Sunday, June 18, 2006

Okay, quick update on my life. First, as many of you probably read in the N&O's obituary section, my grandmother passed away on Friday morning. This came as a shock, but also as a relief. She was in a lot of pain, with a terminal illness, congestive heart failure. Although she was doing better than she was two months ago, she was unable to live on her own, or even live at home because she required round-the-clock medical attention. I loved her and will miss her dearly, but I think that the amount of pain she was in made living very difficult. The visitation was tonight, so I went with my mom, sister, aunts, uncles and cousins to greet family and friends.

My gums still bleed almost constantly, which is annoying and painful, but I guess they'll heal eventually. I have Greensboro orientation this week, on Thursday and Friday, which I'm pretty excited about. I also got to meet my roommate last night and she is very sweet and nice and a lot like me, which is good.

One week from today, I will be in California on the youth mission trip. I am really excited!

The last thing I wanted to include on this post was a list of books I've read recently. I recommend them all:
Waiting for the Barbarians, by JM Coetzee
Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
My Traitor's Heart, by Rian Malan
Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin
Dust Tracks on a Road, by Zora Neale Hurston
The Autobiography of Malcom X, as told by Alex Haley
Under the Banner of Heaven, by John Krakauer
King Leopold's Ghost, by Adam Hoschild
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs
Without a Net, by Michelle Kennedy

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I got my wisdom teeth removed on Monday morning. Apparently anesthesia makes me completely loopy, lol. The last thing I remember before surgery is that I got an IV put in my arm and then they put that nose-oxygen thing on me, and then they asked how I felt. I told them the room was spinning and I felt light-headed. I closed my eyes and they asked again, "how do you feel?" I couldn't actually speak, so I just opened my eyes and looked around. Then everything went black. I remember one part from the actual procedure, when I kind of woke up while they were giving me shots in my gums to numb me. I remember trying to ask how many shots I actually had to get, but they just told me to go back to sleep. Then I woke up to them saying, "It's time to get up." When I finally "came to" the nurses and doctor had left the room, and I found that I was crying but I couldn't figure out why. I wasn't in pain, I wasn't scared or sad or anything, but I couldn't stop crying. The nurse came back in and said, "Oh, that's normal. The medicine you're on is a lot like Valium and it's going to make you cry and laugh for the rest of the afternoon, but you won't be sad and nothing will be funny. It's just how the medicine works." On the way home in the car, my mom says I told her the story of my surgical procedure at least 20 times. I remember telling it to her the first two times, and then being confused because I turned to her and said, "did i just tell you that story twice?" and she said yeah you did. And as soon as she had said that, I just started telling the story all over again. When I got home, I told my sister and my mom the surgery story at least six more times. They were laughing so hard. Often they would try to finish my sentences, which they could do pretty well since they had heard the story so many times, but everytime I would say, "No! You're telling it wrong." And then I would say exactly what they had just said, which only confused them more.

The doctor gave me pain meds to help relieve whatever pain/discomfort I might be feeling. I started taking the pills, and about two hours later I started throwing up. I threw up a good 12 times in about 6 hours, so I quit taking the pills. But I still felt horrible-- I couldn't eat or drink anything without throwing it up, and I was in a TON of pain because I couldn't take the hydrocodon or whatever. I also couldn't take normal OTC pain relievers like IBUProfin because they make me sick if I take them on an empty stomach as was a VERY long day.

The swelling is about the only bad thing today. I can eat and the pain is SO much better, but my cheeks are huge. I sleep a lot, about 2 hours of sleep for every 2 that I'm awake. I can't complain though-- mashed potatoes, chicken broth, diet mountain dew, and ice cream haven't gotten old yet!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I kept thinking I would post, and here I've let almost a month go by with no word from me...
It's been crazy hectic this last month, with AP Exams, finals, major projects in every class, graduation parties, and mission trip preparation.
Where to begin??? Today is June 8, and that means it's graduation. Yes, today is the day I've waited 13 years for-- I'll walk across a stage, get a diploma, flip my tassle and say goodbye to all the friends I've made for four years or more. I can't believe it's the "end." I can't believe it's the "beginning" either. I'd love to say I feel nothing but sheer happiness and excitement. But that's a lie. I'm really sad, afraid, anxious, happy, excited, and frustrated all at the same time. And I can't necessarily put a cause/rhyme/reason for every one of those emotions, but I can say that that's how I feel and that's how I've been feeling for about a month now. It's hard to imagine leaving all your friends, family, school, everything you've known all your life to go start your own adventure somewhere else. But everyone does it, so I have assured myself that I am not the first, nor will I be the last person to ever feel like this.
I am afraid of one thing today: and that's crying. I do not want to cry at graduation because I don't think I would be able to stop. Once you get me crying about one thing, I will probably cry about more things...oh well. I'm turning in to quite the woman, I suppose.

Senior picnic was yesterday and I had a blast. We signed yearbooks, ate some yummy food, played a TON of volleyball, ran around, talked and just basically enjoyed each other's company. I realize that as much as I have grown tired of most of the kids in my class and at my school, I will always treasure whatever relationships and memories I have shared with them.

The last day of school was utterly heartbreaking and joyous all at once. We got those moon-bounce things that you can jump on and that was AWESOME. But realizing that the relationships I've had with these teachers won't exist in teh same way in college broke my heart. I have grown really close to so many of them, and the fact that I could come to them and they would talk to me like an adult really changed the way I saw myself and adults. I realized through them that I've grown so much these last four years and I've become a completely different person. There's a song by Sara Groves that I like to call my graduation song. Here's a snipet of it:

I don't want to leave here
Don't want to stay

It feels like pinching to me,
Either way.
But the places I long for
the most are the places where I've been
They are calling out to me,
Like a long, lost friend
...And the place I was wasn't perfect,
But I had found a way to live
And it wasn't milk or honey,
But then neither is this.
...the future feels so hard
and I want to go back,
But the places that used to fit me

Cannot hold the things I've learned
And those roads were closed off to me
While my back was turned
The past is so tangible,
I know it by heart,
Familiar things are never easy
To discard
I was dying for some freedom,
But now I hesitate to go,
I am caught between the promised

And the things I know.

I guess I'll just leave it at that.