Coming back from break, classes picked back up at full speed. Ten page Chem 474 problem set, Math exam and a Physics exam (my last one ever!). I had just 19 days until I graduated. I could see the finish line!!!!! I honestly felt like I was running a marathon.
Some days it took almost all of my energy to simply not be sad over Will and Mitch. I almost cried at two libraries. I would battle with my emotions and my ADHD; working as hard as I could to not focus on them, but my schoolwork instead.
Other days I felt so empowered as I got to check things off of a list I’d had for four years. It felt so liberating. I was getting closer to reaching my goal.
December 2nd, I walked out of a math exam to OUR FIRST SNOW! I immediately FaceTimed my mom (who was currently living in Texas). She was walking the dog outside and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. Unbelievable lol.
So I made some new friends! Who would have thought it was possible…
I met Rick on the bus going to my 9:30am on Tuesday and Thursdays. That was… every Tuesday and/or Thursday when I wasn’t running late and missing the bus.
I got into the habit of sitting in the same seat. Right-hand side, towards the front. Perfect seat to see my upcoming bus stop, people watch, and possibly strike up the occasional conversation with the bus driver (Taking after my stepdad who can start a conversation with anyone). Rick lived a block away from me, so we didn’t get on the same stop, but he always sat right across from me. This went on for a majority of the semester without us ever saying a word to each other. It wasn’t until Rick dropped his coffee mug on the floor (I think..), where I found myself making some dumb comment to start up a conversation. I felt myself suddenly talking and halfway through I remember thinking, “Shit, what are you saying? You sound so dumb. WHY did you say anything??!” Man, I had been so lonely. I was cravinggg to meet someone new. I guess I got an added bonus that it was a good looking someone new lol.
So some mornings were harder to get out of the house than others. This means there was an occasion.. or two.. where I had to run from my bus stop to the next so I wouldn’t be late to class. I’m talking a full on sprint. Backpack, arms, hair, all flailing around. Run up the bus steps, fumbling for my bus pass, heart still POUNDING in my chest, mouth is dry (of course I forgot my water bottle), and sit down. CUE overheating body sweat and Rick starting to talk to me.
I tell you, no better time to start a conversation. hahah I was a mess.
We continued to talk every bus ride, eventually exchanged numbers and started getting to know more about each other.
We first hung out because I needed laundry detergent (lol seriously, I was on a major cleaning streak). He brought some over, I did my laundry, we drank, listened to music and talked. I’ve never met anyone like Rick before. He intrigued me. It took me awhile to figure him out. For those of you who don’t know, I’m an Aquarius and fit the mold so well it’s scary lol. So Aquarius’s like to keep people in their lives who interest or stimulate them.
Rick brought his best friend Colin over to my apartment a couple of times which made me happy because that meant I got to meet another new person. I was immediately struck by Colin’s appearance. He has this overall dark look with his dark-chocolate brown hair, dark-olive skin, black jacket, maroon pants… with one exception. He has these stunning, crystal clear, ice blue eyes. I remember having to remind myself not to stare at them they were so awesome! On the 7th, the boys came over before I was going to go out with some other friends. Me and Colin tried to make these homemade stress balls while Rick DJ’ed. The homemade stress balls turned out horribly. Absolute DIY fail, but it gave us a good laugh.
On the 9th I had my last undergraduate classes foreverrr! It felt amazing and oh soo good. After this, I had a pretty bad case of senioritis for the next couple of days. I started taking longer yoga sessions, watching a little more Netflix, and just not stressing out about school for the first time. It was fantastic. Those couple days of mental breaks were much needed.
