A Heavy Heart

Tonight is one of those nights where about 14 emotions are simultaneously running through my body.  I have a heavy heart right now, but in a good way (I think).  Hopefully writing some things down will help sort them all out.  Sometimes my brain just feels so full of thoughts and I can’t get them down on paper (or in this case a computer) fast enough.

1. Peace

This evening we had our annual flute studio party at the Wacker’s house.  I walked there and back, partly because I was using it as my exercise for the day and partly because I don’t like to waste gasoline on short distances (it’s a mile from my apartment to their house).  It was freezing cold out, but I didn’t mind since I had so many layers on.  Once the party was over and I was walking back to my apartment, I decided that I was going to extend my walk into the neighborhoods next to Oakland, the main road I take to get home, because it was a beautiful clear night and I was feeling rather brooding.

Once I got off that main road and I started walking where there are no streetlights or car noises, I felt this overwhelming sense of peace and serenity.  There’s snow out still, and the back sidewalks aren’t cleared super well, so I was carefully picking my way through the ice and snow block by block.  I spent some time praying and just thinking about things that have been happening recently in my life and all the good things yet to come.  Even though there are so many unknown factors in my future, I feel so calm about tackling them all.

I often associate snow with silence.  I love they way it falls overnight and you have no idea it’s there until you look out the window in the morning.  I love the way that it seems to muffle sounds – like tonight, I felt like one of the only people in the world because I couldn’t hear cars running or people walking or music playing.  I could only hear the slight crunch under my boots, and the swish of my arms as they hit my winter coat as I walked.  It was so incredibly peaceful and wonderful.  I know some people hate to be alone, but I treasure it.  As a college student I am rarely alone, and having those precious silent minutes to myself were just…perfect.  Everything was so still.

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2. Satisfaction

As I walked this evening, I thought about how happy I am with how I have spent the last three and a half years of my life.  I have absolutely no regrets with how I spent my college career.  Some people might say that I didn’t have enough fun, that I worked too hard, but I am totally content with the things I’ve done and the balance I found in life.  Yes, I worked ridiculously hard, but I am so glad that I did.  I have learned so much and I love school…I want to become the best music teacher I can be.  And yes, I did have fun.  I have made so many good friends in college, at Grove City and at IUP.  I have memories and friendships that will last for the rest of my life.

I got to join the Air Force, travel all over the country as a result of it, teach music to all different age groups, eat and cook new foods, laugh until I cried, make meaningful relationships, and so much more.  I’m only 21 and I have already gotten to experience a lifetime.  I am so content, and so lucky to be where I am.  My family has been ridiculously supportive of me my entire life, and for that I will be forever grateful.  My college life hasn’t always been easy, that’s for sure.  There are times when I felt like giving up and that I wasn’t good enough to achieve what I wanted.  My life is far from perfect, but as far as college goes, I don’t think I could have had a better experience.

3. Sadness

That being said, I am sad that college is ending.  Gone are my days of sweatpants, tv dinners, and staying up past midnight on the weekends.  I’ll still be here in Indiana for student teaching, of course, but it won’t be quite the same.  Now I am an adult.  I have actual responsibilities similar to a real job.  I have to be a leader, and mature and ready to tackle any challenge thrown at me.  I do all those things now, but next semester it will be on a whole new level.

I hear so much that college is the best time of your life, and I’m already feeling nostalgic about almost being done with it.  Of course, part of me is so ready to move on, but it is so bittersweet to never again live my life quite like this.

4. Love

Tonight I am feeling loving and loved.  It was great being at the Wacker’s house and surrounded by my studio.  I will miss all of them.  I feel so cared for by all these people, my professor and her husband included.  They both have been instrumental in certain things in my life, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without either of them.  I feel loved by my family, who I will get to spend the next five weeks with.  Of course, I usually go crazy with cabin fever when I am home for an extended period of time now, but tonight I am just cherishing the thoughts of almost being reunited with my parents and brothers.  I feel loved by my roommate.  She has leftover meal plans left, and she graciously offered to share them with me.  So instead of buying groceries this week, she’s letting me use her ID card to buy food twice a day.  If that’s not love, I don’t know what is!  I also just feel loving towards a lot of things and people in my life right now: my friends, my flute, my warm apartment, the beauty of Pennsylvania in winter, one of my dearest friends whom I get to see tomorrow.  The list goes on and on.

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My lovely friend Tory, who is graduating this semester.  I will miss you!  She has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever met…I knew we would be friends from the day we met (when we played in Symphony Band together so many years ago).  You will be a great music teacher!  I can’t wait to see where your future leads you.

5. Hope

I am feeling hopeful.  I feel like I spend a majority of my life being hopeful and wanting things, but in a balanced, healthy way.  I am constantly dreaming and hoping for things.  I have such huge plans for myself, and I am always refining and tweaking these goals in my head.  I hope someday they become reality.  I know God has a wonderful plan for my life, as I have already seen in the things He has provided for me.  I hope that what I want for my life and what God has planned for me is the same, but I don’t know for sure.  Things in the future scare me, but I am looking forward to how they come about.  I know with God’s guidance that He will not lead me astray.

Tonight when I was walking and praying, God was telling me to be patient.  Patience is something I’ve struggled with a lot, but I’ve gotten better about it in the past year (mostly as a result of going to basic training and having to wait for everything there) and I feel so confident about what’s to come.

6. Excitement

Then, of course, I am filled with absolute and total excitement for my future.  I’m terrified, yes, but my eagerness trumps any fear I have about teaching or graduating.  This week I met both my cooperating teachers that I’ll be working with for next semester when I’m student teaching, and that just fueled my desire further to get out there and teach music for real.  They both seem like wonderful, knowledgeable, and passionate people who I will learn a lot from.

This is a completely shallow, unimportant excitement, but I can’t wait to dress like a teacher.  I’ve decided that I’m going to be one of the best-dressed school teachers ever.  I can’t wait to be a professional, to be a role model, and to be the classiest, sunniest music teacher you’ve ever met.

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I wore this on Monday when I met my elementary co-op.  The blouse and dress pants are both from Goodwill!  I love finding great deals.

I can’t wait to move somewhere new.  I have ideas of where I’d like to live, but I don’t want to write them down quite yet.  Who knows where I’ll end up?  I’m already planning what my future apartment, garden, and car will look like.  I can’t wait to meet new people in whatever town I move to, and to get involved in a church that I love.  I can’t wait to (potentially) meet my future husband if I haven’t already.  I can’t wait to teach children to love music and motivate them to learn about it and cherish it as much as I do.  I can’t wait to go to Jamaica after graduation to teach music for 10 days!  I can’t wait to start applying for jobs.  I can’t wait to get a job.

But obviously, I must and will wait for these things.  Because as I said, I’m learning to be patient, remember?  In the meantime, I will continue to dream about all these things while enjoying the things that are happening now in my life.  I don’t always want to be looking ahead….I’d never enjoy my life if I did that.  It’s all about balance.

Well, that wasn’t 14 different emotions, but there’s certainly a lot there.  Maybe this post gives you an idea of how my brain works and to see how weird of a time it is in a college senior’s life.  I’m sure many of my almost graduated friends are experiencing the same things I am.  I kind of poured my heart out here, so I hope you enjoyed seeing a more personal side of me than you maybe had before.  My heart certainly feels much lighter now.  Thanks for reading.


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