Graduation

Today my not so little brother graduated high school. I can’t believe it.

I spent most of the ceremony crying on and off as speakers talked about the bond that is Hickman. How the hallowed halls turn into life long memories and once a kewpie, always a kewpie. As cheesy as it all was, I couldn’t help thinking they were right.

I graduated from Hickman two years ago, but it feels like yesterday. It feels like I was just laughing with friends as we walked from class to class and smiling wide as I wore that gap and gown, becoming one of those beloved alumni.

The kewpie bond is another thing that connects my brother and I. We are already close siblings but this is yet another tie.

so congrats to my brother, Hickman high school class of 2015.

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Semester

As the semester comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect on everything that has happened in the best four months.

It might be crazy to say, but I feel like this semester changed me. Not in a bad way, just in a way that I can’t quite describe. These past couple of months I’ve learned my limits. I’ve dealt with people and situations that I would never have imagined myself in over winter break. I’ve overcome so many obstacles, both academically and personally, and I feel as though I’m a much different person than I was.

I am much stronger than I was four months ago. I’ve cried over the simplest things, and held it together with a smile on my face in the toughest moments. It’s funny the little things that can push you over the edge, but overall my tolerance has increased immensely.

Going forward, I know this semester will effect me in the future. Certain things that will happen in my life I will no longer be scared or nervous to face because I know I’ve been through so much already. And I couldn’t be happier to say, the best is yet to come.

Ball game

Today is my baby brother’s senior baseball game. I can’t believe how much he’s grown.

I’ve spent countless hours at the ball fields. We’ve traveled from city to city, watching my brother play baseball all across the country. Today was the last time we will see him play on his home field at Hickman High School.

Luckily, this isn’t the end of my baby brother’s baseball career. He received a full ride baseball scholarship to a community college in Illinois. I’m so incredibly proud of him, but can’t deny the fact that I’m a little bit sad.

My brother and I have always been close. More like best friends than siblings. Sure we have the occasional fight, and bicker pretty often. But we love each other through it all and will defend to the death if anyone else were to pick on the other one.

I’m going to miss Evan. More than I can put into words. For now I have to enjoy every moment I have left with him. Senior day, Prom, Graduation, and then a summer full of memories we can make together before he moves two hours away.

Goodbye

This week I experienced the fourth death in my family in the last three months. I feel like people no longer believe me when I tell them another family member has passed.

My family is very large. I have close to 20 first cousins a lone and so do both my parents. This means lots and lots of aunts, uncles and distant cousins. No matter how big my family is, I consider us to be very close. Whenever someone is celebrating the happy times or is going through a rough patch in life, our family is always by each other’s side to support through thick and thin. Losing one of our own is hard on everyone.

As more and more family members reach their elder years, it starts to hit home that these role models and people that I love so much will not be around for much longer. It saddens to me to think of what I will do when those influences will be gone.

Growing older is a part of life and death is always inevitable but it’s a very scary thought. Something that doesn’t cross your mind on a daily basis. Either way, it’s time to say goodbye.

Baby Cousin

When I tell people I have a big family they don’t always believe me. I have 18 first cousins and one on the way.

My aunt recently announced that she was pregnant and my whole family is excited. It’s been five years since we’ve had a newborn on that side of the family. We’re also more excited because it’s the third girl on that side. There’s me, the oldest, and my cousin Lola, the youngest at five years old and now new baby Sofie.

I’m really excited for the new baby, especially because it’s a girl. I’ve been fortunate to be really close to my cousins despite the 13+ year age difference. Lola and I are especially close sine we are the only girls. Her and her family recently moved up to Columbia from Arkansas so I’ve gotten to spend lots of afternoons and evenings with her and I cherish it so much. It’s cool to see how much she looks up to me and I get to see the world through her eyes.

My relationship with Lola makes me both excited and sad for the new baby. I was talking with my brother’s girlfriend and she said, “Lola will be the you to the new baby,” and without thinking I said, “yeah because I probably won’t be around that much.”

The fact that I said that so easy made me realize how soon I’ll be graduating and moving out of Columbia. I was raised her and have always been within an hour of my closest family members, but who knows where I’ll end up after graduation. My plan has always been to move to a big city like Chicago, New York, or L.A. but all of those places are a plane ride away. Who knows how often I’ll be able to come back to Columbia at all.

I’m beginning to realize more and more everyday how close I am to true adulthood. College is that weird in-between time where you’re starting to claim more responsibility but not quite there yet. I’m not sure if I’m ready for it yet, but that doesn’t mean it’ll come any slower.

Positive Change

Sometimes it takes everything falling apart to be able to put it back together.

Last week it felt like nothing could go right. I found out I was failing a class, lost a best friend and was extremely stressed with a team story. I broke down sobbing to my mom, complaining about how I was never going to graduate from journalism school and how I felt so far from myself.

After that mental breakdown, I felt a lot better. This week I brought my failing grade up and am confident I can pull it up even further. I’ve grown closer with other friends as they support me through the stress and anxiety that this semester has created for me. I also have had a generally stress-free week, leaving plenty of time to catch up on my favorite television shows. Sometimes you just need a break.

Horrible Week

There are some moments where you just feel like everything goes wrong at once. Usually those moments for me only last a day. This time it was the entire week.

I try not to let times like this get to me, but this week I couldn’t help it. After an ear infection, multiple tests and a team story, I couldn’t help but go home to my mom and let all my feelings out. Unfortunately for me, that means crying. And I hate to d cry.

I’ve always considered myself a pretty strong person. Most of the time I can fake it until I make it, but this semester hasn’t been like that. I’ve been knocked down so many times making it harder and harder to get back up. But I do get back up everytime.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that this semester is going to be rough. For lack of a better term, I’m going to get my ass kicked. I’m so thankful to have people in my life that keep me grounded and sane. As embarrassing as it might be, I’m so glad that I can come home to my mom and bawl my eyes out if needed. And that helps.