Almost a year ago, I walked away from this blog. It was a rather impulsive decision, but what had been my confidante throughout years full of running, laughing, crying, growing, and learning suddenly felt like a chore.
It was mid March at the time, and behind my computer screen, I was a 19 year old girl who was sitting alone in her dorm room feeling so incredibly lost. I remember being hit with the realization that I truly had no clue who I was or where I was going, and it suddenly seemed overwhelming. So I did what I do best. I found a unused journal that my grandma had given me years before and started to write.
While my blog remained untouched and un-updated for many a month, the pages of my journal became filled with pictures, thoughts, quotes, and cut outs that were important to me at any particular moment. It saw me through my freshman year of college, and it boarded the plane with me as I left home to work in North Carolina all summer. Pictures of my new friends from camp, tall mountains, sunsets over Walmart, and F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes started to appear in its pages. But all too soon, that journal was carefully packed away in a black suitcase and taken back to college in Austin.
The journal grew thicker as stories of (way too many) concerts, trips to Trader Joes, and camping adventures in below freezing temperatures were added to the blank pages as I began to document my sophomore year of college. And one day, when I was adding an entry about running through red lights and exploring downtown Austin with my dad, I realized that I was still just as lost as I was that one night in my dorm room less a year ago, but I was so incredibly happy.
It's almost been a year since I left this blog, and between now and then I've been constantly reminded by how incredible life is. I've cried in many a parking lot and questioned everything there is to question at least twice a day, yet life has a funny way of making me fall in love with it a little more every day.
I'm still lost, I'm still confused, and I'm still prone to have a quarter life crisis every now and then, but here's to another year of not knowing what I'm doing or where I'm going and always ending up at Whole Foods.
I hope you'll join me as I come back to this lifelong friend and share my my favorite songs, favorite quotes, and favorite memories as they come along. The only thing that was missing from this whirlwind of a year was all the wonderful people that I've encountered while blogging. so I hope you'll get lost with me and share little bits of your life with me.
Here's to a groovy new year full of dancing in the kitchen, eating Whole Foods smoothies like its my job, embracing the feeling of being lost, and falling in love with life. Even on the bad days.
Love always and welcome back to the roarin' twenties era of my life,
I've had trouble loving my body since I was in 8th grade. I remember looking in the mirror and seeing thighs that were too big, lips that were too thin, eyebrows that were too thick, arms that were too long, and a stomach that wasn't flat enough. I yearned for some sort of far-fetched idea of perfection, and it was clear that my body was the furthest thing from it.
No matter what I did, my body would never look or be good enough.
I don't remember how or when it clicked, but I do remember that I was standing in front of a mirror when I suddenly felt like my perspective of my body was all wrong. I saw legs, but they weren't a specific size; they were just legs. I saw arms and a face and a torso and feet, but instead of seeing "too thick" or "too long" or "not good enough", I just saw a reflection of a girl; me.
I saw legs that could climb mountains and a mouth that could speak happy thoughts. I saw ears that could listen to music and arms that can hug the people I love. I saw strong thighs that carry my body to new places, and I saw a stomach that wasn't flat, yet it didn't seem to matter anymore. That stomach was full of food that was giving me energy to live and do the things I love, and suddenly that was far more important than any previous importance placed on a perfecty toned stomach. There was nothing about this reflection that was perfect, yet it was capable of doing so many beautiful things, and somehow that was everything.
As someone plagued by body image issues, seeing myself as something other than a number or a size was, for lack of a better term, wild. It suddenly became apparent to me that I am not the body I'm in, and it was an overwhelming sensation.
While this idea may seem quite obvious, it's easy to forget that you are not your legs or head or arms or anything in between. You are not bound by the body you're in. Instead, your physical body is a place to hold your soul. It's a home for all of your beautiful thoughts and ideas and passions. Yes, there's always going to be something you want to enlarge, shrink, airbrush, or change, but when you start thinking of your body as a means of carrying all the wonderful characteristics you possess, your appearance doesn't seem all that important in the grand scheme of things.
It's not your life's work to look a certain way or to wear a certain dress size. It's not your soul's calling to hate the skin you're in. You're made for so much more than the perpetual dissatisfaction and unhappiness that comes with hating your body. Your body is a temple; something that deserves endless love, respect, and kindness. It lets you dance around the kitchen and sing in the car and see the stars at night. The scars on your skin, the crinkles around your eyes, and the freckles on your cheeks tell the stories of places you've seen, adventures you've gone on, and laughs you've shared with those you love. It's carried your soul everywhere you go, sharing your beautiful mind with anyone you happen to encounter.
