Crystal Clear

The 20s are all about seeing beyond. Masquerading, acting, and pretending are things that we do daily. We have these rehearsed versions of ourselves that we present to the rest of the world and while they may not be the full fledged renditions of us, they are still valid nonetheless. We also have those that we take off our masks for and put on display all the messy, flawed, imperfect, and yet beautifully unique people we are underneath. Some people are refused to be unveiled and others you can see right through. Some things are just crystal clear.
There are certain things that are absolutely crystal clear to me but somehow go unseen and unrecognized. It's not until time is intentionally set aside or I have time to retreat into my head in a moment that I look around and see where I am, who I am with, and what I am doing. Do you ever just gaze in awe at your circumstances? This life is complicated in the most convoluted of ways, and yet it's plain and simple at the same time. The things that I let occupy my time, stress me out, and keep me down are both real/important and also frivolous.

When I observe my surroundings I often find myself smiling uncontrollably. I start laughing and tears stream down my face. I am in shock at how blessed, lucky, and privileged I am in so many ways. Forget me for a minute but those that I get to be connected to whether that be family, friends, faculty, staff, administrators or acquaintances, are beyond amazing. I think about it and I struggle to begin to even fathom how one person could be so loved, surrounded by such effervescent positivity, and enveloped in loyal support. It should not be possible. I don't know if it's just me or maybe everyone has the same sort of network, but either way it is too much. It's overwhelming. I am overcome with emotion. I am absolutely dumbfounded because no one person should be so adored, protected, and lauded.
I know it is nothing that I have done or said or even who I am or who I get to be that has given me the favor that enshrouds me. No matter how much I have smiled, consoled,  or fought it does not equate the outpouring of love that I receive. It's crystal clear to me that I am under a grace that transcends words.
What is crystal clear to me? I am loved beyond compare. I also have love for others better than words. Love can never be obscured. It cannot be hidden. Nothing can contain it. The one thing that is always clear to see is the love that people have for one another. Let love guide you ... always. It's what will show you what matters most to you.
The past few days have been a whirlwind of pure adventure interwoven betwixt and between moments of wholehearted admiration in love. Celebrating my sister's 18th birthday was unbelievable. The little girl I have my spent my entire life caring for, laughing with, and helping out has more than come into her own as a powerful, compassionate, intelligent, and beautiful person. Standing in front of her taking pictures for her to instagram found me crying uncontrollably. I solemnly swear there is no one in the world that I love more than her. My life is only complete because I have her in it - that I know everyday.
Being 21 years old and going on your first date is not something you hear often but I've come to know my life has never been normal (and I'm okay with that). I met up with a new friend (#tinderbae - don't know it till you try it) and to say I was nervous would be an understatement. I sat in the car, fixed myself in the mirror, and practiced my salutations in various tones of voices. I was going for my slightly deeper scratchy voiced "hey" but she caught me off guard as I was pinning things on pinterest in Starbucks. We hugged, grabbed drinks, and talked for just over two and a half hours. It was so easy. I felt totally comfortable. I got out of my head and stopped worrying about who I was trying to be and just was myself. The topics varied so widely and I ended up sharing stories or thoughts that my friends don't ever hear. It was fun, honestly. It was empowering, and at the very least let me know that I can do the whole dating thing, and in fact I may be quite the conversationalist. Hugs, well wishes, and potential future plans ensued and I was on my way. I drove away excited but also proud. I did it. It was crystal clear to me that letting what I loved most come out was what made me the most ... well me.

Travel days for me are always real journeys. After not sleeping I made my way to airport and flew from Dayton, OH to Baltimore. It was there that I received the call from Case Western Reserve University for a match in becoming their Student Activities and Leadership graduate intern for programming and a Greek House Director. My heart jumped and soared. From there I flew to Manchester, NH where my college best friend aka the bro-bae, Jeff, retrieved me. He was exactly who I wanted to see then to help decide my future for the next two years. I spent the weekend with him playing Halo, Monopoly, and hanging out. Everything with him is so easy. I get to let my guard down and be stupid silly. There was this moment just sitting next to him I looked over and knew even more so then than ever that this guy would be my friend until the end of time. It was so damn clear.
People passing you off like precious cargo is not a common occurrence but it was my life on Sunday. Jeff dropped me off at my fraternity brother Connor's home and I spent the morning/afternoon meeting his family and getting to see him unmasked. It gave me this new appreciation and understanding of him as a person. He just makes so much sense to me now. The love that was present in his house was thoroughly apparent and reminded me of that same love that permeates me household. His farewell to his family before we left for school mirrored mine a few days earlier and resonated with me deeply. Fast forward to Monday and I accepted the graduate assistantship as Case Western and officially am matriculating to study Higher Education and Student Personnel at Kent State University this fall. I am beaming because it's been clear from the get go to so many others that there is where I would end up and what I would be doing.

Thankful is all I that I am. Like I said before I do not deserve the love that people shower me with but I am appreciative of it and hope that I am able to reciprocate it and pass it on to others every day of my life. It's crystal clear to me that it's the reason we're here in this life.

My blog post question for the day is ... who do you love uncontrollably in this world? My siblings, parents, and extended family - oh and my niece (she is everything and more).


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