September 18, 2014

you'll need each other

"Hey friend, what are you doing right now?" I knew when she asked this that she wouldn't let me get out of pretending to be too busy to talk. Having friends that are counselors is sometimes the best thing and other times, it's really hard. This was one of the hard moments. We walked back to my apartment, parked ourselves in the office, and she asked how I was doing.

"I'm good, you know, just trying to get everything done." I forced a little smile, hoping that it might convince either of us.

"How's school going?," she asked. That's when I felt the thread snip, that little tiny thread that felt like it was holding it all together. I explained that I was overwhelmed academically. I talked about my internship, and although I've got three hundred hours under my belt, finishing these last hundred hours seems like a monumental task. I mentioned that I felt like I was struggling to keep my head above water right now.

School tumbled into work which then snowballed into life in general. I opened up about how I felt like I had been a bad friend recently, unable to make and keep plans with people because somehow school or work kept popping up. I explained, through tears, that I just felt isolated.

There are many words people would use to describe my job, but I doubt isolating would be one of them. You see, I live my life surrounded by 173 college freshman. I'm rarely alone, but for some reason, I've felt isolated in the midst of all these people.

My dear friend, bless her heart, reminded me of a very similar conversation we had two years ago, but where the roles were reversed. I remember sitting on the floor with her at our friends house as we were surrounded by bowls of lukewarm water, the idea of a girls pedicure night forgotten because life interrupted us. I remember her crying; she had just gotten married, was finishing up her Master's, and was working in the same department as myself but just felt so off balance. She talked about feeling isolated even though she was rarely alone. I remember not really identifying entirely, but sympathizing.

I have this really bad habit of retreating into myself when things feel off balance or peculiar. I hope that I can pull myself out of the slump or combat the feelings alone, but that doesn't work as well or as quickly as connecting with someone else. I have a hard time crying in front of people, which is strange seeing as how crying is practically my love language. I just don't want my problems to burden others, which is so silly because that's not a real thing. I tell my residents that on a regular basis. They are not a burden. It is a joy to go through life with others because we get to be there for the good, the bad, the hard, and the easy.

I've seen this print floating around the internet and I just love it. It's a great reminder for me to not retreat into myself, but to remember that we need each other. Even though that conversation with my friend was hard, and I tried to avoid it, I'm glad we had it. I felt better as soon as I started naming what had been burdening me. I know that it was helpful for her too because, whether I like it or not, she loves me and wants to be a part of the good and the bad.


September 2, 2014

mr. brook(s) goes to mccall

So if you follow me on insta then you probably noticed that yesterday, I met Brooks Forester from season 9 of The Bachelorette. If you know anything about me, you know that the Bach is a major guilty pleasure of mine. I usually blog recaps of the episodes but was so burnt out (slightly dramatic, no?) from Juan Pablo's season that I couldn't bring myself to watch, let alone write about, Andi's season.

I already decided, in my brain, to watch and start back up my bach caps for this upcoming season when I received the ultimate sign from God that I was making the right choice. Also, please note that I'm being mostly sarcastic.

I was up in Cascade, Idaho this past weekend for with the Freshman class. We had several hours of free time on Sunday and a big group decided to head into McCall. I adore McCall. It's like a tinier Tahoe and is absolutely one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Imagine a billion trees, a lake with no end in sight, mixed with the charm of small town Idaho and you've got a basic idea of what McCall is like. I was sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops, Fogglifter Cafe, enjoying a much needed almond latte when two of my freshmen girls run in.


My thoughts instantly go to Demi Moore or Bruce Willis because they both had/have homes in Idaho and it wouldn't be entirely peculiar to see them in McCall.


I immediately look at my friend Jen, who is a huge fan of The Bachelor, and we both ask where, gather our things, and proceed to leave the coffee shop and five of our coworkers behind. At this point, Grant (Jen's husband and a good friend of mine) says, "Jen, don't forget that you're married. To me. We're married. Jess, you're fine. Jen, you're married."

These two girls start walking with Jen and I down the main street and we get to the end of where the shops/restaurants are and admit defeat. We start to cross the street to head back to the cafe when one of the girls says, "THERE HE IS!" and points with the entire force of her arm across the crosswalk where Brooks is about to cross. He was an entire ten feet from us when this happened and I instantly put my hand over my face and started shaking my head. I apologize to him and then said, "We heard you were up here from these girls and we were hoping that we could get a picture with you." He took off his sunglasses, extended his hand, and said, "Of course. I'm Brooks. Nice to meet you." I extend my hand which is surprisingly not sweaty (if you know me, you know that sweaty palms is my love language) and say, "Nice to meet you too." He then asks what my name is, which I'm pretty sure he was only asking for so that he could say it with his last name since we obviously shared a very beautiful connection. Jen and I take the picture with him and then he starts asking what we're doing in McCall and where we are from. We told him that we both live and work in Nampa when he proceeds to say, "I grew up in Nampa. I went to Skyview High School." Gal pals, I knew that he had some tie to Boise because he came back here to talk to his mom when he was on Des' season, but I did not know that he went to high school a whole five minutes from where I live. We continued making some small talk where we realize that we probably know some of the same people. He asks what we do and we tell him that we both work for NNU and he then says, "Oh, I knew some people who went there. I think a couple of them had trouble getting into Master's programs because of some accreditation things." I looked towards the two freshmen girls and said, "Girls, do not listen to this man, he is a liar." We all start laughing, including Brooks and his brother. Phew. "You know, if you wanted a really great college experience, you could go where I went in Utah. Great academics, great athletics, part of the Pac-12..." I interrupted him and said, "Nobody likes a bragger, Brooks." He laughs again and then takes my hand in his. It fits perfectly. He gets down on one knee, pulls a little velvet box from his pocket with a ring inside that would make even Neil Lane swoon and says, "It's Jessica, right? Will you marry me?"

So that last part did not happen, but I did call him a bragger. We made a little more small talk, thanked him for being so kind and letting us bother him, and then left. Jen looks over at me as soon as we're far enough away and says, "You guys were bantering back and forth. He was loving it."

About an hour later, I was sitting by the lake reading a book with several of my coworkers when Brooks and his brother walk by on the path in front of us. He looks over at me, waves, and said, "Hey." I said hi and laid back with my book in hand, LIKE IT WAS NO THING AT ALL THAT HE REMEMBERED ME AND THOUGHT TO SAY HELLO AGAIN.

My coworkers all had a mild freak out moment because I was being so nonchalant about the whole thing. I was just eaten' it up. So, there you have it. If Brooks and I ever get married, you're all invited. Fran, Hannah, and Kasey- you ladies will be flower girls (since you love the bach and are probably the only ones aside from my momma who read my recaps) and will be pulled in a wagon by bachelor contestants. You'll wear matching dresses and flower crowns.

There you have it. The proof. The magic. The picture that will obviously start out our wedding slideshow. Now, if only I could figure out how to photoshop out Jen and Booty McGee in the background. Sorry Jen. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

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