Well. Quite a bit has happened in the past, oh, three or four months. Seriously. These have probably been the most chaotic months of my life. I'll try to give some brief highlights of the crazy shenanigans I've been up to since August.
-I completed my student teaching. Woah. This was the most exhausting, exhilarating experience of my life, and boy did I love it. I never thought that I could be so frustrated and so enchanted with students. I taught Humanities, English 9, and Honors English 9. I learned so much during my few months there, but the most important was this: I am a teacher. This is what I am supposed to do. There are countless things about my instruction I'd change for my own classroom, but I still loved teaching. I did well. There were kids I struggled with and kids that were a delight. But overall, teaching was a beautiful, beautiful thing. I got brownies, hand-drawn pictures of dragons, and awesome stories every day. Definitely worth getting up at five every morning.
-I got engaged and survived a long distance relationship! I should get a medal.
-At the last minute, I bought a ticket from my friend Thom and went to the Foo Fighters concert. Best. Decision. Ever. I have no idea how I could have considered not going. Dude. Dave Grohl rocks my world harder than I could have imagined. PLUS he played the drums for opener Cage the Elephant. I died. And then screamed really loud. And then died again. And loved every second of it. Oh, Dave Grohl.
-This semester, I also tested practically every gyro available in Provo. I don't know why, but there was never a time when I didn't want a gyro. Oh, what delicious morsels.
-I became a record person. Yep. After finally getting a lovely sound system to accompany my record player, I started listening to vinyl. You guys, it's totally better.
-For the first time ever, I dyed my hair. I decided to take baby steps, and just added a few turquoise streaks. You know, something nice and subtle. I look awesome, and punk rock, and classy. All at the same time.
-I enjoyed a lovely afternoon at Gardner Village with Rosemary and Mary, some of the only girls on the planet who can make shopping an enjoyable experience. We found the strangest conglomeration or ridiculosity and awesomeness in Anastasia's Attic, and then ate delicious food. Twas a day most marvelously spent.
-Spent way too many hours dancing to "Lonely Boy" by the Black Keys. Lauren, Ashley, Annie and I went a little crazy with this song. But we totally have the dance memorized now.
-Finally caved in and watched all of Parks and Recreation. Best three days of my life. Ron Swanson forever!
-And the biggest, most ridiculous thing I've done is finish school and leave Provo.
That's right. I left Utah Valley.
Today, I packed up my final college apartment, said goodbye to my last college roommates, and drove away from BYU for the last time. Tomorrow morning I head up to Seattle, where I plan on spending at least the next two years.
This has been an intense, difficult time for me. My relationship with Provo has become more antagonistic, especially over the last year, but there are parts I love in it. It is the most crazy, messed up, ridiculous town in the US, but it will always hold a special place in my heart. I formed some forever friendships there, and I don't even believe in those things. It opened me up to some amazing opportunities. It enabled me to grow in ways I didn't think possible.
Life is not perfect, and thinking back over the past four and a half years I have spent roaming around Provo and BYU, there are so many things I would change. But I don't think I would have become the person I am today without living in Provo and going to BYU, so I am incredibly grateful for that.
The other day I was randomly listening to iTunes, and this song came up.
I hate Rod Stewart, and will never forgive him for the monstrosity that is "Maggie May," but I think that this song encapsulates my feelings perfectly. Somehow or other.
Even though I do wish I knew what I know now when I was younger, I'm still happy I had the process of learning everything. I had good times. I had great times. I had times that I wish I could forget. But each moment added up to where I am right now, and I am completely satisfied with that.
So here's to my new adventure. But more importantly, here's to you. Odds are, if you're reading this blog, you've helped shape the past four years in one way or another. So I want you to know, thank you. I've appreciated knowing you more than you could know. Whether you are family, friend, classmate, ward member, or random acquaintance, it's been wonderful knowing and learning from you. And as I start this new chapter in my life, a chapter that thrills and terrifies me, I want you to know I cherish you.
And now, I'm moving forward. Let's see how this goes.