Vitality

I think I expected college to transform me into some greater version of myself, to wake me up and revitalize me and just generally embolden me.

And while college changed me and grew me, it wasn’t in those ways that I had expected.

This blog is as close to a chronicle of those changes as anyone’s going to get, short of standing me up next to my past self and marking down all the differences between us, and I think it bears pretty clear testimony to the fact that the last three years have left me tired.

Tired and ready to run.

The funny thing is that I didn’t even come to Mackinac with the intent to run from what was hurting me. I just came because I needed a job and thought I wanted an adventure and liked horses.

Yet Mackinac has proven to be a more rejuvenating retreat than I could have known to request, if I thought to request a retreat at all. And it’s also a strange place to feel so deeply revitalized, because this isn’t your traditional mountain-top spiritual hideaway.

I am working long hours with people who, while kind, do not share my faith. There are no pastors daily pumping me full of well-considered interpretations of scripture or guitarists inviting me to join them in songs of faith-fueled praise.

Even so, I am more at peace than I have felt in a long time.

Possibly because Michigan air is easier to breathe.

Which I mean a little bit literally, because I grew up on Bakersfield air so dirty that you can chew it up, spit it out, and build a sooty sandcastle out of it. But metaphorically too.

Life itself feels more abundant here.

Even after nearly three weeks I find myself still silently gasping in delight when I catch sight of Lake Huron as I round the corner to stage along the point, still nearly laughing aloud when I pause to consider the fact that I am holding the lines to a team of horses the same way that my ancestors did.

Lately I laugh a lot.

And if you know me, you’re probably smiling because that’s what you expected. But if you’ve known me during school, when the trying to juggle classes and people and fear and exhaustion have transformed me into a snarling disaster of a person, then you might begin to guess how refreshing it is to laugh.

People smile at me because I am always smiling. They chuckle because I dash at new tasks with such enthusiasm, even though I’m tired and kind of just want to go home. And their amusement brings me more joy, which only increases the infectiousness of my laughter.

I truly do feel as though I’m breathing easier. As though life were painted in brighter colors than it was before.

Contentment and restfulness bring a certain vibrancy to the world.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t feel particularly well-rested. Even today, on my day off when I’ve slept in and napped and generally relaxed all day long, I am yawning with exhaustion before I’ve even eaten dinner.

Nonetheless, these few weeks in Michigan have brought me a certain level of restfulness.

There’s been heartache, too, and my tears have mingled with my desperate begging to the heavens for explanation of things I can’t understand.

But through it all, this peace. This knowledge that I am both where I’m supposed to be and where I want to be. And this almost audible song of celebration coming from everything around me.

I really don’t know how else to describe it, and kind of feel like I’m chasing my tail now as I try to explain.

It’s as though I’m alive again.

As if a person I’d long forgotten how to be is emerging from the storm of the past few years, and she hasn’t forgotten how to be bold or courageous or outgoing. (She has forgotten how to love to run and be active, but we’ll cross the exercise bridge some day in the maybe-never future.)

All that said, I am eager for this summer to end if only to end the torture of the crazy-early mornings. While I have settled into the routine of awakening at 5:30 every morning, I still don’t like it. And every morning I get a little closer to clinging to my pillow and sobbing at the thought of being parted from it.

I guess I don’t have much energy left for a well-worded conclusion. It’s taken long enough to just achieve anything like sense on this page.

My heart-song doesn’t much want to be translated today.

Anyway. Life is an adventure, and I’m so happy to be living this chapter of it. Feel free to come visit and write yourself in.

– Melissa

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. /Psalm 19:1-4a/

i burned the chocolate pudding today

Woo. Today.

Today was today and today was unique.

Of course, every day is.

If it weren’t, we’d be living in a never ending time loop where everything was the same and nothing was ever different and it was all horrendously boring.

I don’t like horrendously boring.

Actually, I don’t like horrendous and I don’t like boring, so when you combine them you end up with something I absolutely detest.

I also detest spiders and when my sister’s boyfriend encourages my sister to play with knives. But that’s beside the point.

Today: August 9, 2015.

