Monday, April 8, 2013

If I could...

If I could go back to freshmen Sam,
the one who just left the only town she's ever known,
the one who graduated with a whopping 124 people,
the one who thought winning homecoming queen meant something,
the one who thought not getting selected "All-State" in softball was the biggest slap in the face,
the one who is fresh off decorating that shoebox called a dorm room with close to 100 pictures,
and absolutely too much pink...



I'd have her meet me Arsagas on campus.
It's the only coffee shop at the University of Arkansas worth spending money at.

She would walk in with a Skiatook tshirt on
and in jeans present Sam can only dream of fitting into again...
I would look at that oh-so-naive girl with eyes full of every emotion possible
and first off,
hug her with her favorite kind of hug... 
The kind of hug that's not too light,
but not too obnoxious either.
The kind that you can literally feel the love radiating off of.
The kind that feels safe
and more genuine than any words could ever speak.


Then,
I'd slap her. 
HARD
... and tell her, "you'll deserve it eventually."

Next, I'd tell her to take a seat and I'll get her a chai tea
because she doesn't like coffee yet,
no matter how hard she tries.
I, present Sam, would have a straight black coffee, 
possibly with a shot or two of espresso, depending on the time of day. 

Then, after I got us our drinks, I'd sit down across from that person who is nearly a stranger to me now and give her a medium size notebook with a really pretty fuschia colored pen from Sharpie. 

I'd give her a medium size notebook because she wouldn't like a small one; 
it would make her feel confined and frustrated as she wrote.
But not a normal size notebook either because it would subconsciously overwhelm her and within a few minutes, her notes would start to be scattered and jumbled... 
because as much as she loves the freedom of such a big, white, clean, blank page, 
she needs some boundaries too. 
A medium size notebook would be perfect.

I'd tell her,
Now, listen to me, 
take some notes, 
do.not. check out on me
and most importantly, trust me.

Then, the first and probably most important thing I would tell her: 

Brace yourself, your life is going to change... drastically, but slowly.
You won't realize it. It'll happen like a beautiful disease that slowly takes over your whole conscious.
You are going to freak out.
So is everyone else. You're not alone.
You actually have NEVER been alone.  

 
Sam, you think you know about life, love, and all that's in between.
But you don't.
You don't know anything;
even grief and suffering which you think you know all too well...
you really don't.
Not yet.

And guess what?!
YOU'LL KNOW EVEN LESS IN 5 MORE YEARS!
Yes, it takes you 5 years to graduate.
Not 4.
This is good. 
Don't be scared. 

You will feel like everyone around you has an obscene amount of money and no idea how to appreciate it.
This is both correct and incorrect.
It's also irrelevant.
Stop trying to make it relevant.

Oh, and quit adding random people on Facebook that are in the Arkansas network.
1.) you look like a massive creeper.
2.) you will meet plenty of people.
Stop worrying! 
3.) you will have to spend an insane amount of time deleting all those randos you once thought were so necessary. 
Just stop it now.

You're going to question your decision to live in the all girl dorm...
Don't bother.
It's one of the few things you do right.
Nice job.
You will still interact with boys, stop fretting.
The bonds you'll make and the memories you'll have from Reid will be far better than any coed dorm could've provided. 


Stop trying to change your roommate and actually listen to her words. Don't take her actions too personal; try to read between the lines and see how much she's hurting.
For goodness sake stop acting like you're the only one who deserves to be hurting or have baggage.  Stop getting caught up in all the materialistic BS and help her.

Because I didn't and I can never get those times back.
She will leave and you could have potentially stopped it.
And you will have to live with that forever. 

You will hate the demands and pressure
and basically the majority of sorority life,
do it anyway.
You will literally have a perfect rush...
(even though you don't know the first thing about rush or even care at this point)
only to get to the final reveal and be absolutely devastated by not getting your first choice.
You will feel like your entire college career has already been ruined. 
DO NOT FREAK OUT!
No really, chill out. 
Being chosen by Zeta Tau Alpha is possibly the greatest blessing of your time at Arkansas.
This blessing will run it's course within a year and you will have to let it go,
HOWEVER(!)
It's going to lead to so many good things and even better people.
Those few people will still be a HUGE part of your life in five years...


Brace yourself, this is a tough one... 
You're about to experience heart break.
Heart break so deep, it will literally break you into a million pieces.
Not the kind of heartbreak you felt with JD... Something much more foreign.
You're still pretty battered and bruised from the loss you experienced in high school, so this will not help any of your personal issues with yourself and your life.
You're going to fight like hell to stop it.
To stop him.
To make him stay.
To make him believe it will work.
To make him see the future you see.
To make him love you like you love him...
This heartbreak will continue for the next three and half years.
It's not him. It's not you. It's no ones fault.
No matter how hard he tries, he will never be able to commit to you.
No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to make him happy or whole.
You will never be what's best for him or him for you.
I wish I could tell you to let him go, but I won't.
I can't...
Because as much as he'll hurt you, as many tears as you're about to cry,
he will love you more deeply than humanly possible. 
He will be there for you.
He will teach you to breathe again.
He will teach you so much about life, love, and what it means to go down fighting.
But listen to me when I say, he will never fix you. 
and you cannot fix yourself...
only God can do that.
And He would, but you don't give Him a chance until way later.
But back to your heartbreak...
No matter what, you will go through this relationship with him.
Despite your mum saying no, your friends telling you you're crazy, the endless possibilities you missed because of this twisted relationship you're in,
and the inner turmoil you feel constantly,
you will still try.
It will fail.
You will screw up in between these years...
A lot.
You will heal. 
YOU WILL SURVIVE.
... And more importantly, so will he.

