Category Archives: Friends

Care Packages and Friends Far Away

I have not taken the transition from “working adult with paycheck” to “student with no paycheck” well. I miss the freedom and flexibility consistent money brought. I especially miss random trips to visit my friends far away. 

My best friends have always lived far away from me. In high school, they stretched across the United States. Now they stretch across the world. I often complain about the isolation of Madison, but I have never  consistently lived near my closest friends so I suppose it is an odd thing to say. I think the reality of the isolation, however, is that I can’t visit them like I want. Or even pretend I am going to visit them. And also I feel like I’m always talking about school…

But despite my limited scope of conversation (or because of it?), my friends have really been amazing at sending packages in the mail to remind me I am loved.  From care packages shipped from Montana and North Carolina to Christmas gifts from Tennessee and Korea to visits from Iowa (and even friends in Wisconsin), I am reminded how loved I am. 

This isn’t as eloquent a post as I would like, and it doesn’t even begin to touch on how much my family has done for me this year, but I want to give a fervent thank you to my friends near and far. Being a law student is hard and not fun, but I am reminded daily of the network of people who care about me and who will continue caring regardless if I live near or far. I love and miss you all! Thank you for making 2018 a year worth smiling over.

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Hope is here!

My friend Hope is visiting me from Iowa! We are going to a comedy club. Details tomorrowwww


Unpacking the Summer

At the end of my adventures in Idaho last summer, I wrote a blog post where I talked about finding a new side of myself. I, bookworm and indoor aficionado,  learned to sleep under the stars, hike for fun, and white water raft. Part of the appeal of going to Colorado this past summer was the idea of further developing this new side of myself. 

And in a way, it was. I camped. I hiked. I white water rafted. (It is a lot more fun without the raft of paranoid middle school girls.) 

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Yet looking back, I would not say this was a summer of discovery. Rather, it became something more precious: a summer of remembering. 

Image may contain: 13 people, including Heather Sherrill, Shelby Hoovler, Alexavier Xue, Abby Welch, Haylee O'Hearn, Kathleen Mattina, Caroline Adams and Amy Buchmeyer, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Law school is stressful. It is a melting pot of emotions and nuances and feeling like a failure. I emerged war-torn and exhausted. Going to Colorado felt like a terrible idea. As the weeks leading up to my departure became days, I kept wondering if Young Life would really would miss me too much if I just…didn’t go? After all, they’d told me there were two legal interns. Maybe they didn’t need me?

Image may contain: Amy Buchmeyer, smiling, plant, sky, tree, cloud and outdoor

I knew better than to bail last minute, though, so I got on my plane, read 4 books, and started a truly amazing internship. What made it amazing? 

  • I had work that mattered and that I loved. 
  • I worked with incredible people who made me feel loved. 
  • I lived with 8, wonderful, sometimes crazy women who loved me and took the time to let me know it. 
  • I participated in an internship program that provided mentors, speakers, and a small group that all poured into me and left me feeling…you got it, loved
  • Finally, I got hour after luxurious hour to read and think and be alone, to truly love myself. 

Image may contain: 13 people, including Liz Knepper, Andi Seaton, Kathleen Mattina, Haylee O'Hearn, Shelby Hoovler, Alexavier Xue, Caroline Adams, Heather Sherrill, Amy Buchmeyer and 3 others, people smiling, people standing, mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

The theme you should notice is that I was spoiled this summer. I was spoiled because people treated me like someone remarkable, someone smarter and funnier and more pulled together than I ever felt. They made sure to invite me to all their activities and never took offense when I declined to instead stay home and read. I always felt included but never pressured. And considering how many times I turned them down to read, that is saying something. 

Yet while I felt beloved for my reading and bug-killing abilities, I also felt the love did not stem from my personal attributes. I was surrounded by God-loving people whose love for each other stemmed from that love for God. Certain personalities might mix better and certain skills be more praise worthy, but at the end of the day, those things mattered less than the fact that each intern represented someone loved by God and thus worthy of love.

Image may contain: Kathleen Mattina and Amy Buchmeyer, people smiling, outdoor and nature

I was spoiled this summer because I felt unconditionally loved. I was spoiled because I got to do work that interested and excited me. I was spoiled because I got to live in the incredibly beautiful mountains with no humidity. 

I called this a summer of remembering. Why? Because it was a summer of remembering that my worth is not in what I do, or where I live, or what grades I get. It was a summer of remembering who I am when not stressed, not busy, and not networking. A summer of just being…me. Was it hard sometimes? Oh, you bet. But for all that, it was a summer beyond my expectations. 

The thing I want to take away, the thing I need to take away, is that this path wasn’t the most natural, the most prestigious, or even the most sensible. But in the end, it was the most fulfilling. God knew what He was doing even when (especially when) I doubted the most. 

Image may contain: 15 people, including Haylee O'Hearn, Heather Sherrill, Shelby Hoovler, Alexavier Xue, Caroline Adams, Amy Buchmeyer, John Sivils and Abby Welch, people smiling, people standing, mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

 

(And because I couldn’t find the right place for it in this post, extra grateful shout-out to my awesome fellow legal intern, John, who now knows a lot more about Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, public sector labor law unions, and agency deference than he ever could have wanted, but who always let me interrupt him and patiently listened while I rambled away. Thank you.)


Stage 2: Family and Friends

After a summer spent meeting new people and being on my best behavior, it is fun road tripping with my siblings. There is no fooling them and no point trying. At the same time, I don’t need to wonder if I should or could take a leader role since – by virtue of being the oldest – I am the de facto leader. It makes things simpler; it makes things fun.

We are having a blast so far seeing family and the occasional old friend!

(Aunt Joan, Anna has the picture of us on her phone so I will post it later!)


It Takes Two

“We’re watching It Takes Two,” said my housemates, all 8 crowded in the living room together. 

It sounded vaguely familiar – maybe a popular chick flick? – so I flopped down to join them. And then the movie began and my childhood came rushing back. 

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The movie was one long déjà vu. It also reminded me of a favorite series of mine growing up: 

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Their dog made the most lasting impression on me. Good times. 


The Blessings of Old Friends

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Or if I could reword, “It is one of the blessings of old friends that they have seen at you at your stupidest and still associate with you.”

I was reminded of that last night at the Gen J gala. 8 years ago I attended as a camper. 4 years ago I was a counselor. Now I am a community member coming to help out. 

Last night was a blast. I don’t have any pictures, but here is a snapshot of me 8 years ago with my pals. They saw me at my stupidest and still associate with me ❤ At least most of the time.

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Beginning of the End

Today marks my last Monday at Young Life. I will miss it here. I plan to write out a more thorough post at a later time. For now, I just feel a sense of sadness that my summer is coming to a close. It has been a lovely summer full of fun and fulfillment. Mondays don’t feel like Mondays. I’m always eager to get back to work. 

But I guess all good things come to an end. After all, new blessings cannot enter your life if you cling to the old. 

I’m so grateful for this summer! 

Image may contain: Kathleen Mattina and Amy Buchmeyer, people smiling, outdoor and nature