I don't know about you, but August seemed like the longest month EVER. I haven't ever noticed it seeming that way before! I think it felt that way because it encompassed a lot of different lifestyles, at least for me. I spent the first part of the month at home -- that is, in my hometown, with my awesome family. The second part of the month (the largest part) consisted of me living in Lubbock (as usual) and working a lot (as opposed to being in school a lot). The third part of the month started last week, and that, of course, has been school. And I already feel that school has just been going on FOR-E-VER. Something about it makes me feel as though I've been dropped into something that was already going on, and now I have to keep up. But the beauty of Jesus is that He doesn't ask us to keep up. He doesn't ask us to hurry and hustle. He asks us to be with Him. He asks us to be quiet with Him. He asks us to be adventurous with Him. And while right now that consists of me doing work I love (Voice lessons and coachings are a gift from God) and work I'm not so enthusiastic about (my non-music classes), I don't have to measure up and rush for Him. Sometimes adventurousness just means taking your inner rest when you need it.
As part of the rest, I'm reflecting today on what I learned in the interminably long month of August. This is part of a practice that bloggers around the Internet partake in once a month, in order to commemorate what has passed before moving on to what is before us. I think that's especially important during the crazy times that many of us face now. We need to remember where we came from. We need to look up and see the sunrise every once in a while.
So here we go: What I Learned in August. Some silly, some serious, all notable (I know because I wrote them down).
1. Up north, potato wedges are called "jojos."
My best friend and roommate has family from Wisconsin and Washington, and she talks like it (we're constantly mocking her pronunciation of "both"). A couple of weeks ago, I was making dinner and she asked me if I knew this little tidbit. I am really intrigued by local speech colloquialisms, but this one was just funny to me. Jojos? Really?
2. How to keep track of what I'm spending.
I've always sort of kept track, but now I actually am, with pen and paper, and it's changing the way I look at money. I can't tell exactly what effect it's having on my actual spending yet; all I know is that I feel like an adult now.
3. The difference between school time and summertime is so vast it's almost fragmented.
I touched on this a little earlier. But the difference between my working, more slow-paced life in the summer and my student life that takes place at breakneck pace -- this difference feels like a huge gulf to me. It's almost like it's not the same life. I don't know how I've never noticed this before -- maybe I'm getting old.
But I'm also learning that my life is not broken up into pieces. Just as Jesus has made me whole, my life is all one. The fragmentation is just an illusion. It's still my life. I'm still me. And that is comforting to me.
4. How to be besties with my brother.
My middle brother Luke (the one who's 6'2") is a freshman at Tech this year, and he and I see each other frequently (like when he's too lazy to get his printer to work, so I print stuff for him). I have known for a while that my brothers and I tend to relate like friends, especially now that we're older -- but Luke and I seem to have become closer in the space of a couple of weeks. This is wonderful, because I think he's the bee's knees. The way to love my brothers, I'm learning, is to be a listener, to be a kind companion to them. They don't want a lecture from me, nor is that my job -- I'm not Mom. They want a sister, a fellow journeyer. And that is what I want to be to them.
5. Senior year melancholy.
You guys. It's real. If I had a dollar for every time I or one of my friends has said "I can't believe this is our last year at Tech!" I would be a wealthy woman. Watching my future come up so suddenly to meet me is both exciting and intimidating, making me excited for what's next but sad to leave this beautiful phase of my life. I've loved my undergraduate years, and I love Tech. I can't bear to think about leaving. So I'm going to enjoy this time here and really savor it. Besides, graduation isn't until May. I have some time.
I'm in the top choir at Texas Tech this year, and in October we're performing the Verdi Requiem with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and The Lubbock Chorale. We work on this vast piece at least twice a week, and folks, it is no joke. Super fun, but absolutely no joke. Loving it.
7. What real power feels like.
My twenty-first birthday was about three weeks ago. I don't drink, but the fact that I can if I want to is super awesome to me. It blows my mind. I can walk into a store, buy a bottle of wine, and they have to let me leave with it. This is real power.
What about you? I'd love to hear what you learned this past month! Let me know in the comment box!
Now: bring on the fall weather, scarves, and my giant sweater.