JJ will not like moving to Fayetteville next year.
Save yourself the heartache of having to give him back to your parents yet again and just accept he's not meant to be with you at college.
Don't worry though, there is a little pup waiting for you down the road that will need you much more.

Seriously, you can get out of control emotionally.
If you haven't realized yet, we're a pretty emotional person. 
We get better, but WHEW. Lady, you should've chilled out a long time ago. 
While yes, what you've been through has pretty much left you tattered like a rag doll,
you still need to learn to control yourself, your words, and your emotions.
And obviously your facial expressions. 


You have no idea how to study for college level work.
You can try and blame your small public school but we both know it's all on you.
Again, stop blaming your past.
I know it's hard, but you've gotta let go eventually.
Good news to that...
you are excellent with hands on, interactive, proactive, type of work.
Utilize this.
Embrace this.
Love this. 

So, about that whole dentistry plan....HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Yeah, don't even try.

In fact, stop pretending to want things that others want from you or for you.
They will actually love you no matter what, in spite of all your screw ups.
Just slow your roll...
Go undeclared for as long as they will let you.
Take your gen eds.
Take some intro business classes because you will wish you and Excel were better friends down the road.
Take some marketing classes.
Take astrology.
Take bowling.
Yes, they offer that.
Take art. 
Yeah, I know you suck at it, but you only suck because you never have TRULY tried.
Maybe you will figure out more along the lines of what YOU ACTUALLY WANT.

.... Because let me tell ya, I'm about to graduate in 5 weeks and the future is still one giant mystery...
You don't know this yet, but you really do have a gypsy soul.
Just don't declare any major for awhile.

Your laugh is so loud and obnoxious.
It's apart of you.
Just learn to love it. 


No matter how hard you try, you're going to mess up.
Then beat yourself up over it.
Helpful tip?
LISTEN TO THAT GUT FEELING OF YOURS.
You know which one I'm talking about...
Will save yourself years worth of unnecessary heartache and worry.


It's OK that people are different from you.
This doesn't make you weird.
This doesn't make them better.
It makes you, YOU.

You will run a marathon!
You will survive.
You will cry through miles 22-25.
You will never be more proud of yourself. 

Your personal demons are going to come out more and more as the years go own...
Hold on tight. You can beat them.
You will beat them.

You're going to rediscover the Lord and your relationship with Him will never be the same.
You'll wish you had Him so much earlier,
but remember that Christ can take any bad situation or decision and use it for good.
All that matters is you find Him.
And it is so beautiful.

Here in a few months, you will start pretending to be something your not.
You'll do this a lot.
JUST DON'T.
Search for yourself, fine.
But don't pretend to be something you're not.
They are not the same thing.

Your family will always love you.
Sometimes, you will not like your family.
Sometimes, they will not like you.
This is OK.
It will be fine.

You will realize how much you actually DO like Oklahoma. 

You have NO IDEA what good music is yet...

You're going to cut your hair so short
and it's going to take forever to grow back.
Chop at your own risk. 
p.s... it won't make him like you more.
and neither will your brown hair for that matter.


Sophomore and Junior year will literally be the best years you'll have at Arkansas.
SAVOR THEM.


You'll study abroad and meet the greatest people on earth.
It will be one of the most life changing and brave things you ever do.
You will fall completely in love with the people and the country.
You will never get over it and that's absolutely 100% how you want it,
because it means it was real.
And we will go back someday.
Those people, that place, will always have apart of your heart that no one else can touch.
And them for you.


You're going to go to the Sigma Chi house SUPER early
just so you can get front row of the Eli Young Band performance when they come during row week. 
You will get front row.
You will get a guitar pic.
You will touch all the members of EYB.
Mike, the lead singer, will drop the microphone right in front of you and you'll hand it back to him and your hands will gently brush for about a second and it.is.amazing.
You will lose your voice from singing so loud.
And despite that HIDEOUS, white trash, jersey shore leopard dress you wear,
it will be one of the best memories you'll have from the UofA.


Go to more sport games.
All of the sports.
Even track meets. 
Stop using work as an excuse.
Save your money. Don't eat a few meals.
Seriously. 
Find a way.

STOP TRYING TO FIX EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE.
1.) you can't
2.) it only hurts you
3.) it's just truly so unnecessary



By this time, she's mentally drained and so am I.
So, I'll try and wrap things up. 

I will tell her one last thing...

No matter what you think or feel,
you're going to be just fine Sam.
Enjoy every second of this wonderful place.
It's going to come and go in the blink of an eye,
and despite your desire to move on and start the next chapter,
you'll always have this town, these times, these memories, this sacred place,
and no one will ever be able to take that away from you.

4 comments:

Jordan Jones said...

This was really good Sam! I enjoyed it! Funny and serious. That is the definition of nostalgia, and I'm a sucker for all things nostalgic, even if they're not mine :)

Brooke said...

I LOVE this post!! So cute and that last pic of you is absolutely gorgeous!

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