The changing nature of friendship

Well, I haven’t updated this blog since August, but I’m back! To the blogosphere, anyway. I didn’t actually go anywhere. I’m not that cultured.

Anyway, I just wanted to make a few points about what I’ve learned about adult friendships in the six months that I’ve considered myself an adult.

They are different from the friendships you had in college, even if they’re friends from college. But different in a good way.

In college, you were surrounded by your peers 24/7, lived with them, ate with them, took classes with them, and essentially came of age with them and lived life alongside them–literally. But all of that changes when you graduate.

When you graduate, you all of a sudden need to become more intentional about the time you spend with these friends. Sure, when you have some extended time together, you can just sit and do nothing. But when you only see them for a weekend, or even for an hour, suddenly the need to dig into each other’s lives becomes that much more pressing. You really want to hear how they’re doing, what’s going on in their lives, how God is working through them and what they need prayer for. You let them know how much their friendship means to you, how much you value their presence in your life. And those moments become so precious.

I’ve noticed a difference with making new friends, too. When you all have those real-life jobs that keep you busy and you only see them once or twice a week, it’s definitely harder to start up meaningful friendships. You need to plan out the time to see each other sometimes what seems like months in advance, and it might be hard to open to them until you learn to trust them–which also takes longer because you don’t see them that often. But you learn, and eventually open up, and tell them your fears, and then they reassure you with solid Biblical truth. And all of a sudden, it’s like something shifts, and you feel as though you could become as close to these new friends as you could to your college friends.

That’s what I think is just so cool about the body of Christ. Even though your community changes and definitely takes on a different flavor with each new season of life, the safety and security you feel with them doesn’t change. Because God is unchanging, so is the feeling of security that comes with community through Him. Praise the Lord for what He has done for us by dying on the cross for our sins, by giving us the ability to have a relationship with the unchanging God even throughout the change in our lives that can sometimes feel like utter turmoil. Praise the Lord for that, and praise the Lord for true friendships and true community, even as the seasons of our lives change.

Tell me, what are your views on the subject?

And now I want to leave you with a glimpse into my college community that I love so much, these wonderful friends who have stood by me through pretty much everything. Both of these pictures were taken after I graduated and moved to Cincinnati, proving that these friendships can most definitely last, even over long distances!

Photo by rachelferchak
And a second one! And I didn’t mean to make one bigger than the other, but I can’t figure out the HTML right now, so there’s that…
But yes, a second friend picture :)
Friends!

Friends!

Budgeting: Such a necessary evil

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. I’ve been busy getting acclimated to Cincinnati, and actually making some new friends! I’m starting to fully enjoy and embrace my life here, and though I still miss everything about college (and am still so extremely sad that half my friends are still there and I’m not), I think I’ll grow it to like it here just as much as I did there.

And now that that’s said, I’ll move on to the point of this post.

Budgeting.

A necessary evil.

I do not enjoy it.

Budgeting leads to things like a sudden interest in coupons and asking your mom for things when you visit for the weekend. Although that works. I came home with toilet paper, tissues, contact solution, Goldfish crackers, and some bananas. And a new cardigan. That was nice.

But even the couponing leads to buying things you don’t necessarily need. Like a coupon I had for saving 40 cents on six yogurts. I mean, I like yogurt and all, but I didn’t really want to buy six. But what did I do? I bought six yogurts.

And I stretch my groceries out. After reading an article about how Americans throw away 40 percent of their food, I was kind of appalled, and it made me super-conscious of how much of my food I’m actually eating, and it’s my short-term goal to actually eat all of it. That means my fridge is rather barren, and though I’d like to have more options, I refuse to go grocery shopping.

I also live in the heat because I don’t want to turn on my air conditioning.

Sorry for the negative attitude about this post, but I just had to vent my frustrations about budgeting. Yes, I know in the long run I’ll be glad I did it because it will mean I have some savings, and that’s a fact that I can’t let go of. Savings are good. But I thought budgeting was supposed to free you from worrying about  money. But now, for me at least, it’s a constant thing. I worry about going over-budget, which I definitely did in a couple categories, which led to me squeezing money from other categories and re-vamping my budget for next month so it doesn’t happen again.

