Disclaimer: It's about to get real in this blog post . . . but hopefully still delightful.
I know what you're all* (none of you are) thinking: "Laurie, you've been working full-time and not in classes and just loafing around for the past three weeks. Where are your witty and endearing blog posts about recesses of your life that everyone* (no one) wants to read about!?" Based on past experience, a reader of my blog would assume an apology is forthcoming. In this instance, you are incorrect. No apology, because I have nothing to apologize for. I have been living life for the past three weeks, and it has been glorious.
New leaves are always easiest to turn over when there is some noticeable, tangible shift to hide behind. I picked the change from winter to spring semester here in Provo. Turnover in church attendees, no classes, and working full-time all adds up to a perfect opportunity to reinvent myself as a socialite. This is a role I've never taken on in my life before (except for maybe a few miraculous months of sophomore year in high school) and I have to say: I was incredibly nervous to try this social experiment. People who know me best probably think this is strange. People who have known me the past four years probably think this is normal. The phenomenon of my personality switch from outgoing to introverted is probably good fodder for a dissertation, not a blog post, so I'll skip that for now.
My number one method for kicking this habit of hermit-ism was to attend every church function, big or small. It started out small, but it's grown. Now I'm also on an intramural ultimate frisbee team (which used to be a huge passion in my life so I'm pleased as punch to get back to the sport). I've started running a few times a week (to stop embarrassing myself while playing ultimate frisbee). Would you even believe I've started going to bed at 11pm so I can get the recommended amount of sleep every night? (except when I have blogs to write or games to play with new-found friends).
This didn't start out easy. Three weeks later, it's pretty easy, but that first week, I wanted to throw in the towel. The second week, I still kind of wanted to throw in the towel. Last weekend, to the beginning of this week, I've built up some social endurance and I'm getting ready to roll. I doubt anyone who reads my blog needs this advice, and make no mistake: this isn't for you; it's for me because here is what I don't want to forget:
I woke up Saturday morning to the sun peaking through the blinds in my bedroom, with strips of soft light lazily falling onto my face and pillow. I ate breakfast and went to an ultimate frisbee game where I rediscovered how much I truly love to be competitive and active and that I am actually very slightly good at ultimate frisbee. My calves burned and my lungs were stabbed by every breath I gulped down in the rare moments of rest in the game. My face and arms were flushed from exertion and the sun that was starting to beat down in earnest as the hour wore on. I jumped for the disc and collided with someone and laid on the sparse grass, relishing the cool earth on my face. I got up and halfheartedly tried to wipe the grass and dirt of my shirt, shorts, and shins. I felt pleased that at least I was playing good enough defense to get in the way. I could feel the soil that had snuck into my socks and shoes.
Afterwards, I confidently wore brand new denim shorts and a pink t-shirt with ruffles to lunch with two friends that I hadn't seen in over six months. We laughed and ate delicious food and I couldn't stop smiling when I thought about how blessed I am to have such wonderful people in my life. I quickly made plans to spend the afternoon with another friend. As I drove to her house, it hit me as hard as the opponent had in the frisbee game that morning.
Although I had been happy at times through the past two years, this day was by far the happiest I had been in a very long time.
There are still a lot of things in my life that are stressing me out, that I complain about, and that I wish I could change, don't get me wrong. But there was this instance where I was driving in my car and it was running well and the radio was playing a good song and I was singing pretty loud with it and the sun was tanning my arm as it hung lazily out my window and I was warm and felt mild exhaustion after exerting a concentrated effort into performing at a sporting event. And everything was great. Sometimes I'm foolish and wish for perfection in my life. I'm lucky enough to have moments like last Saturday where I realize that not everything in my life is perfect, but there is an intense pleasure that comes from small things, like good friends and active bodies and new leaves.