Monday, March 7, 2011

To Be Happy

  Every week that I'm at Shepherd, without fail, I get depressed. I'm not trying to say that I have 'depression' the illness or anything like that. It's not serious or something anyone ought to be too worried about. I like to blame it on the harsh flourescent lighting in my dorm room, but I think it's a combination of factors. I feel a bit lonely, for one. I have friends here, but they are busy people, as am I. Not one of us can drop everything we're doing to spend time with each other at any given moment. Another seemingly contradictory factor is the fact that there are so many people here. Sometimes, that can make a person even more lonely. I see so many people all the time, and I know only a very small percentage of them. Then there's the fact that BECAUSE there are so many people around, I'm not free to just do whatever I want to do; for instance, when it's warm, I like to go outside in a bathing suit and lay in the sun, but I would never think of doing that here. I'd feel much too 'on display'. Then there's just the fact that I miss my family, and I miss Jacob. This school is not where I want to be. It is not where my heart is, and when I'm alone here for too long, I'm bound to get gloomy. I'm not blogging about this because I just need something to blog about. I'm blogging about it because writing is genuinely therapeutic for me, and because I thought it might help to blog about something lighthearted; something that makes me happy.

  So, since there is so little in my present life to talk about in the realm of happiness, I think I'll refer to a happy memory. When I was 15, I moved into a little town called Warren, Texas. I loved the house I lived in. It was old with a wrap-around porch where my family installed a porch swing. The whole house had hardwood floors except for my room, which had nasty old blue carpet. So when we moved in I spent the afternoon with a pair of pliers tearing the carpet out by myself to reveal the rustic looking hardwood flooring beneath. My 'vintage' style decor went well with the room, and for the first time in my life, I had a room of my own (something I'd wanted since I was an eight year old).

  The neighbors were very friendly and all came out to meet us on the day we moved in. We experienced our first culture shock when we realized that the neighbors saw nothing wrong with wandering into our house any time of the day, and my mom eventually found it necessary to hang curtains up in the dining room so that our nosy neighbors wouldn't be able to look in at us while we were trying to eat dinner. I made friends out of my neighbors Bethany and Kyle, who were about my age. Bethany and I started taking walks together almost every day after she got back from school and telling me all of her dramatic stories. I could tell that she thought of me as naive and innocent, and liked to tell me her stories for shock value. I hated that she thought of me that way, but she was probably more right than I would have liked to admit.

At the school

  One of the best things about our new neighborhood was that if you walked down the road there was a junior high. Next to the junior high was an old, old, OLD high school. It sat like a time capsule from the 1950s (at least), unable to be torn down because of the risk of making airborne the asbestos within. My sister and I used to walk down to the old school and sit in the yard with a blanket and a picnic, or tea, or canvases and paints, or whatever else we decided to bring. We liked to get all dolled up before we went and take pictures. We'd talk about anything we wanted. We'd talk about our family if they were bothering us, gush about boys or talk about our boy dilemmas; but more often than not we would just goof off and laugh about God-knows-what.

  After a few years of living in Warren, I met Jacob. We met at a New Year's party and made eyes and smiled at each other the entire night, but not either of us said a word to each other. I texted him after we each left, and we started talking every day. Finally, one day he (very nervously) told me he liked me. I told him that I felt the same, and we decided to meet up at a park one afternoon. We just walked and talked for a couple hours. We were both very awkward and nervous, but I remember laughing and joking with him after not too long. He came over that night and we watched a movie together.

  Not too long after that night, he was officially my "boyfriend", and he started coming over close to every night to spend time with me. We walked down to the old school so very many times, and we decided to walk even further than that to discover a bridge. We used to walk to the bridge and sit there and talk and kiss and listen to music and even dance together. It was with Jacob and Kaitlyn that I actually went beyond the school to discover all the various, interesting parts of my little town that I'd never seen before.

  Then there were the nights that I'd go over to Jacob's house and we'd hang out in his room or on his roof. We'd randomly decide to go get pizza together and jump in the car and just go. This is a random memory, but it makes me truly happy: I remember our water was out at my house for the longest time, and Jacob offered to let me come over to his house and shower and hang out with him. I did, and in contrast with my choice between cold showers and boiling water to use in the bathtub, my showering experience at his house was the absolute best of my life. The water was so hot, and the pressure was just perfect, and I felt SO clean afterwards!

  I do consider that part of my life the happiest part of my (admittedly short) almost twenty years of life. It is a far cry from what my life is now. I now live in a flourescently lit dorm room, live 2,000 miles away from Jacob, have tons of stress from homework (and honestly feel buried beneath all my obligations), don't see my family except on the weekends, and my Mom and Dad aren't even together anymore. But I'm okay =) I truly believe that the best is yet to come, and that I can and will have happy memories like this again. I'm trying to get to the point that thinking of them don't depress me, but encourage me, and remind me that these memories were just the beginning of what is going to be a wonderful life.


  1. So this made me cry. Mostly because I love it :)
    Sounds like an amazing time in Texas! And weirdly enough, you write alot like I do, so you can count on many more comments like this on in the future.
    Oh. And I have been praying for you. Because I know everyone can use it. And because I assume college students can use it a little more.

  2. You've had a lot of happiness in life - and you will have a lot more. It comes in cycles. Just wait for it - and suddenly one day - you'll be in the midst of one of the "happiest" times and you won't be sure just how you got there. You can't really make it happen either - it just does.

  3. I like this story :) Your writing is as simple for a kindergarten mind like mine to read, yet as intricate and perfect as... something really intricate and perfect. :) Hahaha