Tag Archives: memories

25: A Year In Review

I am spending my last day as a 25-year-old working on a Law & Information Technology final for a class that ended in May. It feels oddly symbolic–and utterly depressing. 

I also work today. This too feels symbolic. I spent most of the first half of my year in this office crafting my law review note and trying to squeeze work hours in while juggling twenty other commitments. 

Neither memory leaves me feeling particularly joyful. 25 is not a year I would willingly repeat. 

Colorado, Madison, Thailand, Madison some more. The real takeaway I see from 25 is that the second year of law school is somehow more terrible than first year. And I didn’t even think that was possible. 

I suppose I grew as a writer and traveler this past year. I overcame a lot. I think I also failed a lot. Or at least I fell flat on my face more times than I care to count. 

I am not sure what hopes to have for 26. It will cover one more year of law school. It feels a bit like one more year to ‘get through,’ which I don’t want to be the case. I love birthdays because they mean a new start. But with 2L year still nipping at my heels and 3L year looming ahead, I feel more braced than expectant. 

But you know what? Here is to 26. As my favorite poet, Tanner Olson, says: hope doesn’t let the story end.

And another year of law school is not the end of the story. So, that is how I want to approach 26. Hopeful. Even if I am not really sure what to hope for. Because it represents a new year and a new chance to kick law school’s butt. Or at least try not to let it totally kick mine. 

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So…Who Am I? And Why Korea?

It occurred to me that as my network of readers expands, a lot of stuff I take for granted that you all know about me…you might not actually know about me. 

So, hi! My name is Amy. I am an American and I spent the last five-ish months studying abroad in Thailand. I like books, black and white movies, and blogging every day. Back home I am a semi-sensible law student with a perchance for over-committing to everything that strikes my interest. Which is most things. 

Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing about my trip to Busan, South Korea. And it was amazing! It lived up to my impossibly high expectations. I love Korean dramas, Korean pop music, Korean food, traditional Korean clothing, the Korean language….and now South Korea itself!

I hope you enjoy walking through these memories with me! Let the fangirling begin! 


To Tori

Dear Tori,

Tomorrow you get married! If I have one regret about coming to Thailand, it is that I am missing such a wonderful day. But today is not a day for regret but for excitement! You are marrying your best friend! I am so happy for you. 

You have been my friend and partner in crime for so many years that I have probably forgotten more than half our adventures already! I am so grateful for every one of them. From an international, online girls’ bible study to a writing forum for our friends to the best New Years Eve party ever, you have turned my crazy ideas into reality for at least a decade now. 

Remember the first time we met in real life? We were so excited to meet we scared your parents by enthusiastically running and shouting and hugging! We rocked the Intelligence Committee and put on that ridiculous skit that only made sense to people on the Gen J forums and toured that incredible castle in Colorado. 

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And then we met up again in Texas! Who would guess as we sat hiding by that glass elevator discussing future dreams and plans that your future would lead you back to Texas?! And then we snuck out to meet Dan and Jennifer and in the end probably spent more time with that super-chatty Uber driver. 

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And then we both worked for AFP and could swap war stories! 

And then you came and visited me and we drove to Minnesota to hang out with our friends! And you came to my shared graduation party. (Were they separate trips? I cannot remember now!)

And then, most epic of all, that time you flew out with barely any warning and we accidentally crashed Sarah’s wedding? I will never forget driving across Wisconsin in the middle of summer without working air conditioning and then quick changing near a corn field so we didn’t look quite so sweaty and disreputable when we arrived. And then we got to polka!

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Then I flew out and visited you after a crazy election season and we had many adventures in Montana! We ate ethnic food and smelled tea that might have been the remains of King Tut and did an escape room. It remains one of the most relaxing and fun vacations I have ever taken. 

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And we plotted and we schemed and managed to pull together a New Years Party within a month! So many amazing friends in one place. Remember how excited we were about the murder mystery and how unexpectedly sketch it ended up being? And of course, Jordan and Ashley met…but that is a post for next weekend. 

Then I spent a summer at camp but we still managed to see each other for a quick visit and eat Korean!

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So many memories and so may pixelated photos! And yet even these correspond to only a fraction of our interactions. If I could, I would post a picture of hand-written letters that stretch a dozen pages, of forum posts and Facebook messages, of book club chats and bookish gossip, of Hamilton songs, of laughter and tears. 

You are an incredible, beautiful, amazing woman and I am so grateful to know you. Though our friendship will always look a little different going forward once you get married, I think of it as an advantage. Whatever our next scheme ends up being, we will now have three heads plotting instead of two! (Or, four or five or six or seven or eight depending how many Gen Jers we drag in with us!)