Long story short, I’m hoping that I can learn to love budgeting. I know some people can, so why not me?

How God has revealed Himself to me in Cincinnati

I’m going start by saying that if I didn’t have God to lean on during my transition from college to Cincinnati, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I don’t how I would do it, to be completely honest.

Because at times, He’s the only thing I have to lean on. I’ve had several nights of complete despair and sadness and loneliness and missing Athens and college, and on those nights, really the only thing I can do is pray. Pray that God will send His Spirit to comfort me and get me through it.

There have been times when my mind is in absolute turmoil, and I’m left with my thoughts. So I turn to Psalm 13, where verses 5 and 6 proclaim, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me.” I turn also to Colossians 1:17, which says, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

It’s these nights when I need to simply focus, and know that God is sovereign, and He is good. The first half of Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

When I get past the turmoil of my mind, I think about just how richly He has blessed me throughout this transition. John 1:16 says, “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another,” and I have certainly been blessed.

I don’t always realize it, but I am. I am lonely down here in Cincinnati a lot of the time, but I realize that it could certainly be worse. I have had the blessing of making a few friends, even if I only see them once or twice a week. These friends wouldn’t have come into my life had it not been for Christ. I stayed with one of these friends for three weeks when I first moved down here, and that was truly a blessing, because had I not stayed with her, I wouldn’t have been able to meet anybody. This whole arrangement came about because we have a mutual friend, Sarah, who put us in contact with each other, and I had met Sarah through Cru. If I really think about it, without Christ in my life, I wouldn’t have been a part of Cru, and I wouldn’t have known Sarah well enough for her to put me in contact with someone to stay with down here.

I know God has everything in my life predestined for me, but I’m just completely overwhelmed when I think about how everything has tied together, and how He’s only working everything in my life for my good.

I’m still lonely a lot of the time, and I’m still fighting off spiritual attacks what seems like hourly, which is good because it’s not constant, and this is only because I’ve put in serious prayer time about my need and desire to completely trust God and His timing. I was relying on my own efforts, and my own timing with how I wanted my new life in Cincinnati to work out. I expected a new set of friends instantly, which in hindsight is completely unrealistic because those things take time to build. But I know that God’s got a plan for me, and that plan does include friends—He’s already proven that to me with the newly formed friendships I do have.

How has God revealed Himself to me since moving to Cincinnati? In so many ways. He is sovereign, He is good, and He loves me. He’s got my life already planned out for me, and it is only for my good.

Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

What I’ve learned about being a “real” adult

I’ve been out in the so-called “real world” for approximately six weeks now, and there are several things I’ve learned that mark you as a “real” adult.

Now, I guess if you want to get real technical about things, I’ve been an adult for four years now, since I turned 18. But, I don’t consider a person to be a true adult until they are completely financially independent from their parents. This is me now. So, “real” adult? I guess sure, if we’re speaking in technicalities here.

That being said, here are some tidbits of wisdom (everything that I describe is based on experience) that I’ve picked up over the past six weeks of being an adult:

  • People expect your car to look decent. This means don’t hold your headlights in with tape, and don’t drive around with your front license plate sitting on your dashboard, which are the results of a fender bender your second week in the city. In order to avoid having your car look this way, it is advisable to take your car into the shop immediately, and don’t wait for a full month to take care of it.
  • If the batteries in your smoke detector die, replace them in a timely fashion. Don’t let it hang useless from the ceiling for a week like I did. I also feel like this was slightly illegal. Either way, that particular problem got solved after I got paranoid about fire.
  • For the first time in your life, you have real money. Which immediately is funneled into funding things like security deposits and iPhones (which is being ordered this month!). But no worries, once the initial start-up costs of an adult life are taken care of, you’ll feel rich!
  • Staying up until midnight has now become next to impossible without caffeine. But you force yourself to stay up anyway because you feel like you might miss something, even though nothing ever happens. Or maybe that’s just me.
  • You start doing “Happy Hour.” With co-workers. Who are all between five and 20 years older than you are.
  • Cheez-Its, a cookie, and carrots do not constitute an acceptable dinner. But I refuse to believe this. The same goes for having leftover pizza for a week.
  • You have insurance. But you have no idea what it means.
  • You will never feel like an adult. Granted, I haven’t been an adult for that long. But in no way do I want to let go of acting like the young person I still am.

