Hey everybody! So sorry that it has been a century since our last post, but college has gotten time consuming (surprise!) This post will be an update as well as a lesson to be learned for all those who struggle with second guessing.
So last Sunday (the 5th of October) Carissa and I decided we would make a trip to her homeland – Wisconsin. That Friday was her school’s homecoming game and her freshman brother was going to suit up with the varsity players (he’s just that good), and also her cat just had kittens (floofies)! The only question was how we were going to get there. Plane tickets were extremely expensive, AmTrak’s website wasn’t working, and my mum already banned the bus. We managed to persuade Carissa’s friend Nathan to drive down to Indiana on Thursday, pick us up, drive us back to Wisconsin on Friday, and then on Sunday he drives us back to Indiana and turns around and drives back to Wisconsin. Well the first problem was that Nathan couldn’t get off work on Thursday, so he would be driving for over 15 hours on Friday nonstop. While we were figuring out how he would drive for that long without a break, I was flipping between wanting to go and not wanting to go. No, it had nothing to do with Wisconsin or Carissa’s family, I had mid-term exams coming up on Monday and Tuesday which I wanted to study for (nerd, I know).
While I had come to the decision that I would not be going with Carissa on her voyage home that Friday mid-morning, Thursday afternoon had arrived. Carissa and I were sitting doing our own separate work, when suddenly, she just pops out of her seat, flings open the door, and vanishes. I didn’t think too much of it, considering we don’t need to tell each other where we are going constantly and she only brought her phone and keys. About five minutes later she comes into the room and trailing behind her is her friend Nathan with a grin mirroring the one on Carissa’s face. I was suddenly unsure of my decision – go or stay? I called my mum and she told me to do whatever, it was my choice, but to always live in the moment. Here is where the “point” of this post comes in; this flip-flopping between options was eerily similar to what happens when my anxiety cripples my test-taking ability. I took a few deep breaths and went with my original answer considering the second guessing is what usually causes me problems on tests.
Wisconsin was amazing. There was so much camo and dead animals everywhere. It was weird, oh so weird, but really fantastic too. Carissa’s high school won their homecoming game against their rivals, I got to meet all her friends (the slut of the county loves me? no one can figure out why), spent time with her family (her aunt touched my butt), went TP-ing for the first time (rebel), got to see the bar/gas station Carissa worked at, rode a four wheeler for the first time (I also drove it), saw her “deer camp,” her little brothers whipped me with kitchen towels (I have bruises as proof), hung out with kittens, made friends with the runt of the litter (he would sleep in the crook of my neck, and I would wake up in the morning to him licking my cheek), and most importantly, I didn’t regret my decision one bit.
This weekend I get to go home to Tennessee and spend time with my family and pup, so Carissa will be all alone except for Chelsea (can you say trouble?)
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*Currently laughing because Maria typed “cameo” every time she meant “camo”*
*Also because she called my bar/gas station a “diner” lolololol we don’t even serve food there*
What’s up guys, how are you doing?
So you’ve just experienced my hometown and family through Maria’s eyes, but here’s my version of the series of events that occurred this past weekend.
That whole bit with Nathan just showing up out of the blue, Maria nailed pretty much right on the head. And then the entire ride back to Wisconsin Friday morning was spent singing all of our favorite songs (Love Is An Open Door) (Maria hated it), listening to Maria and Nathan freak out over cool cars that they happened to spot, and watching Nathan down way too many Mountain Dews than could possibly be healthy for him (but he does that all the time). The forty-five minute stretch from Green Bay to my hometown was almost more than I could bare, which leads me to this: despite not exactly feeling homesick here at Butler, you can bet I was crazy excited to be home. I nearly cried.
We spent a couple hours at home with my family (minus my freshman brother) after having surprised them, and I caught up with my dog and met the kittens. But we only had a couple hours to kill before the football game started, and we had to be there early in order to see the homecoming court announcements and band performances beforehand. My sister played in the band and my brother was being announced as freshman representative, so basically we all agreed that this would be the perfect time to surprise my brother, who was still unaware that I was back in Wisconsin.
I think that this moment was my favorite part of the weekend, to be honest. If you knew my family, you’d know that the six of us are pretty much split right down the middle in terms of our personalities. My brother and I are like our dad, who doesn’t necessarily feel the need to express mushy, lovey notions…ever. My sister and other brother (he’s in the sixth grade) are much more like our mom. They seek all that stuff from us, and you know, normally they’re not going to get it. It just makes us uncomfortable. The odd part about this dynamic is that with other family members, hugs are a given. Saying “I love you” is a given. You do not leave a full family gathering here without hugging every single person there. And yet, with just our immediate family, that isn’t really the case.
It’s weird, I know.
So anyway, my point for telling you all that will become clear in a second. We’re at the football game, the band has just performed their first song, they form an aisle down the middle and the freshmen representatives get announced. My brother is all decked out in his football uniform, holding his helmet in one arm and leading the girl representative with his other arm, and he looked so grown up and he wasn’t smiling because he was a football player so he felt the need to look tough, you know, as one does. And my mom was trying to take pictures and complaining that her camera wasn’t working, and we were literally directly in front of him behind the fence, in front of all of the bleachers even, and he couldn’t see us waving because he was purposely not trying to see anyone he knew. So Maria starts yelling his name. Naturally, I’m trying to get her to shut up because this isn’t a time you’re supposed to be loud (because now they’re announcing the sophomore representatives), but then it didn’t matter because he looked our way.
First he saw her, and he looked a little confused. My sister and mom were the only ones who had met Maria before that weekend, but my brother recognized her from my Snapchat stories and Instagram posts. So when he saw her, he was basically like what? And then he saw me, looked away quickly like he was seeing things, and then looked again. This was when he just like broke out into this huge smile and of course had to stay standing there while all the other representatives and the homecoming king and queen lined up beside him. The band played another full song before they were finally able to disperse, and although he was supposed to return to the field to finish warming up for the game, he ran over to the fence and gave me literally the biggest hug I’ve ever received from anyone in our family, let alone him. His shoulder pads were absolutely crushing me, but I didn’t care, which was almost weirder than the hug itself. And then he hugged Maria, which was awesome (it was the beginning of an awkward-to-me friendship, really).
Immediately following that, a few of my guy friends from high school appeared behind us and tapped on my shoulder (these were actually people that I legitimately liked and was happy to see), including my best friend who has been unable to come visit me on campus, and it was so nice to see him again. I also ended up bumping into my cousin who is my “superhero” (I’m her sidekick), and she had no idea I was coming so she almost cried, and yeah. It was actually wonderful.
Maria basically covered everything else that happened that weekend apart from the time I went to take pictures of my brother’s homecoming group while she stayed at home and napped/hung out with her people (i.e. the kittens). Oh, and also that on Saturday night we took her dinner at The Barn, which is literally a little supper club inside of a barn that used to house cows and be a milking parlor and all that. The sign out front says, “Come sit and relax and drink where the cows used to stink!” Fun fact: they only have two menus. Other fun fact: apparently they had three on Wednesday.
So while Maria had some trouble with second-guessing herself, I knew that as soon as the opportunity was actually presenting itself, there was no way I’d miss this chance to go home. However, I probably should have been in the same boat she was in, because I am now neck deep in papers and presentations and meditations and reading assignments and so many other things that I’m so behind on, things that I should have and could have done all of that weekend. But I wouldn’t take back my choice. I haven’t missed a homecoming football game since before middle school, and I didn’t intend to start now.
I don’t exactly have a lesson like Maria did, so…sorry. You read my entire half of this post and gained nothing from it.
Have a great week.