Nov. 10, 2004
What does happiness mean? What makes you happy? There are random times throughout the day when something just brings a smile to my face. I am also blessed to have friends and family who turn spinach into chocolate, figuratively speaking of course.
However, I have come to find out that happiness is more often a choice than a feeling. Last year I got to a point where I was homesick, stressed, confused, and exhausted. I constantly reminded myself of these emotions, and for a while I was unhappy. I was so caught up in my pitiful self that I made the decision to make myself miserable. It is amazing what some decisive action will do to your outlook. This was not really revealed to me until my mom and I had one of those heart to heart conversations.
My mom can not stand to hear me upset or hurting, so she racks her brain to help me see the light. It was this topic that really opened my eyes. On a day to day basis we all go through some pretty difficult situations. We are faced with challenges, setbacks, and failures. I¡¦ve learned, the hard way, that it isn’t about me. I was so caught up in the things that were happening, that I failed to see all the wonderful blessings. Yes, I was homesick and I was transitioning into something completely foreign, however when I look back I think of all the amazing things that happened my freshman year.
I had the opportunity to go to school in Tallahassee, Florida; coming from little ole Hereford, Texas, not many people have that luxury. I got to travel all along the east coast to play big name Division I schools, we played in a tournament in California and got to do a little sight seeing. I was a part of a big athletic powerhouse where I’ve met several amazing athletes and even better people. I have met so many people who have different backgrounds! I got to meet Coach K (the head men’s basketball coach at Duke: man was that phenomenal), I attended the FSU vs. Florida football game in Gainesville that set the attendance record, our volleyball games were broadcasted on live television, I spent Easter Sunday on Amelia Island where mass was outdoors and it was absolutely beautiful (at home my family was having to wear jackets to church), and I am forming some amazing friendships with people I would have never met.
These things were looked over for quite a while, and because I had made my mind up to ignore these wonderful things, I dictated my happiness. Things are so easily taken for granted! Happiness often leaves the impression of temporary satisfaction, but the word Joy means so much more to me. It is one thing to be happy but to be joyful just consumes the room. You can tell when someone is joyful because it affects everyone in its path. Being joyful is a decision made to have enough faith and confidence to know that the bad is only temporary and insignificant.
There are some vivid images that I have stored in my joy bank. Most days I get to my business statistics class a little early and I sit in the same spot. In the row in front of me there is this girl who always has her head phones on, she is usually hovering over notes of some kind, but she is not concentrating on any written material. Her eyes are squinted shut and she is lip sinking to the music she is listening to. She is so into the song, that I’m sure she is imagining herself on stage. She is grasping at her chest and adding affect with her facial expressions. I absolutely love it! How amazing is she? How confident and joyful is she? She blocks out everything around her and seems to be without a care in the world.
Another one of my favorite moments was one morning before my biology class. I am a morning person and I really enjoy the time before my class. My class is in Wescott, and I usually sit outside in front of this huge fountain on a bench. The Wescott area on campus is breathtaking (from my point of view). Well, one morning I arrived to see the fountain overflowing with bubbles. It was one of the all common pranks that us college kids think are hilarious. There was a little breeze, so every once and again, the wind would grab a hold of a section of the bubbles and send it flying through the air. It was so entertaining to see the expressions on people¡¦s faces. The little kid in me wanted so badly to run and jump in the fountain. That is JOY! Yes, I am 20…I know! Fun times!
Well, this was another journal entry, and another crazy thought in my head! I think I just needed to talk about something other than volleyball, but this also ties in to my volleyball life!
I hope that everyone has a wonderful week. I enjoy receiving the emails. I have even gotten a few from guys who think I’m cute; it’s so flattering (laughs)! I didn’t realize that this could work as a dating service too. I’m just joking, don’t worry mom (wink, wink).
God Bless and Go Noles!