This is my twenty-sixth day in Denver, and I love it more every day. I love my life here. I love my friends and my classes, I love my city and I love my experiences. There isn’t much I’m not in love with, actually.
The biggest thing I’ve been learning is that I have no obligation to be static–I don’t have to be the same person two days in a row. One day I can be artsy, inquisitive, and sophisticated; impossibly sexy and playful and loving the next; and modest and studious the day following. I can be who I want to be without feeling like I have someone who I am constantly. I’ve tried to create one “me” in the past because I was afraid of being called two-faced or cliche or too tumblr circa 2013 or whatever, but I am free from that fear today. I am free to explore who I am, where I’ve been, where I’m going. I am free to use the words I want to use, spend time with people who make me more fully myself, who are on this journey with me.
My constant is my heart. People point out that I always use my heart to make decisions and encourage others to do so as well. I wear my heart on my sleeve (literally) and I know it hasn’t been wrong this far, so I might as well feel the passion, hurt, brokenness, love, wonder, awe, and everything in between. I don’t want to numb or dull anything; I don’t want to avoid any feeling because they are all so unbelievably necessary. What would life be without those amazing feelings of love, wonder, passion…those how-is-life-so-freakin’ cool moments? Likewise, what would life be without pain? Hurt? The times when it feels like life is being sucked out of your lungs as you search “sad songs” on Spotify and try to keep it together? I’m in love with all of these moments and how they make up my life. I live a life I would never trade for anyone else’s because I am so fully invested. I love being squeezed out, feeling like I have absolutely nothing left to give because I’ve given it all. I’m a big believer in being broken for people.
I was so afraid to come here, because I absolutely loved my life in Minnesota. I loved stargazing with Maddy and Josh in the bed of Maddy’s truck, I loved having weekly Bible studies with the girls from my high school small group, I loved eating at Applebee’s (and never winning Bargo, which I’m still a little bitter about….), I loved going on walks at 8 pm with AnnMarie, I loved playing card games with my family, I loved going to the Mall of America three times a week and the beautiful drive over that bridge you’re supposed to hold your breath going over (which I could never do), I loved driving to Minneapolis because I wanted to and because that’s where the lights (and the ten-story Macy’s) were. I loved everything about Minnesota, and I was terrified that I wouldn’t find experiences like that here. I was so comfortable, and I was afraid of the uncomfortable, even though I’m kind of a pro in getting uncomfortable. It just felt so permanent–moving 908 miles away from the familiar with no one but myself and my trusted heart (I still feel very tumblr circa 2013 sometimes). I knew that people changed when they came back from college, and I spent a lot of time praying about that before I moved to Denver. What would I be like? Would I recognize myself? But I could not have predicted the tremendous growth that could have taken place in twenty-six days. I feel like I am going places. I feel like I am surrounded by people who are going places. My friends and I talk about hiking to Machu Picchu during the summer of 2016 together (they might be joking but I am so not), we talk about having our chidren hang out in the future (assuming we all have children….Here on the social justice floor, many of us are considering not having children because BREAKING SOCIAL NORMS AND SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS), we talk about social movements that we can all be a part of because we want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and we encourage each other until we are squeezed out. We give it all.
In answering the title of this post, I think all aspiring college students should at least consider going out-of-state for college. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and know you can do it if your heart is there.
If your heart is there.
If your heart is there.
If your heart is there.
Do some reflection and ask yourself where is my heart? Know that you hold pieces of the universe inside of your very being, and know that you have access to it. Where are the places your heart holds dear, even though you may have never been? Take that risk and move. Take comfort in the fact that if you hate it, you can transfer second semester. Take comfort in the fact that you need not have everything figured out or have a life plan like everyone else seems to. Know that there is so much room for growth. So much room for love and passion and peace and empathy and awe and you will do amazing things. You are overflowing with strength. You are chock-full of untapped potential. Not that this cannot happen out of state–I am not invalidating others’ experiences; I am simply going off of my own. And I know this to be true: I could not have grown this much or learned this much or loved this deeply had I stayed with the familiar. I have SO MANY PLACES TO EXPLORE and SO MANY PEOPLE TO MEET and I HAVE TO SAY IT IN CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT LIFE.
Now that I have bared my heart to you, it’s time to follow yours, babe. Allow yourself to be broken. You got this.