Life of a Tuscaloosa Resident…. post undergrad….

Hello readers! I apologize for my extended absence. The summer has continued to pass swiftly and I honestly had a hard time keeping up. I’ll try not to include TOO many details in this update, but it has been a while. So bear with me as I catch y’all up.

 

In my last post, I had just returned from Clara’s wedding feeling like an 18 year-old that had woken up in a 22 year-old’s body. I talked a lot about how after only 1 month since graduation, everything had begun to change and I was beginning to feel like an adult. 

Well, 2 months since my last post I’ve had some more time to get used to the post-grad life. I should’ve held my tongue last time, because let me tell ya: that feeling still lingers heavily, and as youngsters around town are entering college now that feeling is mixed with nostalgia. All of this mixes for a very “I’m OLD” shock.

So not long after Clara’s wedding, I got a lovely little break from my internship, (which after all the work that I put into the newsletter, was timed perfectly). I went to the beach for the Alabama Dental Association’s annual meeting where my publication was distributed and got to spend some quality time in the sand and sun with my mom. 3 days was just enough time for me to rest up a bit, and then I flew to Newark, NJ to make the longest road trip of my life.

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Fortunately, when it’s just you and your best friend in the car for 20 hours the trip can be lots of fun. In an interesting turn with transportation costs, it actually was cheaper for me to fly from Mobile, AL to Newark, have Shawn pick me up from the airport and both of us make the 2 day journey on I-95 from NYC to Tampa. 

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I am so glad it worked out that way, too. We had the best time chatting, singing, eating and telling stories. Now we really know whether or not truly can stand each other! (ha). I got to meet his family, Emma and Lucky (the puppies), see where he grew up and we got to spend a FULL week together. He already knows my whole family and all of TTown, so it was wonderful finally getting to see his home. But, this isn’t a blog about my love life, so I’ll stop there.

I wish I had taken more time to appreciate my week long break, because by July I realized that might be the last time I have an entire week off for a few years. Even when it came time for the yearly-family-traditional camp meeting at Indian Springs, I had to take 3 days (out of the 10) to come back and work. That was NOT what I wanted to do. 

Indian Springs came and went, and I returned to Alabama where I have been finishing up my final projects for my internship. Life has begun to slow down a bit. I was privileged enough to get to go visit Clara and new husband and new home in small town Andalusia, where we got to talk about what growing up is like for the both of us. Obviously, we are now in two, VERY different situations. But it’s nice to hear things from a different perspective.

Upon my return from Andalusia last week, I realized that Tuscaloosa was beginning to buzz a little more than its usual summertime self. The students have begun to come back. If you can imagine a giant ant bed after you stomp it a few times and all the ants come out, that’s an accurate portrait of Tuscaloosa around this time of year. 

Many people say that they wish they could just stay in school, stay in Tuscaloosa, stay at UA. Well I am one of the unlucky few who is getting that opportunity by being a part of this one-year master’s program. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely blessed and incredibly ready to begin the program, but as far as remaining  in Tuscaloosa goes, that’s a little weird.

Let me preface this by saying I AM NOT COMPLAINING. But I am feeling, and here’s what I’m feeling. (Total girl statement, sorry guys). All summer long I’ve been seeing Instagrams and Facebook posts of friends at their new jobs, in their new cities, beginning their new adventures. They are growing up, moving forth, and blossoming as individuals in the world. Not to say that I’m not, (I realize grad school is a positive step forward), but I’m remaining in Tuscaloosa, living with my parents (AGAIN), and here’s the kicker: none of my friends are coming back.

I guess it took me a while to realize this. As girls are moving into Tutwiler, Rush workshop is beginning, and the University is beginning to put out all the stops for the Fall 2013 season, I began to become excited the same way I always have since freshman year for class, football, pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks, spending time on the quad  and being with….. wait a minute, the friends that aren’t coming back. What makes fall so much fun is my friends being with me. As it is now, I’m in a long distance relationship with more than just my boyfriend. It’s everyone that has moved away. I know people will come back for games, but it won’t be the same. And when they do come back, they’ll be different because they will have new lifestyles. I imagine they’ll joke about 9-5’s and “remember how easy school was?”. Obviously, I won’t be able to relate there. This is all so so weird. 

This week marks the last week of my internship. It’s the last week that I have adult responsibilities on a small scale before my final year of education starts and I enter the real world… (wait, deja vu, cause I also said that this time last year). Truth be told, even though the environment is familiar and the landscape hasn’t changed, I don’t know what to expect for this year. It could be exceptionally hard, medium or easy. It could just be school, my assistantship and visiting Shawn, or it could be all of that plus new friends (who more than likely have already ventured into the real world and are coming back) and new community. 

Regardless, I am where the Lord wants me. He continues to show me that daily. The most recent happening was being offered an assistantship that will help pay for school (hallelujah). This is a little bit miraculous because the funding for these ran out in April. The thing about His plan for or lives is this: He will always bridge the gap where we come up short as long as we are making an effort and are giving Him the glory. 

Lately a blog post concerning a woman’s husband as not being her soul mate has been circulating. I read it out of curiosity, only to be disappointed. It wasn’t because she revealed the myth behind the term soul mate (I could’ve told you that when I was 8), but because she vehemently argued that God doesn’t have a specific plan for your life. Why do I hate that argument? 1. It discounts God in a HUGE way. He’s a big, jealous, loving God. If He wants every part of us, and He’s as powerful as I believe He is, then it stands to reason that He is interested in the small details of my life. I don’t mean what I’m going to eat for lunch, but certainly where I am in my life (and yes, WHO I’m dating). I don’t need to pull out tons of scriptural references for that. Just read your Bible. 2. I want my decisions to glorify Him, but sometimes what I want doesn’t always glorify Him. It may not be sinful, but it wouldn’t bring glory to Him as much as something else. and sometimes, that something else may not be something I am 110% excited about. He warns us by saying the road is long and narrow. That means we have to be selfless. 

So often, people get caught up in what they think is God’s plan. For me, a year ago, I thought it was Staff Assistant in an Alabama congressional office, on the Hill, with friends I’d already made and being a part of National Community Church. But apparently grad school is where He wants me. It may not be the more “fun” or “interesting” option, but it is the right one. And personally, I can’t wait for the rest of the plan to unfold. I mean gosh, it’s only one year.

 

So despite all of these lackluster feelings, I can stand on the truth that my Father loves me. My life is in His hands, and no matter how lonely I may feel or how much of an illustrious and unglamorous change this is Christ died for me so that I may have access to this wonderful relationship with the Lord. No longer am I defined by sin. I should be constantly rejoicing if only for that reason. And finally, I can stand firm in my faith that He has a grand plan for me. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, y’all just watch and see what He does with me. Life may not be grand all the time, but in the end it will be. 

So for those of you that may doubt where you are or aren’t excited about it, listen, I’m right there with you. But we just have to trust Him and everything will be okay. Easier said than done, but try it and wait and see where it gets you. He is faithful.

Well if I haven’t lost you already, I’m sure I’m about to. Now that school is about to start I’m sure I’ll be back a little more often.

 

Love you all,

Chaslee

 

 

 

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