"once you choose hope, anything is possible"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

the power of a smile

School is finally back in session this week, and I never thought I would say it, but I am SO glad to be back. I don't think the homesickness will ever go away and I highly doubt the goodbyes will ever get easier, but at the end of everyday I know I am supposed to be here. Marquette has always been my home away from home and I am so excited that I am back for another incredible year. 

These last couple days have been pretty difficult for me. On top of trying to settle back in to living on my own, away from the constant support and help of my parents, a few challenges have been especially trying on my patience and optimism this week. Sometimes I just have to ask why, and yesterday was one of those days. Why can't I just have one solid week when nothing goes wrong; one week without stress, tears, and the constant longing for things to just be okay? After my pity party yesterday which ended with me calling my sister and asking to come over and watch a movie before crashing on her couch, I woke up determined to have a better day today. So I pasted on the smile, put on my favorite dress, and made a deal with myself that I wasn't going to let these issues get to me and ruin yet another day.

All things considered it was a pretty decent day. Honestly, decent was all I was looking for, no tears, no setbacks, just a normal day. I was well on my way to accomplishing this, but as I was walking out of class earlier, the boy who sits next to me said something that changed my whole day around. We were casually making small talk, discussing yet another riveting class of British Literature (note the sarcasm). It was such a simple and unimportant conversation, but when we went to walk our separate ways he looked at me and told me to keep smiling because it brightened his day. Okay, I know what you're all thinking now....that's it? And yes that's it, such a small comment and that kid probably won't ever think about it again. But for me, it meant the world. For me, it was the little reassurance that I needed to keep going, even when I don't want to anymore. I would have liked nothing more than to lay in bed and avoid everyone today, but I got up and went on with my day determined to have a better tomorrow. And I did. But even better, in the process I was able to make somebody else's day just a little bit happier. For all I know, this boy could be completely full of crap and didn't even notice my smile, but I truly don't care because it was the first time all day that my smile was completely and honestly genuine. There was no effort to the smile anymore, no more forced optimism or the constant mantra in my head "you're going to be okay," I was just happy and hopeful. So thank you to the boy who sits next to me, for truly making my day even when you had no idea how much I was struggling.

There's my glimpse of hope for the week, a simple smile and conversation. Overall though, kind people are what keep me hopeful. Everyone who has called to check up on me. the girl who offered me a tissue when she walked by my room yesterday and heard me crying on the phone with my mom, my best friend who brought me coffee at work today, and everyone that smiled at me today. So when you wake up tomorrow and go on with the rest of your day, make sure you smile, it could change someone's whole day around.

Here's a picture of my two favorite people in this world who NEVER fail to make me smile, and a link to one of my favorite "happy" songs. :) 

Friday, August 17, 2012

goodbyes suck.

I feel like just yesterday I was sitting in my freshman dorm room writing a post about the end of the school year, yet here I am sitting in front of an empty suitcase preparing to return to Milwaukee for my sophomore year. Everyone keeps asking me if I am ready to go back, and while yes I am so excited to get back to my friends and everything, I am once again faced with the difficult task of saying goodbye. If you've learned anything about me through my posts and my writing, it is that I am TERRIBLE with goodbyes. I hate being sad, I hate showing my emotions, I hate crying and I hate the headaches that come with the tears. This time though I am trying to look at it in a different way, this time I am taking the advice from a dear friend of mine and focusing on how lucky I am to have something so special that makes saying goodbye so difficult! 

I truly had an incredible summer, and I wouldn't change it for anything. While most of it was filled with work and doctor's appointments, I still got to spend a lot of time with my family and friends from high school. With my dad in the middle of changing jobs, he got to spend a lot more time at home than usual which meant tons of lake days and family outings. I loved getting to spend so much time with my little sisters, catching up on everything I missed while I was away at school. I also was reunited with some of my girlfriends from high school and adored getting to hear about all our different college adventures!

Saying goodbye always makes me think about everything I will miss. I hate that I won't be there for my sister's senior homecoming or get to watch her lead her drill team on the field every friday night. I will miss my baby sister's first day of eight grade and only hear about my niece and nephew growing up through phone calls. I hate that I won't be home for all the important things, and I hate that my family won't be around for all my important events. Like I said earlier though, how lucky am I that I have such an incredible family that makes goodbyes so difficult. I know Marquette is where I am supposed to be. Its scary and I feel like every time I leave it just gets harder and harder, but I have faith that it will somehow all turn out in the end. Until then phone calls and Skype will be my best friend as always and I can't wait until Thanksgiving when I will get to see my family again!