It’s funny to look back at where I was a year ago today, or even who I was. If you could peek inside the brain and thoughts of the Abby from a year ago, you would see a chick who was scared out of her mind. The majority of my friends had left and started school all across the state and I was here, in the same place I had been for practically nineteen years. Except, it wasn’t the same place anymore. Yes, the lights at shackle island stadium still came on every Friday night and the traffic lights would still blink once it got to the unholy hours of the night and steak and shake would still have the perfect late night treat. But I realized it wasn’t the same without the people I had spent the past 8 years with at those places. My hometown just felt like a ghost town. So naturally, I was scared that there would be no need for me anymore from those people; that they would go off and replace me with some “big girl college” me. For weeks and months this thought, this insecurity, ate away every bit of happiness I could conjure up. I would do nothing but work and go to school and come home. There were so many nights I just cried until I thought I literally had no more water left in my body. It took me awhile to realize that it wasn’t just the fear of everyone forgetting me, it was the terrifying thought of being alone. Not only that but, being alone with myself. It took everyone leaving for me to see that instead of dealing with the insecurities I had with myself, I just let my friends drown them out. And when there were no more people to help drown them out, all I was left with were them screaming in my head louder than I had ever heard them. I can honestly say that the first semester of college was the hardest thing emotionally I’ve ever gone threw.
But what I didn’t know was how important those five months were.
After I finally got done sulking and throwing myself a little pity party, I picked myself up off the ground, wiped away the tears, and told myself I was going to be okay this semester. About a month or two in, started making friends but I didn’t let them engulf me. I didn’t fill every non-busy second with them. Instead, I took some time to be by myself. I took a second to learn about who I was, which was hard because I realized there were many different versions of me. I was still me, but pending on who I was with, there was always something different. Some friends I could be my normal loud goofy self and some I had to tone it down. Some friends I wouldn’t bother touching the aux cord because I had no clue how to find the music they liked to listen to and others I had the perfect playlists. My tastes would change pending on who I was with. And being by myself for the first time in a long time, I got to figure out what the ‘default’ Abby was like. Instead of running from her, I embraced her. Instead of being afraid to look in the mirror, I learned to love who I was, every zit and pore and curve and all. I learned to laugh at the dumb things that actually make me really happy. I learned that even in this place I’ve been for 19 years, there were areas that I had never seen and some of them were absolutely breath taking. I learned I love talking to strangers. I learned that 90% of the time the radio would fit all of my music needs. I learned I love driving with no destination in mind and taking backroads. I learned that I loved movie previews. I learned that I absolutely loved hockey. I learned a ton about myself. I was reassured about a lot too. I was reassured that no matter who I was, that the Lord is sufficient through any of my struggles. I was reassured that I still hated school. I was reassured that chick-fil-a was (and is) still one my go to’s.
It took the Lord taking my everyday mundane away to show me how extraordinary my life can be. So, if your struggling with letting go of something or someone because of the fear of being lonely, don’t be. It could be one of the best things to happen to you in a while.