9.11.2014

Some of the Greatest Rewards...

I'm always so shocked to discover "new" people who read the words I choose to publish here. So free to the public yet I still have "real life" friends who approach me and say, "OH MY GOSH, I had no idea you have a blog!" On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are my best friends... My little sister Madi and my sweet friend Amy, just to name two, whom I'm not sure have ever missed a post. (Hi, girls! I love you!) Occasionally I'll get a comment from my adorable Grandmother and of course there are the majority of readers I've never even met in person but feel like I'm BFF's with. :)

I went to a relatively small high school. I went to grade school with most all of my classmates. We grew up in the same tiny town and/or neighboring areas. I was comfortable. I was confident. My schedule was mundane and predictable. I genuinely didn't care what people thought of my blog and I must say I highly underestimated the impact my words could have.

After moving on campus to my dream school just over two weeks ago, that confidence was shattered... Especially after swapping social media handles with some of my floormates + new friends. For lack of a better word, my balloon had been popped. And not just with a tiny little needle... Oh no. It had been popped in a full-fledged fork fight and I was left to pick up all those little balloon remnants myself.

My schedule wasn't predictable anymore. I had to form new connections. And perhaps the most terrifying? I had to start over at square one. When people would ask who I am, what I plan to major in, and what I am passionate about, I had to have an answer. Quickly, it became quite apparent that I wasn't going to be able to hide who I was if I wanted to form real friendships in this new season of life.

At first, this threw me into a bit of a panic.

"Will they like me?"
"Will they think I'm weird?"
"Will they go back through my blog archives and read the abundance of emotional posts that got me through some of the most trying times in my life up to this point?" (If you're reading this and you haven't done that... DON'T.)
"THEN will they think I'm weird?"

For my first few days here, I was entirely consumed by thoughts that were thought up purely through the oh-so-defeating and pointless process of overthinking... But over the course of several conversations that led to some deep heart-to-hearts, I came to realize that there's no reason to panic, no reason to hide, and no reason to be anything less than completely confident in the person that I am today, have been in the posts that litter my archives, and will be tomorrow.

The other night as a group of us were laying on the floor of the dorm I share with my roomie, one of my floormates started following me on Twitter and asked a question about my blog. It ended up turning into an hour long conversation that led to questions about my arthritis which then in turn led to two other girls on my floor sharing that they, too, suffer from a chronic illness. Ever since that night, I've wanted to go back and whisper in the ear of the terrified Kenzie I was two weeks ago and tell her to stop playing the camouflage game. In fact, I kind of want to scream it at her for nearly preventing such special friendships from forming.

Vulnerability is a scary thing. I would go as far as saying that sometimes it feels like more of a burden than a blessing. It's a hoop that we as human beings have to jump through in every. single. relationship. we form at one point or another if we want it to grow. There's always an uncertainty when unmasking and unveiling the things that your heart longs for... The things that make you tick... The things that your deepest desires and craziest dreams are composed of... And doing so is always a risk. A venture. An opportunity for possibility... But there is also something so absolutely beautiful in sharing those things exactly.


"Some of the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most."

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6 comments:

katielookingforward said...

Sometimes I miss college, but I don't miss the cliques. You were all thrown together and have one thing in common, location. Its okay to be guarded, and not sharing everything right away. But if you come at life with kindness, everything will work out. There was a group of girls on my floor that called each other the "fab 5" for the first couple weeks/months of school, but as they settled into routine the friendship fell apart. Not in a dramatic way, but they didn't need to "fab 5" once they started getting comfortable. My advice, don't hold people to what they say or do in college. You're all learning and changing at a rapid pace.

Amanda aka Manda said...

Vulnerability will find you in all stages of life. I'm still navigating my way through a "new" (3 years I guess really isn't new anymore) city and making friends. Although I'm not in college anymore, I'm still struggling with these same thoughts and doubts with making new friends. So thank you for sharing and as always helping! xoxo

Aileen Johnston said...

Could not agree more with this post! Not sure if I have ever commented but I love your posts. I am amazed that one so young (please dont think I am being patronizing, Im not) has such an amazing relationship with God. I am getting there but I am a lot older than you! Also my sister has arthritis, she was quite a bit older than you when diagnosed (21) but still young and it is so good to read your posts to get some understanding of how she probably feels. She always puts a brave face on but there are some days I know she just wants to curl up and die. Since reading your blog I am more understanding of that, so thank you. Enjoy College/Uni, it really can be some of the best years of your life! xx

Laura Beth said...

Ahhh I love love love this!! I took a walk around my old campus a few weeks ago and was reminded of the timid girl I was - afraid of what people would think of me. Walking around now as a grad of almost 5 years I don't know why it scared me so much I wish I would have the confidence I have now when I was a freshman. I think you have it figured out already but be yourself and don't hold yourself back from any opportunity! xo

Lauren said...

I haven't commented in a very long time on your blog, but let it be known that I've been reading. Love you SO VERY MUCH!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

Meghan said...

I've missed your posts, but love that you are having a great time at Bethel. I think that's the one thing I missed living at home and not going to a 4 year school is the dorm life.