People say that when you leave home, you discover who you are.
This is the second time that I've left home, and I'm actually starting to realize how true that is. The first time, I was in a new country and I couldn't really do anything against the book. That was too dangerous. The first time, I was too afraid to change who I was because everything around me had already changed too much.
This time is different. I am surrounded by 120 people with the same base values I have as an Apostolic Pentecostal, but that's about where the similarities end. That's about all that every single person has in common.
Since I've been here, I've discovered that I really do love the piano. I'm learning to play again, with chords this time, and there's very little that makes me feel better.
I've become a music junkie. Most of my friends are music junkies, and they've rubbed off on me. My room always has music playing. But, I still can't pick just one kind of music to love. Sometimes, I'm in the mood to put on hip-hop and salsa and dance in my dorm because there's nobody to watch and make fun of my white girl moves. Sometimes, I love to listen soul, gospel, and blues while I just sit and read or write. And I always love Broadway. And that I freaking love Jack Johnson and could listen to him all day, everyday, and not have the slightest problem with that.
Sometimes I want to wear high heels, but I get sick of them by the time lunch rolls around. So, I change into flats. And then sometimes I just cruise around my room in smiley face socks with peace signs on them. Because they're amazing and when I see their yellow smirks, it makes me crack a huge smile.
Headbands are amazing, but sometimes a sequined beret will do the job just as well and make you feel like a million bucks.
I've learned that there really is nobody better to take your problems to but to God. And sometimes you just need to (and this is going to sound really weird) hang out with God and tell him what's going on. God really does care about your boy problems and he'll take care of everything, even if it's not the way you want him to. Prayer and time with God doesn't always involve tears. It doesn't always involve tongues. These things aren't bad. They're actually excellent. But there's more to God than that. God's a friend, too. I wouldn't go to my friend and cry every time I talked to them. You don't have to cry every time you talk to God either. Sometimes the greatest time with God is when you're just sitting in the quiet and talk to him like you would your best friend.
I should probably note that I stole that last thought from a friend who is much smarter and more insightful than I am. I've learned that there are a lot of people out there smarter and more insightful than I am, too. And that it's okay if I'm not the smartest person all the time. I don't have to be, nor do I really want to pretend that I am anymore.
I've learned that sometimes, no matter how bad things are, a simple message from someone telling you that they were up last night praying for you, even though they don't know about your storm, is the very best thing that you can hear. Sometimes, that brings you to your knees in thankfulness and puts you in awe of how much God cares about you and how very small you are in comparison.
I've learned that sometimes, God will put the oddest opportunities for you to witness to people when you least expect it. Sometimes, a random greeter at K-Mart will recognize that you and your friends are wearing skirts and ask if you know what the Council of Nicea is. If you're the only one of your friend who can answer this, you'll feel super good about yourself and be glad for your World Religions and History geekiness, as well as making a good impression on a perfect stranger.
I've also learned that sometimes people, unfortunately, could not care less about your Christian witness. At these moments you need to remember Matthew 7:6.
I've learned that sometimes I can be overdramatic and neurotic, but my friends love me anyway.
I've discovered that the real friends are the ones who stick around through anything and everything. And sometimes the people that you think are going to be there forever won't be. And sometimes the ones you don't see ever being your friends are the ones that stick to you like glue. And I've learned to embrace both of these things.
I've learned that when life gives you lemons, you don't always have to make lemonade. Sometimes you can throw the lemons at people.
And sometimes you can embrace them and put them in a decorative bowl on the table and let them become part of your decor.
I've learned that I am me.
And I've learned that I still don't exactly know who that is, yet.
But I'm getting closer everyday.