I'm feeling sentimental today. Maybe it's because of this article my older sister sent me this morning about HSPs (highly sensitive people) that quite accurately describes my personality in a nutshell. But even before that I was overcome with gratefulness as I crafted my mug of perfectly brewed French pressed coffee for breakfast. Maybe it's because I've gotten to spend some extra time at home this summer while conducting my job search and reorganizing for the big move to employment and "real life." Regardless, I'm feeling sentimental today. So this post is dedicated to uncovering the gratefulness I've cultivated over the past two weeks.
First, I cannot be more grateful for my wonderful, loving parents. Though they're making me face the realities of adulthood in many ways, they've been preparing me for the rest of my life, as harsh as I might perceive their advice to be. In reality, I've discovered just how much they care for, love, and support me. I know they truly want the best for me because of the lengths to which they have gone not only to bring me up in a loving household, but also to fund my education from my seven years at AA (note to non-Abq people: no, that is not the support group, but is a legit academic institution...I cannot laugh hard enough at all those Pepp people who thought I dove on the "Alcoholics Anonymous" varsity diving team - seriously?) to my undergraduate experience at Pepperdine. And various unconventional athletic teams over the past 22 years (shoutout to ice skating at 5 years old; can I get a woot woot?).
Coming home for the summer has only proven their support even more, as they've taken time to grocery shop, cook, discuss life, shop, work on our respective relationships, and just spend time with me. It's been such a blessing in disguise to be home, where I thought I'd be bored out of my mind, biking and doing yoga, drinking water like a fish, and cuddling with my puppies all summer (well...I'm still doing those activities, and I could never OD on puppy cuddle time). What I mean is, my relationship with my parents and what they've shown me these past two weeks has shown me God's incarnate love. I think it's helping me understand that aspect of my faith better. Which is a whole different animal, and we'll leave it at that for today.
Secondly, being separated from my friends (both at Pepperdine and from AA) is showing me who I am committed to invest my time in, post-grad. To beat the cliché, sorority girl phrase to a pulp: these are the women who will be standing by my side when I eventually get married (no, Grandma Kolb, I don't have a boyfriend...). But really. The friends I've made and held onto thus far have shown me so much grace throughout my many, many blunders, heartaches, joys, difficulties, and celebrations. They're the ones who send me silly snapchats of their dogs or the beach or manicures to keep me in the loop. Though it doesn't sound like much, our brief exchanges over snapchat and text mean the world to me. It reminds me that these are my people, and I've made amazing choices through intentionally selecting my friends and investing in their lives, careers, and happiness.
Third: my extraordinarily smart sister. She's taught me that I can be myself (i.e., the daughter who won't be in higher education for 10+ years ;) ) and be okay with it. We're different, and I'm learning to appreciate that life is not a competition (unless we start competing over arm strength, flexibility, and tan-ness, muahaha!!!). She's been the perfect mentor and role model, showing me self-love, -understanding, and -motivation as I pursue my dreams. She listens. She talks. A lot. And it's been so edifying and enriching to have her in my life to give me perspective when I'm blowing things out of proportion, to talk to me about the hard stuff, to support (and fuel) my passions, and offer me older-sister advice over a London fog. With her, I know that no distance can separate us (take that, 3.5 years of Euro-American sister relations, combined!), and that our relationship surpasses pretty much any hardship or difference in character. There are so many more amazing things to say about Rachel, I could probably write a full-fledged novel. The most important thing to take away: she's awesome and is going to achieve equally incredible things in her life of remarkable giftedness!
Finally, this post would be incomplete without mention of my three fabulously crazy beagles. Though we have no direct method of communication, their cuddles, stinky dog kisses, and company in the kitchen (albeit for the sole purpose of catching the crumbs I might or might not intentionally throw on the ground for them to vacuum) speak nothing other than love. Little K (Kracken) teaches me that it's okay to be silly sometimes and chase after bunnies, as long as they're unharmed and serving as a metaphor for my dreams (K has a bad track record with the our cotton-tailed residents, and I do not wish to divulge his saddening records of bunny slaughter). Tomás is the quintessential "chill" dude. Everything's all good with him as long as he gets his kitchen crumbs. With my drive for order and closure, it's helpful to be reminded that I can be chill instead of high-strung under pressure. Things will fall as they may, and I'm getting used to that. It's life, so I might as well enjoy it with a cup of coffee or puppy cuddles. And then there's Mia. She's kind of like the honey badger of all dogs. And honey badger gonna do what honey badger gonna do. She's quiet, sassy, and the queen bee. I don't need to be the center of attention, but I can treat myself as though I am deserving of honor, because yes, I am smart, capable, motivated, and worthy! I can be a feminist that defies radical stereotypes and encourages other women to see their talents and strengths while encouraging men to be themselves too (crying is okay!).
So bring on the tears...it's okay to be sentimental, and is such a gift to recognize your blessings. I hope this helps you discover what has made you come alive!
Your Sentimental Friend