With this in mind it is apparent that your body is nothing short of magnificent, and it deserves to be treated as such.
So next time you look in the mirror, remember that you are not your body, and you never have been. Yes, your body is incredible, no matter how big or small it is, but it's what your body houses that is truly important. You're a thousand things, and what you see in the mirror will never be able to define how magnificent you truly are. Because you are not your body. You are so much more.
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy spirit who is in you,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own." 1 Corinthians 6:19
My brother is arguably the most annoying person on the planet.
He thinks he's funnier than me (false), and he thinks he's smarter than me (honestly, this one is probably true). He always thinks he's right (even when he's very, very wrong), and when he's not playing basketball, he's probably thinking about basketball, wishing he was playing basketball, or checking the score of, you guessed it, a basketball game. He keeps a pair of drumsticks in his car to use at stop lights, and he has an extremely accurate memory (that unfortunately helps him win a lot of arguments). He tells me that any outfit I put on is "perfect" just to hurry me up, and he's an awful driver.
Basically, my brother is infuriating. In fact, he's the absolute worst. But I had the honor of loving him first.
The first time I ever met my brother, he asked my parents when they were taking me back to the hospital. He was very confused to discover that I wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. Once he got over that initial shock, the tall boy with brown eyes that sparkled became best friends with the curly haired girl with big green eyes.
And just like that, 19 years flew by.
She spent hot summer days watching him play baseball, and he spent crisp fall evenings watching her play basketball. They wore matching Santa-themed sweatsuits for her 2nd Christmas (If you think I'm lying, look at the picture above), and they both dressed up as baseball players for her 3rd Halloween. He tried to teach her how to play the guitar, and she tried to convince him to go on long walks around the neighborhood. He preferred evenings and she preferred mornings, but they both loved spending afternoons having indoor picnics in pillow forts. She blinked, and he graduated from elementary school, then middle school, and finally high school. And then he was gone.
Everything changed, but he didn't. Her first year of college, he drove there and back and there and back, just to see her for a few hours. He waited in the Texas heat just so she could be front row for a George Ezra concert, and he didn't get angry when she, with her terrible singing voice, sang along to Twenty One Pilots during road trips. He patiently taught her how to play "Black Flies" by Ben Howard on guitar, and he bought a second pair of drumsticks to keep in his car just for her. He took her to parties and wouldn't have a drop of alcohol or let boys near her, and he opened the car door for her on the way home. He drove her to basketball games and concerts and Whole Foods. And she began to realize that he is the absolute worst, but he is also the greatest thing that has ever happened to her.
Earlier this month I was laying in bed, half asleep at 2 AM, when my phone went off. I groggily rolled over to read the text. It was from my brother, and it said "You're kinda my best friend."
You might be wondering why any of this information is relevant to you, my brother's future wife, but if you're going to marry my brother, you should know that he's the absolute worst. Yet he deserves nothing less than the absolute best. He's put up with me for my entire life which is a monumental task in itself. He's sometimes (always) not funny, and he probably knows what Tim Duncan ate for dinner last night, but if you look a bit deeper, the magic starts to unfold.
My brother is never on the fence about those he cares about most. In fact, he'll jump fences to be with you and show you he cares. He'll never let you pay for dinner, and he'll listen to everything you have to say. He'll laugh at your jokes (even when they're not funny), but he'll never laugh at your dreams. He'll take you to new places, singing along to his favorite songs with the windows down, and he'll make even the most ordinary of days seem full of joy and adventure. He'll stop on the side of the road so you can see the bluebonnets, and he'll ask you "what's your favorite song today?" every morning.
I think there's a little bit of magic inside everyone, but Harrison is the most magical person I've ever encountered. You can get angry at him. You can think he's the most annoying person to exist (I sure do sometimes), but at the end of the day, he's a son, a brother, and soon to be a husband. He's the songs stuck in his head, the dreams he wants to achieve, and a person worth knowing; worth fighting for. And I hope you fight for him.
At the end of the day, amidst all this rambling, all I ask is that you love him. He's full of basketball statistics and sarcasm and a little bit of genius mixed with a whole lot of stupid, and I hope you spend the rest of your life figuring it all out.
He's magic. Really. I know he thinks he's incredibly lucky to have found you, and he's probably right, but I hope you recognize how lucky you are to have found him. My brother is anything but ordinary, and I had the honor of loving him first.