way too long.

My constant fears hold me back from so many things I want to be able to do.

Your presence makes me a person I don't want to be.

You make me feel scared and alone when I know that I am not alone.

You don't control me.

I am not free to be myself when you are around.

There is no use for you, and you should be ashamed for making me feel sick, nervous, fearful, not good enough.

You have been a little monster, harboring inside of me for my whole life.

Whispering "You can't do that" in my ear when I dare to get out of my comfort zone.

You don't control me.

I am fully capable of doing great things and living without you.

I have a wonderful support system of people who believe in me and help me crush you every day as you deserve.

I will be brave, be bold, enjoy life more.

This is me saying "Sayonara Anxiety."

You don't control me.

I am going to take my life back from your filthy grip.

I am going to live the life I've dreamt of.

I am going to be adventurous and take risks.

I am going to be myself.

You don't control me.


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