The one about college.

I don’t know how to write about these past nine months. I don’t know how to put words to the highs and the lows, the fears and the joys, the laughter and the tears.

I haven’t blogged much this year. Maybe I was too busy focusing on school or work or friends. Or maybe I was too afraid to slow down enough to pause and reflect on what was happening.

But now I am back at Point A. I moved out of my beautiful, spacious, and creatively cluttered room in the corner of the sixth floor two days ago, and now here I am in my small, dusty, overcrowded bedroom that I grew up in trying to reconcile these two vastly different lives I’ve been living.

When I left nine months ago I cried nearly every night before I went to sleep from the deep ache of missing my home friends. This corner room on the sixth floor was too hot, too empty, too foreign.

But as the weather turned cooler and we filled our room with our belongings, this corner room of the sixth floor became familiar. The wildly curly haired girl whom I slept a few feet away from every night became a friendly face at the end of a long day. We plastered our walls in photographs and paintings and museum tickets and anything else that would tether us to a life outside that corner room. We filled our room with familiarity, creativity, candles and christmas lights- and I stopped crying before I fell asleep.

The two of us and the blonde headed hipster next door stepped out of that corner and into the center of downtown. We forced ourselves to make the city streets familiar. We walked those streets over and over and over again until we knew every crack in the pavement. We fell into the rhythm of the train and the traffic patterns. We were running with the pack now.

And when I found myself longing for someone to chill out and drink coffee with I bumped into the brown haired girl with the nervous laugh. And slowly more characters were written into my life to help me up when I fell face first onto the sidewalk, or be there to comfort me when it seemed everything was falling to pieces. I still longed for the comfort of old friends- but I began too find a new comfort in these new ones. And now when I cried I had people to cry with.

And so we ran through this city, tripping occasionally, but keeping up to pace fairly well. We chased our terrifying dreams and often fell into holes of self doubt. But we pulled each other out and kept running. We found a way to make this new life work. It wasn’t free of disappointments and rain, but we always kept a friend nearby and and umbrella in our backpack.

Then it came time to stop running. To fall out of pace with the year-round city dwellers and to start disassembling our corner of the sixth floor. We peeled off our art and photographs and memories until all that was left were empty walls with a few spots of missing paint. I said tearful goodbyes to the wildly curly haired girl and the blonde headed hipster and we left that corner of the sixth floor forever.

And now I’m here. I’ve just finished one of the hardest school years of my life both academically and personally and I’m not sure what now. I’m exhausted and confused, but my mind has never felt clearer. I miss my city people, but I’m overwhelmed with joy to see my home people. I miss the fast rhythm of downtown, but I’m basking in the ease of the slow rest of this place.

Whenever you expand the amount of world you’ve seen, going back to Point A seems smaller. And right now home seems small. I grew bigger when I was away and I don’t know if I fit here anymore. And maybe I’m not meant to fit here anymore, but for now, for the next three months, I guess I will try to keep my big growth, but also find my small peace and quiet.

Because I think I need small for a while. I think I need to hear the chirping of birds and to see the stars. I think I need to drive with friends and listen to my mom talk about the latest neighborhood gossip. It was a big year and I think it’s time for some small.

 

run clear

These days I feel all wrong.

My words are jumbled- I can’t say what I mean.

My hands are clumsy- I can’t make what I want.

My brain is foggy- I can’t think a clear thought.

I feel upside down and backwards.

I work in loop de loops and zig zags.

I haven’t been able to make a straight line for a while.

My skin doesn’t seem to fit anymore.

I’m an imposter in my own body and I can’t seem to find my own reality anymore.

My bones creak in protest when I force them to move.

And sometimes I can’t even tell if I’m the one moving them.

I feel wrong, right now.

But, when you turn on the faucet for the first time in awhile it takes a while before the water runs clear.

So I’ll shout my jumbled words, I’ll flail my clumsy hands, and I’ll run through my foggy brain.

I’ll walk on my hands and run backwards.

I’ll twirl in loop de loops and jump in zig zags.

I’ll make a melody of my creaking bones.

I’ll turn my faucet on full blast and let the dirty water flood out.

With the hope that, one day soon, my faucet will run clear again.

Letters to July // Day 31

Dear July,

Wow we did it.

A whole month.

We made it through this entire month together, talking (almost) everyday and I haven’t gotten too annoyed with you!

July, I’m always surprised by how busy our time is together.

We went to several parties together, hung out with some of our favorite friends, went to freshman orientation and had our last camp.

July, we faced our creative blocks, and our struggles to keep hold of reality.

July we made a lot of dumb decisions and said a lot of dumb things.

July, we doubted ourselves, we doubted each other, we doubted our friends, we doubted our faith.

But, July, you helped me rebuild.

You gave me new relationships and the confidence that maybe I’m not as bad at making friends as I thought.

July, you’ve helped meet realize who I can hold on to and who it’s time to let go.

You gave me space to think and process everything happening.

July, you gave me coping mechanisms- I mean, who would’ve guessed I’m really into watercolor painting.

July, I’m still really scared about what’s going to happen after I leave you tonight until I see you again, but I think I have a bit more confidence that I can do it.

Because July, I’m allowed to give myself my best chance. And I’m allowed to have people help me figure things out when my mind is too clouded.

Please don’t worry about me, July.

I think I’ll be just fine.

I’ll miss you!

Until we meet again-

Love, Nikki Robinson

Letters to July // Day 30

Dear July,

I want you to see, but I don’t.

I want you to see me, but not all.

I want my creativity to come to light, but I want my insanity to stay hidden in the dark.

I’ll show you my creations.

But I won’t give you admission into the circus sideshow where they were formed.