It all began at 5:30am…

Okay, now this has turned into a detective narrative in my head and it’s super cheesy and I apologize even though I’m not going to make you live through that.

Have I mentioned that the only thing I have eaten in the past four hours is chocolate? I drank some water and ate a whole bunch of chocolate. Chocolate pudding, chocolate brownies, and chocolate MnMs.

Yay, chocolate!

Anyhow…this morning my sister headed out to begin her college adventure. The little punk turned down the opportunity to live with me in Abilene and is instead opting to live with my aunt about three hours away from my school. Weirdo.

I mean, my aunt is cool and all, but I’m…beyond cool.

So she and my mom headed out, and I cried even though I’ll see her in two weeks and (hopefully) fairly regularly after that. Did someone say road trip?!

And because it was about 6:30am when they headed out, afterwards I went back to bed and slept until I got up for church and then I went to church. I like church. I love the people and the worship (and the cookies) and the great, awesome, incredible, indescribable God who loves me despite the mess I am and empowers me to love people despite the messes they are.

People are so messy. And it drives me so crazy.

Like, I seriously cannot read through my facebook feed recently without freaking out about people’s atrocious grammar. I mean, come on! Your and You’re are two different words, and two, too, and to are three different words!

I’ve become obnoxious, even if it’s just within the confines of my own head. So I decided that it wasn’t worth the stress and took a hiatus from facebook, and it’s honestly been really nice. Weird, but nice.

Anyway, Abbie left and I miss her and that is all I have to say about those emotions.

So then I worked for my dad. For, like, four and a half hours. And since the house we’re renovating to sell is six weeks behind schedule, none of us have been the most patient with each other on the job site. So it was a kind of rough day. But hopefully showings will start tomorrow because that house is as near to done as it will ever be and HOO-RAH!

Working is not my favorite thing generally. Working on a belly-full of conflicted and confused emotions is most definitely NOT my favorite thing at all. (I know that was redundant, but it needed to be. Trust me.)

BUT…

Friends are my favorite.

The people who I love most dearliest (new word) and who I feel safest around.

So Grace and I picked a couple of them (who have both been horrendously busy this summer and who we’ve hardly gotten to see at all -_-) and we all watched Thor on my back porch because I have a projector.

(Everybody should have a projector. Life is so much more exciting that way. And movie nights can happen literally anywhere.)

In short, I am a hyper mess tonight, and I am here instead of bed because I don’t even know how to describe the amount of chocolate that I have ingested tonight.

I also burned an entire saucepan of chocolate pudding today because I got distracted and I forgot all about it. I may have ruined the saucepan.

But I know what a saucepan is now!

Yeah…I had to look that up, and I’m stating that now because eventually Grace will decide the world needs to know that and I’d rather you heard it from me. I have never claimed to be a cook. Just be grateful that I haven’t accidentally poisoned anyone yet.

That’s a much sunnier perspective to have, now isn’t it?

I have a lot to say tonight.

But I can’t make sense of it enough to tell you.

I’m a little bit scared for life to turn topsy-turvy on-its-head again when I move in a couple of weeks.

But God is bigger, and each day is just a new chance to take a step and say, “Okay. You’ve got this. Not me.”

My summer has been big. Big and different and exhausting and maybe I’ll write all about it here someday and maybe I won’t. I’m not sure.

Either way, God remains bigger.

It’s past midnight, so I should probably call it a night.

I think the chocolate might be wearing off anyway.

Wow. I’ve wrapped this post up well.

‘Way to pull off the stellar conclusion, Melissa. If this were a paper, you’d get an A.’

Ha.

If I wrote papers the way I wrote blog posts, I would never have gotten into HSU. I would never have graduate high school, for that matter.

Anyway.

Good night. (Even though it’s most likely morning as you’re reading this.)

Sleep tight. (Even though I don’t know what that even means, unless you’re a baby and you’ve been swaddled, in which case you don’t know how to read and so this post is completely lost on you and therefore irrelevant.)

And don’t bite the bed bugs, because that’s rude.

Bugs are people, too, you know.

(Actually, they’re not; I just say that because I’m tired and sassy.)

– Melissa
This is a picture of mayonnaise.