Here's an interesting thought: the drab of winter makes the freshness of spring that much better. My boyfriend and I were talking this weekend about (among a series of other things) how glad we both are that it is spring. For us, as college students, it is practically summer as school is now out for me (and it's not even May!). I told "the boy" that I absolutely hated this past winter. There were long nights spent crying on my couch in my apartment feeling like winter would never end; feeling like the miles between myself and my sisters, and my parents, was growing farther apart with each tick of the deafening clock; feeling like I would never overcome one of my greatest flaws; feeling like I was so very alone in a culture that is supposed to be famous for its hospitality and sweetness; for having (yet again) an identity crisis and not knowing how to move on; for feeling like...winter would never end. Those were some rough days, yet, for some odd reason, I feel like they are mostly behind me. I have sought help; I have intentionally put myself into meaningful relationships where people know my pain and can help me through it; and I have lived one day at a time waiting for spring to arrive.
So now, it is spring. In fact, spring is almost over for me. I have a month long break from school which will officially be my "summer" since I will be taking four summer school classes this year to finish up my undergraduate degree. This morning I thought to myself, "Self, what are we going to do for a month? It is so lovely and warm outside, you have dozens upon dozens of books to read, you have several friends in town, you have recently acquired permission to use a bicycle, you are moving to a charming house and out of your dreary apartment, but Self, what are we going to do?" I ask myself these questions not really expecting a response, and I have found one, but what I mean is who will I become over this next month?
College is a strange and brutal organization because for three weeks straight all 27,000 of us are running off of 4 hours of sleep each night, more coffee than we care to consume, Cheeze-Its, and 40 minute trips to the gym. Then they say "Move out! Summer's here!" Ahhh...I can breathe. Time to relax. But wait, what to do?
I have, for so long, focused on being a student and students study. I have studied the Bible. I have studied women at my church who lead godly and uplifting lives. I have studied our culture and the dynamics of what our society says we should be like. I have studied nature and colors and words and philosophies and education. I have studied. But now, not even with the end of the spring, but with the end of my undergraduate career, what to do? What to study? Is there anything to study, anymore?
Recently I have found the answer is "yes". I have become a student of love. I study how to love because I have never loved in this way before. I study his habits and patters of life. I study is heartbeat and his fingerprints. I even study some material regarding his field of work and educational life. I have never had this type of assignment before, and yet, I gladly undertake it.
What to do? What to do? This summer, I will love.