I had the sudden desire to catch myself up with my blog, and now realize that I have missed two months entirely – May and June! In that time, I graduated from Belmont Abbey College (and spent the strange and surreal night before listening to Jay-Z’s “Young Forever” 100 times with my dearest roommate since freshman year). I packed up all of my things from my little ugly dorm room at Belmont Abbey, loading my car for the last time with all the books, clothes and pictures I’ve toted around with me, moved in and out with, for the past 4 years. The beautiful (excruciatingly small) campus that I’ve grown to know so well was strangely still and quiet, feeding my sense of time and memories at once vividly standing out and helplessly melting together. Rapid and blurry as the last few days of my life at the Abbey were, I can honestly say that I used every single minute of them to carefully process the goodbye I was in fact saying to a place that had been my home, that had taught me so much.
I experienced the wonderful strangeness of unpacking all of my worldly goods and possessions in my fiancee’s apartment; seeing my clothes in his closet, my books in his bookcase, my pictures on his wall was a strong realization of the oneness we were to experience in just a few days.
I drove the trip home down 85 for the last time as a single, carefree college girl. I thought of all the times I had escaped from my tiny college for a weekend in the mountain countryside with my loving family… speeding home to avoid traffic, often with all my windows down because I love fresh air, playing the Fray or Jon Foreman on my i-pod. Feeling the cool air of Greenville, always so refreshing and clean compared to Charlotte. Being able to drink in the autumn trees that are never more beautiful than in the Upstate of South Carolina. Stopping off inevitably at the Gaffney Outlet Mall and buying sweaters I couldn’t afford. My little sisters and brothers running out to hug me when I pulled in the driveway, feeling windblown and at peace from the quiet hour and a half in the car. Laying on my very own bed in the room they still kept for me, feeling the mountain breeze coming in my window, hearing the happy, busy sounds of my family downstairs, and sensing the wave of perfect contentment wash over me.
I have learned from my father to be excited and ready for each new phase in life, yet to properly “bury” the last phase; to mourn for the fact that, as my Grandpa said, “You can never go back”. This has added a poignant and bittersweet dimension to my life. That last week at home in Pickens before my wedding day I was able to do this – to say “goodbye” to the girl I was, the girl who could come home anytime she needed to; the girl who could spend all her time with her little sisters, or going to movies with her boisterous brothers; the girl who was under the protection and loving care of her proud father; the young woman who was still a girl.
It was this heightened awareness of the changes happening in my life that made my wedding day so much more powerful and overwhelmingly beautiful. I didn’t spend that last week frantically making sure all the ducks were in a row, all the tiny little insignificant details given the utmost importance. I didn’t worry about anything… though I sometimes wondered (somewhat anxietously) if I should worry a little more!… I couldn’t afford to spend the precious time I had to do so. Instead, I pondered in my heart the change that was about to occur on Saturday morning, the reality of becoming one with a man who had won my heart completely, the hand of God orchestrating our love story and our new life as husband and wife.
To be continued…