By the way, this is what a car headlight held in by tape looks like. Don’t be that person. Just don’t.

Don’t let your car look like this. It’s funny at first, but then slightly embarrassing.

On getting older

I feel old.

I suppose now I can be considered a fully-fledged adult. After all, I’ve moved out of my parents’ house, I have a full-time job, and, I guess most importantly, I’m 100 percent financially independent and supporting myself. That’s weird to me.

I don’t feel like an adult. I’m a quasi-adult. Yes, I support myself, but I still won’t hesitate to run rampant on a college campus for a night or dance in public like no one’s watching, and I’m pretty sure my mind still works in the same way it did when I was 17.

I like it better this way. Because it’s too soon for us to grow up completely.

Last night, I went to the absolutely beautiful wedding of two of my dearest friends. It was so fun and so great to be a part of their happiness!!! However, one would think that a wedding would mean that we’re now adults, as well. And I guess technically, that would be right. But as long as we rock out to Ke$ha and “Call Me Maybe,” I’ve got to come to the conclusion that we will forever be young at heart.

Being a quasi-adult forever is fine with me.

A documentation of life after college? I’m happy to oblige!

Well, hey there!

If you’re reading this blog, it’s because you either know me personally, or you somehow stumbled upon this through a link of some sort. Even so, I’ll still go ahead and introduce myself, given that this is the first post.

I’m Jess, I’m 22 years old and I just graduated from Ohio University about a month ago with a degree in journalism. I’m currently living in Cincinnati and have a job as a public relations coordinator for a small local college. For privacy reasons, that’s all I’m going to say about where I live and work. Even though it wouldn’t be that hard to figure out exactly who I am since I’m fairly open about my contact information…oh well.

The purpose of this blog is so I have an outlet to document my life in the months after my college graduation. This has been a time of huge transition in my life, given that in the span of about a month, I got hired for a job, graduated, moved to Cincinnati, and then started the aforementioned job. That’s a lot! Not to mention that I didn’t even have a place to live down here when my job started — my lease wasn’t due to start until I had already been living here for two weeks! Fortunately, one of my friends from OU had a friend living down here already, and this friend (who is now my friend too!) graciously allowed me to live in her house for three weeks until I had both the key to my apartment and my furniture.

So now, I’m “moved in.” I use the term “moved in” very loosely, because yes, I physically live in my apartment now, and all my stuff is here. It’s just not unpacked. Not in the least. I mean, some of it is, but…a lot of it isn’t. I’m actually slightly embarrassed by it. I don’t want to show it to you, but I feel as though this post isn’t complete without something other than text, so….here’s my mess of a living room:

This is where I live.

I don’t even have a futon yet. But I have priorities. Like, I’m going to buy an iPhone before I buy a futon. I’m 100 percent serious. Because iPhones are awesome and I don’t have one yet! Soon though. Very soon.

But enough about my desire for an iPhone.

I should also mention that I live alone, which brings with it its own set of adventures and emotions. So far, I don’t like it. In fact, I hate it. I’m about as extroverted as they come, but that doesn’t mean that I need to be around a huge crowd of people all the time. Usually, I just enjoy being around one or two other people. It’s how I re-charge — I like to come home and unwind by having conversations about pretty much anything. Or, if we’re all too tired to talk, just sitting in the same room as someone else helps me. I don’t get that living alone. However, I’m hoping that my attitude changes at some point. Otherwise, it’s gonna be a long year!

Anyway, I think I’ll leave you with that for tonight. You now have a better idea of who I am, and hopefully I can provide you with at least some sort of entertainment!

Good night!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.