December 10th 5:30pm I wrote in my journal:
"I can usually drink you right off of my mind, but I miss you tonight. I can normally push you right out of my heart, but I'm too tired to fight. Yeah, the whole thing begins and I let you sink into my veins, and I feel the pain like its new. Everything that we were, everything that you said, everything that I did and that I couldn't do, plays through tonight. Tonight your memory burns like a fire With every one, it grows higher and higher I can't get over it. I just can't put out this love. I just sit in these flames and pray that you'll come back. Close my eyes tightly hold and hope that I'm dreaming. Come wake me up." Come Wake Me Up by Rascal Flatts
"I guess this is what it's supposed to feel like. When we don't talk, We don't talk anymore. I guess this is what it's supposed to sound like When the universe, The universe is torn I know I can live without you. I can live without you, Put life off for another day. But I can't stop, thinking bout, thinking bout us anymore. I can't stop, no, thinking bout this, anymore And oh my God, I can't stop." -Can't Stop by OneRepublic
With You With you I see a life With you I see one path With you I see a fairytale With you I see fainted dreams Don't you see that I want you? With you I see comfort With you I see confinement With you I see simplicity With you I see stillness Don't you see I'll forever wanderlust? With you I see happiness With you I see happy lies With you I see forever With you I see unfulfilled dreams If I diverge from the plan, Would that be okay? With you I see an angel With you I see my best friend With you, it's constant. I love you I want you I'll always run back to you But that's the problem, I'll always run. -Me
Saturday December 12th, 2015
I made a 24hr trip to the city for my partner in crime, Vanessa’s, graduation party. Her entire family was going to be there, meaning I was FINALLY going to be able to meet her amazing Irish family. We had a fabulous time, taking polaroids, eating, drinking and sharing stories. I stayed the night, had breakfast with her family and drove down to Urbana in the morning.
Sunday December 13th, 2015.
After getting home from Chicago, the weather became grey and rainy. I was moving at sloth-like paces and before I knew it, it was 3 o’clock. I finally got my backpack packed, TV off, dishes done, apartment clean, and was ready to lock myself in the library all night. I stopped for one last bathroom break before I left, when I got a call from my mother.
“Hey Mom, I’m on the john and right about to go to the library. Can I call you back in five minutes or tomorrow?”
I don’t know if it’s a sixth sense or if my mom is just that easy to read by the tone of her voice and the way she talks, but I knew what she was about to tell me was extremely serious and couldn’t wait.
She paused, then began with a sorrow tone, “Well…honey, I have your sister on the line as well, and I just wanted to let you two know that your Grandpa Hull passed away today”.
My chest got heavy.
Our conversation was short. Words of condolences were shared and with sorrow hearts we hung up. I laid on the ground. It felt impossible to get up. My thoughts began to process as it hit me, I no longer had any blood-related grandparents alive anymore.
Now, my Grandpa was 98 years old, about to be 99 on Valentines day and had been having health problems since the summer. He took a more serious health turn around thanksgiving and I’m going to be honest, I selfishly wished that he would hold out until I gradated. I didn’t think I could handle anything else on my plate. Mitch. Will. Finals. Moving. No job. I wasn’t sure there was much more I could take.
My first final was that Tuesday.
I laid on the floor crying for awhile as I reflected on his life. When my Army of Angels grows it reopens past wounds, even if for a little while. I’m a thinker and reflector, can’t help it.
Did I mention it was also my Stepdad’s birthday? Happy Birthday Greg…
So I called the best friends, called Rick, called Will. Sat up. Gathered myself to leave as I got a text message from Rick. After we had hung up he wrote a song, recorded it and sent it to me. It’s called “Mourning Letter” <- Click to listen to his final edit if you want! This made me smile, I could hear myself in the lyrics. This put me in a better mood to head off to the library to tackle studying.
Tuesday December 15th, 2015
I passed the final. I felt so exhausted and excited at the same time. Once I got home I cracked open a beer, (No, I didn’t care that it was 2 o’clock in the afternoon), flopped on my couch and called Rick. He came over with his guitar and played me music while I relaxed. Talk about an absolutely fabulous time. I then did some yoga, ate and started studying for my last final.
Friday December 18th, 2015
CHEM 474: Drug Discovery and Pharmacology final exam from 7:30am until noon. (I get extra time on my exams because of my ADHD). I was hoping the exam wouldn’t take me the entire time, but of course it did (maybe because it was 18 pages long and
impossible extremely difficult).
