Previous post: Sophomore year
This summer I worked desktop services at Hewitt Associates. It wasn’t my first choice given it was IT work, but the pay was the best I could imagine getting as a poor college student in the year of 2006. $11/hour and a full time schedule of 40 hours a week. I got the job because my dad had worked at Hewitt for the past 12 years prior to this and they had a great college hire program where they hired college students for the summer. Over the summer, I saw a vast improvement in both my brother and boyfriend. I purchased a Great America season’s pass and would go with the boyfriend and friends at least once a week after work on a weekday in order to avoid the crowded times. We also traveled to Michigan with my family for my cousin’s wedding in early July and attended a few concerts. I also did a few things on my own, now that I had a boyfriend it seemed like I felt like I had to prove that I was more than just a girl with a boy. I kept myself busy enough for the summer so that I thought I’d be happy.
I found myself struggling with my emotions often. I also found myself with a lot of free time since my job was too easy for me and they ended up switching me to a different department since there wasn’t enough to keep me busy. My doctor re-prescribed the pill for me, even though I had stopped taking the pill I had no choice but to be on it to control my cycle. I wasn’t having sex, so the pill was purely to regulate me and I hated the side effects it came with. I ended up emotionally crashing, and not just once. My boyfriend received the grunt of this, and I had trusted him to pick up the pieces. He didn’t fully understand what I was going through, and over time I realized that it was the lack of girl friends that bummed me out. I was feeling stuck with my boyfriend and his guy friends. Also, my brother and his irrational behavior was getting to me since I was around to witness what he was doing firsthand.
We celebrated our one year anniversary and I made my boyfriend a CD and some written letters that really showed how I felt for him. His initial response to hearing the songs was laughter and that crushed me. Being close over the summer helped our relationship, but there was still that same strain between us as there was over the previous spring semester. I tried my best to see past the strain and see all the good things that made me love my boyfriend in the first place. I told myself that I was young (I turned 20 this summer) and that I deserved to be happy. And if my boyfriend didn’t make me happy, I knew he wouldn’t be around much longer since he wasn’t my one and only.
I went back to school fearing things would go back the way they were, the strain between us rising again. I tried to focus on our relationship and he decided to apply to my school and got accepted for the Spring semester of our Junior year. While we were apart during the Fall semester, we once again made it work with visits every few weeks. We started reading the bible together and growing in our faith together. At school, I started a new job at the nutrition lab and I continued practicing Tae kwon do. I also continued Cru, bible study, church and playing my violin at church which I had done the year before. Thankfully, my brother seemed greatly improved and I was able to relax a lot more the first half of the semester. I also found myself growing in my faith and feeling a lot more stable and stronger emotionally.
Over time my brother got worse and my job/boss caused me additional stress. And icing on the cake, my boyfriend also started feeling anxious and stressed out as well. Once again, I felt all alone in my stress and sadness and had no one to turn to. It was in the midst of all of this that my boyfriend and I took a break, and he demanded that I read a book prior to us talking again. Some book about how to deal with anxiety. This book just made me feel anxious, but I did take away one thing from it: that I couldn’t deal with it alone. So I turned to my boyfriend’s friends and family for help. The book helped me to understand what my boyfriend was going through and actually led to me deciding to not break up with him at this time.
Over winter break, I volunteered at the local animal hospital and helped my mom out at her after-school care program. When I went back to school, my boyfriend came with me. All of a sudden, we were no longer a long distance relationship. He lived a few blocks away from me. We started working out together and he even did the foal watch class with me. At the end of January my boyfriend’s grandpa died, then my grandpa died a few weeks later. I was home for my grandpa’s wake on Valentine’s day. I remember I rearranged my schedule to be there for my boyfriend’s grandpa’s funeral but my boyfriend couldn’t do the same for me. I never felt more alone than on that Valentine’s day surrounded by family and friends at my grandpa’s wake. I was upset knowing that we once again missed another Valentine’s day, but told myself it was just a hallmark holiday anyways.
Over spring break I traveled to California with the boyfriend. I had wanted to do the Florida Cru trip again but for some reason thought it wasn’t happening until it was too late. We went to Disneyland (my first time there), San Diego zoo and wildlife park, six flags, and the beach. It was a great trip. I had to fork over additional money to get a room with two beds since I didn’t trust myself and the boy enough to spend a week in the same bed. The end of the semester I felt myself growing closer to the Lord and growing in my faith more than focusing on my boyfriend. It was weird, now that we were physically close, it felt like we were drifting apart emotionally. I went into the summer with a promise to myself that I would focus on growing spiritually and emotionally, with or without the boy. I wrote this in my livejournal at the end of the semester: Let the Lord open my heart and let me understand where I am to go and who I am to be.
Next post: Senior year
Tangent: Music, God, and everything inbetween