A letter to my 22 year old self.

It’s hard for me to imagine what must be happening in your life. 6 years is quite a long time for someone my age.

So how are you?

Have you finished art school? Please tell me you are at least at art school. I hope you haven’t lost track of your passion. You better not have settled for some boring medical degree. Don’t kid yourself, you and I both know that you’ll never feel content doing that. So if your not at film school make sure you really think about the choices you’ve made. Are you where you’re at because you want to be there or because mom and dad want you there.

Speaking of mom and dad, how are they? Is mom deaf yet? Because lord knows she practically there already! Is she still working? Has she given up coloring her hair yet? How about dad? What was it like when he retired? How annoying was it to have him home for all of senior year? I hope you still talk to them. Don’t be one of those adults who ships their parents off to an old people home. Even though they weren’t the kindest to you, they are your parents. Remember that.

How’s Drew? Let’s see he’ll be about 25 now. Make sure you keep in touch with him. I know that the way you guys communicate is through being jerks to each other but you love him. And he loves you. Remember a few weeks ago when you were saying good night and you said you loved him and he responded, “same I guess.” Be there for him. Let him know you believe in him. Let him know he can do it. Whatever it may be.

I was about to ask how Fawn is but I can’t imagine she’ll still be alive. An 18 year old dog is highly improbable but hey who knows? If you have your own dog I hope you named it Jeffrey. You always wanted a dog named Jeffrey.

Nikki Robinson

Note: I wrote this almost a year ago with the goal of it being a sort of time capsule and I had always intended on adding more to it but I suppose now it’s been long enough that I would like to leave it as is- existing in its slightly disjoint, completely unfiltered, and half-finished beauty.

Another 1:00am existential crisis.

I’m lying in bed and I’m hearing that old familiar voice again telling me I’m not good enough. And you see normally I can silence it and go to sleep but tonight the voice seems much more prominent.

In general, I like to think that I’m pretty confident and self assured. I make a conscious effort to develop my own sense of self identity and to love myself but I often struggle with feeling useless.

And I just don’t get why.

Do I really think that I’m never going to accomplish anything with my life? No of course not. I’m way too determined to give up on my dreams that so many have told me are very unlikely and far fetched.

But maybe that’s just it.

I don’t feel like I’ll never live up to my own standards. I fear that I won’t live up to other people’s standards.

That voice in my head could be my mom saying that art isn’t a real career. Or my dad saying my grades aren’t good enough. Or any other voice of rejection, disapproving or doubt.

And to those people I say “put a sock in it!”

But that’s just one face of the multi headed beast of self doubt.

I think there’s a small part of me that’s afraid of success. I know that sounds weird but I guess I’ve gotten comfortable with these thoughts. If thoughts of uselessness and incompetency were human then they would be that friend that you don’t really like but still hang out with because you always have.

Doubt is my blanket and I am Linus from Peanuts. It makes me feel safe and comfortable.

So I suppose I have come to a sleepy conclusion.

Do I really feel like I’ll never amount to anything or am I afraid of what’ll happen when i believe that I can?

Nikki Robinson

Changing Seasons

I’ve reached a point.

And I’m not quite sure what this point is right now.

But I know in a few years time I’ll look back at right around this time and I’ll know that this was a point in my life where I sort… Sort of changed seasons I suppose.

I’m coming out of a time where I my motivations and intentions were not in my best interest.

And I’m coming out of I time where I guess I really just wasn’t being who I really was.

And I’m sure there’s a John Green quote out there that puts it in a much more eloquent way than I can, but I guess I’m just changing seasons.

You see, the leaves that I wear are no longer artificially attached to me to make me look like the perfect plant that everyone would want to have.

I am growing and I am growing naturally.

I am growing independently and I’m growing strongly.

I am growing to look the way I want and I’m growing to do what I please.

Most importantly I’m not growing for someone else anymore.

I am growing into a complete person who knows what she likes and is rooted in her identity.

I guess now, I’m just growing for me.

Nikki Robinson

“Friendship Reimagined (“Scared of Lonely”)”

I woke up at 6am this morning unable to sleep. So instead of lying in bed torturing myself with insomnia I decided to get up. I went to the kitchen and made myself a cup of tea then headed downstairs with my handmade leather journal and my iPad.

I’ve recently started listening to these podcasts on my iPad. They’re recordings of talks given by this campus pastor from South Carolina named Sammy Rhodes. I’ve been really enjoying them because first of all Sammy is quite funny, but second of all I really love the way he makes the bible so applicable to actual life.

So I sat down in the recliner chair and curled up in a blanket. Side note: I made myself a new type of tea this morning and good lord it smelled amazing. Alright, back on topic. I put in my headphones and opened up my journal to the nearest page so I could take notes on the podcast. I pressed play on the next podcast I had downloaded entitled “Friendship Reimagined (“Scared of Lonely”)”.

Sammy started off by talking about how the two things humans long for most are to be loved be someone and for someone to know our stories. However, while we are so desperate for friends we are also terrified at the idea of friendship. You see, many of us, myself included, are afraid that if someone really knew us they wouldn’t love or accept us.

But we need to be known. We need people to know our whole stories. In Genesis 3, God says that it is not good to be alone and therefore makes Adam a companion, aka Eve. Since the beginning of time humans have needed companionship.

Then Sammy continued to state the four reasons we need friends. The first was affirmation. We need people to love us and make us feel accepted. Next was confrontation. As flawed people we need friends who love us enough to tell us when we’re wrong. We need people who will kindly point out our destructiveness, even when we don’t want to hear it. The next reason we need friends is that we need to be understood. We need someone who gets us. A true friend is someone who understands your personality and what you’re interested in. And lastly we need fellowship. At the core, friends are people who we can be around. Our friends are the people we can go through life with and they love being with us.

Sort of the main idea is that good friends always let you in and never let you down.

For me I’ve found the “never let you down” aspect to come a lot more naturally. I tend to try hard to make sure I’m a loyal friend because coming from a family dynamic that is quite the opposite, I understand the need for consistency and loyalty.

However what I think I struggle with is the “good friends always let you in” part. Ever since I can remember I’ve always been terrified of getting too vulnerable with people. As Sammy said many of us have the “fear that if someone knew the real you, they would run the other way”. And I think that’s just it. I have a fear that people wouldn’t want to be around me if they saw me in my weakest. Because, ladies and gentlemen: I am flawed. Wow big shocker. But it’s true. We’re all completely screwed up, yet all of is feel like sharing our weaknesses will cause people to run the other way. Why is that? I know that for me I like seeing people be vulnerable. It makes me feel like they trust me and it helps me see them as that much more if a deep and dynamic person. So clearly being vulnerable isn’t always a bad thing. Yet, I have parts of me that not even my best of friends have seen.

So I guess that’s my challenge- to let people in. I’m not quite sure how to start, but like many things in life, I guess it’s a process. Because I really want to be a good friend.

“good friends always let you in and never let you down.”

-Nikki Robinson

PS- This should link you to the podcast: http://rufatgsu.buzzsprout.com/81.rss