Saturday, May 3, 2008


Today I would have been donning my cap and gown. I would be joining my fellow classmates as they file across the stage to receive a piece of paper that we have spent the last 4 years working so hard to get. Afterward I would have slung my arms around my friends as we posed for hundreds of pictures that mark the end of another chapter of our lives. Through laughter and tears we would savor our last few moments together...reflecting on how far we have come.

For the past couple weeks I haven't known what to do with any of that....even as I sit here typing this I find myself typing things that I didn't even know were on my heart. The mere thought of the word graduation brings tears to my eyes that threaten to spill out. Am I sad that I won't be among those graduating in a week...yes. Yet not because I regret coming here instead of "powering through to get that degree first." That piece of paper has little to nothing to do with this. No the regret comes when I see pictures of the girls at one of their bachelorette parties, when I read away messages saying my peeps are all together having movie night or simply enjoying each others company, when I learn that one of them is struggling, when they retell stories of late night volleyball games or applebees runs........basically when I hear that their lives have continued on and I've missed out on all of it. Please hear me say that though I regret missing out on all of that I know that I was made for here. I know that this is where God wants me and that this is where He placed me for such a time as this. My last blog is as true now as it was yesterday when I posted it....I LOVE MY the daily tasks and the small things.

It isn't about not wanting to be really isn't even about wanting to be there. (ok so maybe a little..) It is simply about how far life has taken me in such a short amount of time. It is about an ending that signals so much more than just the end. This stage of life is over for me. Sure I may not have my degree yet and may still be taking online classes....but dorm living, campus life, late nights with the girls, etc...that is over. Never again can I visit Malone and have all my friends there in one place. They are moving on. They are getting married, getting jobs, getting lives. Seems so weird to hear them talk about their futures and what is next for them when I'm already in mine....and have been here awhile. 

Everyone around me insists that this place is far better than that. I'm told that my being here is far greater than being there ever could be. People tell me that I'm really not missing anything. Some would even say they wish they could trade places with me. 

It is hard for me to put into words the feelings of this heart. The only word that can truly grasp the emotion of this heart is - nostalgia. "A wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time." It isn't that I don't enjoy every second I spend here. My heart just longs, even for just an hour, to be back there living out the memories of yesterdays that have long since passed. 

God has truly blessed me with amazing people to walk through life with....both before college and then during. He paired me up with a roommate my freshman year that would become one of my best friends in life. In that same year he placed girls across the hall from me who would remain in my world from the first day we met. They were friends who would doctor me, motivate me,  encourage me, teach me, grow me, accept me, and most importantly love me. They would stick by me through deaths of family and friends, heart break, danger, car accidents, surgeries, rehab, dumb decisions....and smart ones, last minute studying and late night projects, and so much more. 

I will never forget:
*coming home to a room full of pictures of the Pope. 
*prank wars 
*shirley temples
*cream cheese and wheat thins
*Greys Anatomy 
*sleepovers on the futon 
*calling the home shopping network 
*dance parties....and singing at the top of our lungs 
*sweedish fish 
*diet coke obsessions 
*holding hands on the wood
*old school nintendo 
*paperboy, mario kart, and guitar hero 
*movie nights 
*the "rommmate" song 
*The volvo, betta, and mini :) 
*Fun nicknames that were shouted across the campus 
*trips all over the place 
......oh gosh the list could go on......

Letting go of the past (even when you love the present) is so much easier when the past wasn't as perfect as you could have ever wanted. When the memories of the past aren't nearly so fun to go back and relive. When your heart doesn't feel like a piece of it is missing because it will always be there woven in with the picture of what was. on within each of those that helped you create those moments. So for all of you that graduated today.... congratulations. Know that I was there with you in spirit, mind, and especially heart. I thank God for the role you in played in my world. Love you all. 



Anita said...

Ashley my thoughts and prayers are with you..........Love Anita

Ramblings said...

Wow.. Thanks for making a girl cry.. I love you so much and you have been such a blessing to me these last four years. I dont know what I would do without you. :-) Thanks for your thoughts..