It’s a surreal thing, stepping foot inside the one place that served as your home-away-from-home for the past year, but now boxes line the walls. You breathe in the smell of vacancy, old and lifeless, and with each room you slowly drift through, all you can seem to say to yourself is that this isn’t home - this is not the way it’s supposed to be…look, taste, or feel. Your heart is racing; every possible alarm sounds in your head, warning of the change about to come, just as you think to yourself that you were finally just starting to settle in.
A home is a special thing. Everything from life’s smallest moments to the grandest of occasions takes place. Children grow up, parents age, grandchildren romp, babies grin for the first time, pictures are snapped of daughters going to prom, and a mother embraces her son as he shares exciting news - all of these little moments occur within four walls.
Four walls have encompassed more memories the past four years than I thought possible. It’s college - some of the best years of life - and although my place of residence has changed (first a dorm, then an apartment, then a house), they all serve a clear purpose: a home to the best memories and experiences of my young life.
Being at an actual house my last year of college was different. It felt more real - my friends were my family away from family. Each room holds different memories, some good and some bad. On the couch in the living room, my roommates and I talked about life, our futures, and plans. On the floor in the den, we laughed until we cried. Moment after moment, there we were in the fast lane of life and fun, soaking up all we could get, not realizing just how fast the end was coming.
The memories remain treasured, but with them comes a certain pain. Those instances we will never get back; that season is over, never to return, and that is how it’s supposed to be. No one ever really warns you of how terrifying this truth actually is.
So here you are four years later, sitting amongst a sea of black and red cap and gowns. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings - they are all out in the crowd beaming at your accomplishments, screaming their praises. It all happens so fast - the walk to shake President Ransdell’s hand, the celebratory throw of the cap - all the while you’re thinking how good you’re at taking it all in. At some point, you stop and think, all those memories and experiences have brought you to this day where just four years ago, it was a far-off dream. Yet here you are, throngs of smiling faces supporting the sole accomplishment of your graduation from college. Right now, it’s all a whirlwind - until you go home - until you step foot into the silence and the emptiness of what was once a place filled with abundant life that is now gone.
People don’t tell you when you’re young how they really feel about life. Sure, some people talk about the ups and downs, but here I am at 22 years old, a recent college graduate with no earthly clue as to what I’m doing. I always thought college was the solution to life’s riddles - yet, I’m finding that I have more questions at the end of my college career than I do answers. What happens from here?
I guess if there’s anything that I have learned from college that would be the most valuable, it wouldn’t be my education at all. I have come to hold very closely the idea of having spirit. Although I’m growing up, never lose a child-like sense of hope and wonder and remain vigorous for adventure. After all, “The Spirit makes the Master.” So here I am in the place that used to be my home, thinking about all of this, and I come to this conclusion:
No matter where life may take you, the most important home is the one you build within yourself, to cherish and protect such a spirit that always perseveres, always prevails.
So if you’re still looking for a job two years from now, when you’re the low man on the totem-pole, if you’re not doing exactly what you wanted, when your boss doesn’t give you that encouragement you need - keep the spirit alive. Let it burn brighter than a thousand suns, let it burst forward in splendor.
The individual that houses such a force is protecting the very memories and experiences that the past four years have had to offer. So yes, the place I have called home for the past year may be empty, but really those things have only been moved. They are now housed in a far more sacred place of which can never be emptied.
The spirit, strong and true, lives within you now, the walls of your heart and soul, and it will remain every day of the rest of your life. Go forth with it, and conquer the world.
Jon Foreman is one of the greatest bloggers I know. Always a good truth behind every post.
I realize people have different personalities, and that is awesome. God made it that way.
But it isn’t awesome when people, especially “friends”, blame their personality on the fact that they’re blatantly honest and blow off the fact that they might actually hurt somebody’s feelings in the process and not even care.
Basically, when people tell you something over and over - you kinda start to believe it. And if those things are coming from people that are supposed to be your friends, do you tell them how it comes across, or do you question if they’re really your friends in the first place?
And then again, I could just be blowing things completely out of proportion. Yet, if it’s something that is hurting me, wouldn’t my hurting be of concern to them?
All I know is that when I’m someone’s friend, I want to lift them up, love them, and care for them in every way possible. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect, but I always try to act out of going above and beyond, and I’ve noticed that it seems like I’m always the person that cares more.
The bottom line is that words have a lot of power, so be careful how you use them.
“Sometimes, life just doesn’t make sense - and sometimes, you want to go anywhere but where you are and start over…but maybe it’s in the sticking around that you learn what you’re really made of and who you’re supposed to be.”
I’ve always been the kind of person that felt mature for my age. In high school, I was never really into the “it” thing of the time and in general, I typically associated with older people and felt like I fit in more with them. But as of late, I feel like I’ve learned and have grown as a person so much more than I ever expected just in the last several months. It’s odd, really.
For starters, I’m an emotional person. My personality is highly emotionally-based which isn’t necessarily good because more often than not, I base a lot of things off of my emotions which is wrong. With that aspect of who I am, I tend to trust people easily and if I consider you a close friend, I will do everything within my power to be the best friend I can be. Sure, I mess up sometimes because I’m human. But typically, I make sure my close friends are taken care of in every way possible. This also is somewhat of a curse because the second one of those said close friends doesn’t necessarily make the time to be as much of a friend toward me as I am toward them, I get hurt and wonder what I did wrong and why what I’m doing wasn’t enough.
But in the end, everyone will fail us. Everyone.
And this is what I’ve learned lately. And the thing is that I can’t point fingers because I know that I, too, have failed someone. We’re human, and we mess up.
So what did I do with this newfound piece of information? Well it turned out to be a reminder of something that I have completely forgotten, or rather have purposefully ignored unfortunately. And that is that God doesn’t fail us. Ever.
I’ve forgotten that God should be my ultimate best friend. God should be my first love. God should be my number one priority. And I have failed Him.
Point blank: It’s time to reexamine things.
She yells, “If you were homeless
sure as hell you’d be drunk,
or high or trying to get there
or begging for junk.
When people don’t want you
they just throw you money for beer.”
Her name was November
She went by Autumn or Fall
It was seven long years
Since the Autumn when all
Of her nightmares grew fingers
And all of her dreams grew a tear
She’s somebody’s baby
Somebody’s baby girl
She’s somebody’s baby
Somebody’s baby girl
And she’s somebody’s baby still
She screams, “Well if you’ve never
Gone at it alone, well then go ahead
You better throw the first stone
You got one lonely stoner
Waiting to bring to her knees.”
She dreams about heaven
As a nightmare she visits
And knows all too well
Every now and again
When she’s sober she brushes her teeth
She’s somebody’s baby…
Today was her birthday
When the cops found her body
At the foot of the bluff
The anonymous caller this morning
Tipped off the police
They got her I.D
From her dental remains
The same fillings intact
The same nicotine stains
The birth and the death were both over
With no one to grieve
She’s somebody’s baby