I want you to see me on my good days, not on the bad ones.

I want you to see me when my hair looks good, my eyeliner is smudged just right and I’m exuding confidence and cleverness.

I want to stay hidden when I look all wrong and my eyes are puffy and I can’t separate planet earth from the planets and galaxies in my dreams.

I want you to see me when I’m put together.

I want you to soak up every word when my thoughts are well ordered and prepared.

I want to be ignored when I’m coming unhinged.

I want my words to go unnoticed when they come out in the wrong order and tone.

When my words come out in zig zags and loop de loops instead of straight lines, I want to fade away into the background.

I want to command your attention.

I want to escape your attention.

Love, Nikki Robinson

Letters to July // Day 29

Dear July,

So I just finished listening to this podcast about comfort.

The pastor lady was talking about how we crave comfort when things get hard or go wrong.

When we start to get filled with fear, we start to worry and feel anxious and when we feel that worry and anxiety we turn to the relief of comfort.

And while comfort isn’t inherently bad- it keeps us from growth and change and transformation.

Because, you see while we crave comfort, we need courage.

In Matthew 14 Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and goes out to join him.

Peter rejects the comfort of being in the boat and embraces the courage to go towards Jesus.

However, it’s not just peachy for Peter.

Peter starts to sink.

And that is where his courage comes in.

Peter knew who to look to and who to reach towards- and because of his courage and trust he did not drown.

Sure Peter was afraid-

But courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the acceptance of trust.

I don’t know July, I think it’s an interesting thing to think about.

Love, Nikki Robinson

Letters to July // Day 28

Dear July,

Sandblast was awesome as usual.

I just have such a love for my house group and small group and I’ll really miss those relationships I’ve formed these past several years.

To be honest with you, July, I’m still very confused about how I feel with my relationship with God.

I’ve got a lot of questions and there’s a lot of things that I don’t understand, and while I didn’t find any answers this weekend, I think I found my desire to seek out those answers.

I’m not really sure what I think about the big man upstairs- but I think now I’m ready to start figuring it out.

Love, Nikki Robinson

Letters to July // Day 23

CKpG_P8UwAA4CLr

Dear July,

I went to orientation today. That was weird. And also fun. I’m going to be going to school with some really weird people.

I can’t wait.

Love, Nikki Robinson

PS- I’m leaving for Sandblast in 6 hours so you may not hear from me for a few days depending on if I get service there

Letters to July // Day 21

Dear July,

I feel suspended. 

Suspended above my life.

Not really participating, but observing. 

I’m watching it all happen but I’m not doing anything to affect the outcome. 

I’m suspended. 

Detached.

Separate. 

There are times when I lower enough to where my feet can touch the ground and I can move and dance and interact and take control. 

But then I’m swiftly lifted back up. 

Suspended high above it all. 

Watching the tiny people below me. 

I watch them run and play and laugh and cry. 

I watch them make decisions and choices. 

I watch them light up with passion and take control of their life. 

I watch them and I long to be them. 

But suspended in the sky I’m separated. 

Truth be told I could untie myself from this rope and drop down to earth. 

But I’m afraid of the fall. 

And what if I don’t like it on the ground?

What if I get hurt?

What if I make the wrong choice or run the wrong way or love the wrong person?

What if I get it wrong?

What if I get hurt?

At least up here I’m safe. 

Up here I can keep my distance. 

Up here I’m untouchable. 

But-

What if I don’t get hurt?

What if I make the right choice and run the right way and love the right person?

What if I get it right?

Is it worth the risk?

Is it worth the inevitable hurt for the possible love?

Is it better to stay up here and feel nothing?

Or drop down and feel everything?

Love, Nikki Robinson

PS- Sorry these letters haven’t been very consistent, July. I’ve been a bit under the weather and have fallen asleep a few times before writing to you. 

Letters to July // Day 19

Dear July,

I’m on a bus. 

I’ve been on this bus for a long time. As long as I can remember. 

And there’s a lot of people on this bus. 

Some people are next to me or just across the aisle. Always willing to have a chat. 

Some are a few rows away but they’re always friendly. 

Sometimes people get up and move to a seat closer to me or a seat farther than me. 

And sometimes people get off the bus entirely. 

But I have my constants. 

A few people I’ve been riding this bus with for years and years. 

They’re the people who don’t mind if my head accidentally falls onto their shoulder while I’m asleep or if I accidentally bump them with my baggage. 

I’ve been riding with a good bunch. 

But there’s a stop coming up and the driver says everyone’s getting off- except me. 

Of course I also knew that eventually my people would get off this bus and onto different busses, but this next stop is approaching awfully quickly. 

I can see it. I can see the next stop. 

And there’s three girls waiting there to get on. 

I guess I’m going to be riding with them for awhile. I hope they’re kind. 

So July, I’ll do my best to welcome these strangers into the bus that I’ve shared with so many I love. 

And perhaps one of those old friends will join the new ones some day back on my bus. 

Love, Nikki Robinson

Letters to July // Day 17

Dear July,

I just went and saw Inside Out with MaryRose tonight and it was brilliant. Everything about it was so well done and it’s just such an important movie. 

I really liked the part when joy and sadness worked together to control Riley’s brain. I really get that. For example, I’ve been thinking about leaving my friends when I go to college and there’s a lot of sadness in leaving but also a lot of joy in the fact that I have these people in my life who I’ve gotten to make such great connections with to the point where I’ll miss them. 

I guess I find joy in the fact that I’ve been surrounded by people who I’ve loved so much that I’ll be sad when they leave. 

I don’t know, July, but I felt a sort of comfort and validation in this little children’s animated movie. 

Love, Nikki Robinson