Right afterwards I stumbled over to the bookstore to pick up my cap and gown. Running into Natalie D along the way, which was a blessing because I forgot you could only pay with cash or check and what did I bring? Only a debit card of course.
I then took the bus home, gazed at my watch and realized I only had two hours until my mother and sister would be getting into town. Being on three hours of sleep, I sat on the bus in an almost dazed state of mind as it slowly sunk in that I was officially done with college. The moment I had been thinking about for four and a half years was actually here. I was living it. No more finals. No more exams. No more lectures. All that time, money, emotions, all-nighters, wild nights. I felt as if I was watching a mini movie of my life as memories passed me by. Now sitting on my futon, beer in hand, I looked down at my checklist which read only two more things: graduate and move out. Such an exhilarating and daunting feeling.
My beautiful mother and sister picked me up some energy drinks before coming to my apartment. I became increasingly fueled as I got ready. I felt pretty for the first time in awhile (finals really take a toll on you lol), I was surrounded by family and I was FINALLY GRADUATING!!
The college of ACES didn’t have an official commencement ceremony, but they put together a really nice unofficial ceremony. There were about 50 people that graduated. They had a speaker, I got to walk across the stage, they had cake and it didn’t take extremely long like other commencement ceremonies. It was awesome!
Afterwards we went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, KoFusion. Where we stuffed ourselves with beautiful sushi and I got to flirt with a cute waiter. We then went home to relax, drink and celebrate!! (Of course I’d bust out some yoga ;p)
Which left the rest of the weekend to pack up my apartment, and thank goodness I had my mom and sister helping me. It. Took. Forever. Amy left Saturday afternoon for work. Me and my mom finished on Sunday at 9pm… Having everything packed up and just wanting to be done, we bought coffee’s and started the drive home. Driving through rain we eventually got home at midnight, exhausted.
This left me with Monday to do laundry, re-pack/re-organize, relax and see my beautiful cousin Marissa before I was off to Texas the next day!
Me, Amy and Mom flew out to San Antonio on December 22nd. We saw a man dressed in all RED leather in the security line at the airport.
Between arriving and christmas, the family went to 6 Flags and I spent every waking moment I could with my dog Cali.
Christmas Eve we went downtown San Antonio to the river walk. Christmas we drank. a lot. lol. Carol was over at our house on Christmas, as it’s her birthday too. It was lovely spending time with her, but hard seeing how advanced her Alzheimer’s was.
The 26th we went to Johnson City to see Lyndon B Johnson’s old house. He donated it to the state; it’s 717.9 acres with lots of cattle. Cali enjoyed getting a close look at all of them lol. On our way back home we saw all these amazing christmas lights. I’ve never seen so many lights before in my life. Sorry to say pictures don’t do it justice at all. Truly magical.
The 28th we got drinks at the Marriott Hotel with neighbors whose sons were in town that were me and Amy’s age. We all had a lot of fun! Nice family and a nice break from being around adults constantly. Then Will texted me, which through me off center. I gave him a quick reply, as to not be rude to our new friends and I couldn’t have his text lingering in the back of my mind, but I’m not happy with what I said. Oh well. It’s never easy figuring out what to say to an ex, especially over text. There’s just no emotion or feeling. And to communicate with someone who meant/means so much to you, is difficult.
Well, me, Amy and Greg went back to Six Flags on the 29th. Mom joined us later on (not riding any coasters of course, as she hates them). We had a nice time and it was nice to spend some quality time with Greg, but boy it was cold. We were so bundled up (for San Antonio standards) in the pictures at the bottom!
I wanted to spend New Years in Chicago and Amy had to get back to work, so we flew back on the 30th. I spent the night at Amy’s then drove to the city the next day! I’ve decided to write about NYE in my next chapter, so stay tuned as I’m about to begin my nomadic couple of weeks before I started work! 🙂