Congratulations on your wedding, my friend. May it be the happiest of days! 

Amy


October 29th

Today was…challenging. It began with a dead alarm clock & missed meeting and most recently concluded with me cutting my tongue trying to lick the envelope on the absentee ballot my town sent back because my witness failed to put an address on it. Let’s say things didn’t get better in-between.

However, Facebook memories reminded me that October 29th is usually a great day! So here is a quick strolls through some fun memories:

1 Year Ago

I won the undying approval of my neighbor in church this morning by knowing all the words to How Great Thou Art. She introduced me to 6 different people as, “Amy, Who Knows All The Words To How Great Thou Art.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell her I actually just couldn’t find a hymnal so I closed my eyes and did my best!

2 Years Ago:

“BLT is back!!!” shout the Jimmy John’s employees and silently I wonder if I should have gone to Subway instead. 
#DayofAction#IamBLT

3 Years Ago:

Bekah’s car rental…

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4 Years Ago:

Article: Even More Terrible Things Are Happening To The American Girl Doll Brand Than You Thought

(Arguably not a happy memory because I love American Girl but memorable.)

5 Years Ago:

Someone put me in charge of directions for touring Bath, England. I believe I’m saying, “This is the middle of the circle.” 

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9 Years Ago:

is leaving for her SAT in VA! Goodbye peoples!

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(SAT would be Student Action Team. I did not travel to Virginia to take the Scholastic Assessment Test.)


Redheads Reunited

9 years ago, I attended a Do Hard Things conference in Chicago. During one of the breaks I was browsing the store when a voice from across the table said,

“Are you Bucky Bookworm?” (Or something like that.) 

In surprise I looked up to find a stranger, but not really a stranger. Though I had never met her in person, Melody and I were friends on the Generation Joshua forums. She had recognized my name and came to introduce herself. Along with Melody came her sister, Esther. 

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Esther was also a friend from the forums. The two were high on my “bucket list” of people I wanted to meet in person. 

We met again at camp that summer.

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We remained friends on the forums and on Facebook but as we grew older we started to lose touch. Esther visited Bryan College while I was a student there so we caught up briefly. However, our friendship slipped into the calm obscurity of two people who are bad at keeping in contact long-distance. 

Until I noticed on Facebook that she was in Colorado Springs! 

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We caught up and grabbed dinner this week. (And if you are wondering, yes, that is the shirt from yesterday’s post!) The meal and conversation reminded me how delightful old friends are. We haven’t kept up in years and our interests and hobbies long since diverged. Yet once we started chatting, a dozen mutual acquaintances came up and countless little memories or forum posts needed analyzing. Every adventure and IRL meeting with other Gen Jers deserved a quick mention. 

It was fun. I think one of the best parts of getting older is that your friends get older too. You become a different person as the years pass, but an old friend reminds you (for better or worse!) of who you were and how you’ve changed. Esther is no longer the shy younger sister peeking behind Melody at a Do Hard Things conference. She’s a confident, fun, kind young woman who is taking on a new job in a new city. I’m excited to see what God has in store for her! And I’m always grateful for Generation Joshua and the relationships that developed and remain even as time and space continue to separate us. 


#becomingthebardens 

And they’re married!!

Many years ago I drove out to Virginia with Danielle to attend a camp. While there, she met a fellow by the name of Nick…

8 years later and I got to read Scripture at their wedding. ❤ What a special, precious day!


Forgetting Tennessee 

Even when I was a student, returning to Dayton, TN surprised me.  I always forget how familiar I am with this place. I suppose I did live here for 4 years…but I forget. The result is like a half-forgotten dream that sharpens into memory the longer I am around. ‘This is the road the school is on…that is the insurance place that employed me during fall break that one time…there is the dollar store I shopped at…the Taco Bell I ate at after every pay day.’

However, it isn’t just Dayton. I feel this way visiting Chattanooga and Crossville too.  ‘There is the Japanese place I first had sushi…there is the turn to get to my first roommate’s parents’ house…this is the road where the police catch speeders.’

Weird memories because they come back to me so clearly here but fade when I leave. And of course things change too. Elizabeth and I swung by Delia’s (best Mexican in Dayton) tonight and discovered…they moved locations!


I experienced this as a student and yet once again I can’t help feeling like my college days are a strange, segmented thing that happened in a different world. Wisconsin seems so far away. Yet once I go home, won’t Tennessee once again feel equally distant?