Here I am. Finally.
Here I am where I belong, where I love, where I grow, where I nearly always long to be. I am back in my townhouse; it feels so incredibly, deliciously different this year. I have two new roommates and the change in temperament is tangible. I walk in and feel calm. I walk in and feel at home. I walk in and feel like I never left.
Well, that's not really true. Last year ended on a high note and while this year looks like it's picking up pretty much right were I left off, there are going to be some serious changes in my life.
I don't mind change, for the most part. I think I've told you that before. With the exception of leaving my heart at school to come home for the summer, I have never feared the unknown. I'm learning, though, that change and the unknown are not always the same thing. The unknown is scary and dark and mysterious; change is just her cheeky little sister. Last week, relationships changed in my life. My wonderful youth pastor moved to Texas. My childhood best friend got married. Other important friendships redefined themselves considerably. The tables are turning once again, and once again I am on the verge of something big.
To say that this summer was horrible would be a gross exaggeration; to say that I was happy would be only a slight exaggeration; to say that I loved it would be a lie. I'm caught in the balancing act between growing out of one home and into another, vacillating between childhood and adulthood. Saying goodbye to Steve and seeing Kelsey as a beautiful bride solidified this fact in my mind, but this summer as a whole taught me too. My world continues to turn and all I can do is observe it, continually trying to redefine myself and my position in it as the woman I am becoming.
One conversation I had the summer before I moved to college always strikes me in times like this. I was at Food Dance with Rachel, an awesome, beautiful friend of mine. She had graduated from college a year earlier, and I will never forget the look on her face or the tone of her voice when she leaned over and said, "Carly, I am a completely different person today than I was when I was a freshman." At the time, I tried to envision the Carly of the Future, the college graduate, the one that was so vastly different than the one sitting in Food Dance that day. What was I going to be like? Prettier? Thinner? More serious? More focused? In a wildly different career path than creative writing?
Over two years later and I'm halfway done with undergrad and I can partially answer those questions: Yes....and no. I know I am different than I was as a freshman. The pictures on my wall prove it. My friendships prove it. The way I think and the way I go about doing things proves it. I feel different. I don't know how, exactly, but I know that I am. I know I am when I look at three of the girls who have been constant in my life since I got to GVSU and see their growth and progress. I know we're on the same page. I know I'm heading in the right direction.
So I start this year the way I left the last one: on the verge of something huge, something great, something fabulous and Carly-specific. My hopes are incredibly high, and I have faith that I won't be disappointed. I'm ready. The only question that remains is who wants to go on this adventure with me?