...I used to blog more.
...I was a high school student.
But now. Now I'm not a high school student. No longer do I have a principal, a locker combination to remember, or my own bedroom. Now I answer to college professors, enjoy sharing a 9' by 14' room with one of my best friends, and have about 48 different numbers, passwords, and usernames to remember.
But boy howdy, DO I LOVE IT.
I'm at Lee University. I get along with this place like peanut butter and jelly get along. It's beautiful. It's nestled right in the middle of las montanas (or "the mountains" for all you non-Spanish extraordinares out there), the people here are INCREDIBLY God- breathed, and the Lord thrives on this campus.
College is a little weird, though. No longer am I surrounded by the people that helped me be "me." I know that first and foremost Christ, and my relationship with Him, defines who I am. But in a sense, you can't help but to cash in on what others say about you, think about you, and act toward you. At home in Franklin, I was Amberly, the Africa-loving, sweet pea, art freak. Now I'm Amberly the....
It's a clean slate, is what it is. It's completely exciting but insanely disturbing at the same time. I get this EXACT feeling staring at a literal blank canvas before a painting. There are so many different directions that I can go. But I feel that tug toward the "known," toward my past, toward my roots. I know that I'll remain faithful to my roots for the rest of my life, to one extent or another. I'll always love kids and have a really, really, really, really big heart for other countries, most specifically the continent of Africa. I'll always feel absolutely perfect with a brush in my hand and Ray LaMontagne on my radio.
But now, now I'm in a new culture. Gone are the cowboy boots and cowboy hats. Gone is the Pancake Pantry. Gone are the TPC Youth Kids. Gone are my parents (well, not literally GONE, but out of my everyday life). Gone is the Nashvillian Culture. (Isn't it funny that you don't realize how INSANELY AWESOME a place is until you leave it?) Gone is my bedroom. Gone is my house with all its little creaks and groans in the night. Gone is my favorite bookstore, with my favorite overstuffed sofa. Gone are my backroads that provided therapy for so many frustrating days. Gone are my carpool buddies that would accompany me in a lively (and very off key) rendition of "Gone" by NSYNC.
And in their place are beautiful trees. New people. New family that lives within 30 steps of me (and shares the same bathroom that I do). An insanely amazing boyfriend. Fantastic opportunities to positively impact the world around me for the glory of the Father. Beautiful parks. An "adoptive" mom and dad that live 20 minutes from here. Freedom out the wazoo. Cleveland Culture...which isn't as awesome or inspiring as that of Nashville, but still offers some interesting opportunities. Free food. And lots of it.
So in short, I miss home. But I love it here, and I know that the Lord has me here for a reason. I love love love Lee. There are definitely tough days, but I'm gonna have those anywhere. But here, the fantastic days far outweigh the tough days.
Top 10 Memories So Far:
1. Meeting my boyfriend in the ID line.
2. Party in the USA music video making.
3. Girl's Nights
4. Spending more time (and money) at Wal Mart than ever before.
5. Seeing yellow butterflies EVERYWHERE.
6. The sunsets here.
7. Meeting more people than I could ever imagine in the span of about 49 minutes.
8. Having professors tell you their testimonies.
9. Having professors remind you that they're praying for you.
10. Learning that you really DO change freshman year.
Top 10 Things I'm Looking Forward T0
1. THANKSGIVING BREAK!! (Dalton, Mississippi, extended-family meeting, food-consuming...)
2. Christmas Break! (Franklin, Gatlinburg, hot-tubbing, cookie making, girls nighting...)
3. Small Groups the rest of the year
4. My art classes next semester
5. Tutoring elementary schoolers next semester
6. Spring Break
7. Urban Outreach Weekend 1 and 2.
8. Skype dates with Neens and Em.
9. Continuing to teach my kindergarten Sunday School class.
10. Even MORE baking parties.
So here's to you, College Adventure. I love you so far!
Ps--- This is my shameless plug for Em, my seestar. She's going to North Africa this Spring. CHECK IT OUT: http://emifaye.blogspot.com/