Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Life's truest happiness is found in friendships we make along the way

My adventure started Friday. Katie, Ricky and I left Tallahassee at 7am bound for Jacksonville for my GRE and some fun in the sun. The baby was excited for a trip, and even more excited to get his tiny little hands on some "booger kin" (Burger King) and a banana.

It was nice to have Katie with me. It seems like time and time again, I'm thanking God for bringing her into my life. When to door to one terrible, one-sided friendship closed, this friendship blossomed almost immediately. Her warm and bubbly personality matches mine perfectly, and her (few) years ahead of me allows her to keep my (bad) decisions in check. I don't have many friends that I can be as real with. I can tell her all my secrets and not be afraid of judgment. We gossip and boy talk and cry together (well, it's mostly her crying!) while watching sad TV shows. We exercise together, share clothes, and spend way too much money shopping for things we really don't need.

The friendship that I had with Jenna never made it past terrible decisions, being accountable for each other while making said decisions, and an underlying mask of trust. With Katie, I never have to worry that I'm just another stepping stone.

Last night, we were driving with the top down and eating chocolate dipped banana cones from DQ; the wind blowing our hair everywhere. The radio was playing classic oldies and we were singing at the top of our lungs when she looked at me and said, "These are the moments we'll remember for the rest of our lives". I smiled at her knowing she had read my mind. I really do love her.

Back to Friday! When I got to the testing site, I was a wreck. I was nervous and distracted and unsure about the preparation I had done, but I was grateful for the prayers that I knew were being spoken for me, and confident that He would be watching over me-as always.

I sat in the waiting room for about an hour and a half. The woman at the desk kept asking me if I was ready to begin, but I kept politely telling her that the test was not scheduled to begin until 12:30, and that I would like my time to study (rather, I would like my time to worry). When time did roll around, I gathered my stuff and walked into the testing room with the four other students who were waiting. Why does everyone look so nervous?

Two essays. Ok, I got this. No problem.
Verbal. When was the last time I heard any of these words?  Damn it.
FIRE ALARM?!
Quantitative. *Raises hand* Do we get a calculator? No? Wonderful. 


You know, the instructions in my email said you can't bring your own calculator. It never said anything about not being able to use a calculator at all. Why didn't anyone tell me? Thankfully, I didn't ask in the beginning, so I didn't spend the entire test worrying about it.

I can't believe the fire alarm went off during the test. When I saw the blinking light, I turned around in my chair. What the hell? I took off my headphones and looked around at the other test takers. Everyone was shaking their head and shrugging their shoulders. The proctor looked through the window and put her hands up as if she didn't know what to tell us. But time was still running. The only thing to do was to push forward.

After ten minutes of blaring sirens and the campus police coming over the intercom to relay that the alarm was "just a test", I was finally able to get back to worrying that I didn't have a calculator. Not to mention, I had just lost 10 minutes of test time.

I got my crappy score of 870.
I didn't get the scholarship score I needed to help pay for grad school.
I was already dialing my mother so I could get the tears out of the way. 

As a side note, I want to thank everyone who has prayed for my mom during her healing process. She's doing better everyday, and despite her constant pain, she continues to strengthen me as my semester gets tougher. She reassured me that I did my best, and that no matter what, God has a plan. Isn't that what I always say? I love when people start reassuring me with my own words. It subtly reminds me that my words are effective. 

At that moment, Katie pulled up to save the day. We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping, laughing, eating junk food, and walking in incredible uncomfortable shoes. Oh the things you do to get your mind off of a bad test score. Sigh. 

In the spur of the moment, we decided that we would stay the night in Jacksonville. Katie had spent the day with a long lost friend, and I knew she wouldn't mind spending a little more time with him. She had made the trip to Jacksonville to support me. I could spend the night in town to do the same. What did we have to lose? After all....it was a full moon. It could only be a good time. 0:-)

Sure, we had work in the morning; her at 10 and me at 9, but we could make it. We would just stay up all night to avoid being tired, leave Jacksonville around 4am, and make it back in time to get a shower and something to eat before having to jet to work. I vowed to keep the Gemini-Pisces mischief at bay. It was foolproof.

We met up with her friend, Wyatt. He is so taken with her. Really, it's something I haven't seen in a long time; the adoration in his eyes as he looks at her, the way he touches her back as he walks by her, the way she smiles at him like she's got nothing to hide. I miss the feeling.

It's that feeling that puts tears in your eyes 
because it feels so good (which at various points in the night, it did). 
It's that feeling that eliminates any doubt you have of them or 
even if you doubt the existence of love itself.
It's that feeling that  makes every girl around wish they were you, 
and every man around wish they were him.
It's that feeling that you recognize the second it hits you.
It's that feeling that makes you real.
It's that feeling that completes you.


We ended up going to a country bar. Too bad no one else in town had that idea. We had the whole bar (and dance floor!) to ourselves. It was bittersweet to listen to the love songs, and to see him whisk her away to the floor. The smile on her face never looked so real. And the look in his eyes was one I rarely get to see. Fifteen years had definitely done something to the way he looked at her, that's for sure. He didn't see her as a 12 year old bad girl who didn't care to listen to her parents, who didn't give him a second look on the bus to school, and who (apparently) made a lot of bad choices. He saw a beautiful woman (and told everyone so) who made his heart swell, and that one day, he would marry her. It could have been the alcohol talking, but it was pretty convincing.

I fell asleep for about 20 minutes. 
But we were late leaving the house. 
Late hitting the road. 
Late getting back into town. 
Late getting to work. 
In fact, Katie didn't even make it to work.

Against my stomach's desire, we made a quick stop at 'Booger Kin' and ordered a whopping five orders of hashbrowns (that was all I could bring myself to order), some kind of egg and mystery meat sandwich, breakfast burritos, blueberry muffins, and orange juice.

After spending three hours in the sun soccer refereeing, I spent the rest of the day in bed, sleeping off my wonderful exhaustion. I haven't felt so deliriously happy in a friendship in so long. I'm so very grateful that He has led me to her.

I can't wait for our next adventure.

1 comment:

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