Hello. It’s about that time again where I debunk how my year went in an ongoing, annual series that I have on this blog. From sophomore year until my freshman year of college, I have kept record of my year on a calendar. This seemed to work well for about two and a half years, but I ditched that calendar idea around Sept., about the time that college started. Instead of going date by date as I usually do, I’ll be doing a month by month synopsis of how 2018 treated me. Enjoy.
January: I lied. I’m actually going to bust out the calendar for a little while because I really can’t tell you about anything before May. In the beginning of January, I had just returned home from my three week stay in Portland and had begun seeing people that I loved more often. I also started taking pictures of them which has become a joy in my year. In two days I had spent time with people I no longer talk to, now 12 months later. On the 13th, I was able to meet Lizzie Armento, a skater sponsored by Thrasher as well as many other skaters who really know how to shred the gnar. On the 19th, I had gotten into an argument with my dad about going to UCYC for the weekend and spending my first winter camp there. The argument wasn’t worth it considering I went to the remaining winter camps and spent the entire summer there as well, but we will get there. By the next weekend on the 27th, I sneezed all day and was really enjoying my time with the winter staffers. I felt welcomed and invited to such an awesome and giving place where I had also spent parts of my childhood at.
Since this is my blog and rather than posting what people want to read, (although I guess I could do that as well) I really just post for myself in the future. This has been something I’ve been able to do over the years by looking back at who I was, what I enjoyed and what my life was like during that specific time. Hence, creating this blog my freshman year of high school has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. With this being said, it’s my place to be vulnerable. In January, I was struggling hard with not keeping up with my faith and instead filling that gap with worldly things. The biggest of these was my dab pen that I had purchased in early January. I was going to school high way more than I needed to and was putting other drivers at risk by driving under the influence as well. By going to UCYC so much, I was able to lose that desire and eventually sold my pen. This might be a jump, but I genuinely believed that UCYC saved me from entering a very dark road and for that I am so thankful.
>> some photos I took of people this month
February: In the beginning of February, I was dealing with a big heartache, but I was aware that it needed to happen in order for me and the other person involved to grow. Meanwhile, there was another staffer, Zach, who had me catching hard feelings for him. During the time I had with him, I was more aware of my own independence and was able to grow not only in myself, but in my relationship with Christ as well. By mid February, winter camps were finished and I was so content with all the life change that I was able to be apart of. Since I love the youth, I was able to understand kids more and hang out with them which felt so rewarding.
February was a packed month for me. From winter camps, removing people, hanging out with and loving my friends at Starbucks, going to Mexico, attending YAW, driving a lot with Jash, growing, maturing and meeting new people, February was an extremely busy month that I would have forgotten had I not written it down.
March: I spent a lot of time working 12 hours shifts at my first job in Phoenix for majority of the month. It was extremely tiring and led me to really hate that job, but as time continued, and we will get there, I knew I wasn’t coming back. By mid March, Zach and I had called things off and I was sad, but I knew it was for the better (and now that I know the better, I couldn’t be happier, but that will be discussed in August). I had also been having incredibly haunting dreams during this time and was waking up with scratches on the back of my legs which is something I am still not sure of what it was. If you have any ideas, please share. My spring break was an interesting one. I had driven up to UCYC on the 14th or 15th and was planning on leaving at night on the 16th. By the time the 16th had rolled around, I texted my boss at 3am saying how sick I was and that I would not be showing up for work. When in reality, there was no way I was going to show up at work at 7am when I was wide awake in Prescott at 3. Since I only worked Saturdays, I figured I would stay the rest of the weekend hanging out with my friends that worked there. By Sunday, the 18th, I was planning on being awake at 9am and rolling out by 9:30 to be home by 11. When I woke up at 11, I had woken up to several missed calls and texts from my boss on how I was late for work. Although I figured I only worked Saturdays, it was my mistake for not checking the schedule. At this, I decided I was done and it was time to turn in my two week notice the next weekend that I worked. Later in the week, I drove to Tuscon to spend time with another staffer named Megan. I had so much fun with Megan and enjoyed the Dirty T almost as much as I enjoyed spending time with her.
By the end of March, I was given a write-up at work for skipping, but it didn’t matter because I turned in my notice. The month was eventful and exciting because I was able to travel more and spend time with those that I love.
>> more photos that I took of those I love
April: As I check the calendar, I am really going to be vulnerable with this blog, but that will come soon. After a school year of isolation and just wanting to graduate already, I started hanging out with Cynthia again. Spending time with her made me thankful for our long friendship and made me believe that had we been so close earlier on in the year, we would not have gotten along so well or continued the friendship up until now. I believe that God had us right where he needed us, as mature as we were, to become close friends again. Cynthia, if you’re reading this, I am thankful for you. In April, I began going to Mama Hoff’s bible study where I was able to meet Matt Berger, a man who is well equipped with the Word and constantly loves everyone around him. Throughout senior year, we were able to hang out a lot and he allowed me to continue to grow with God. He taught me a lot of things that I needed in order to continue moving forward in life. All the words in the world cannot express how thankful I am for the time he spent in my life when I needed him there the most. Matt, 143. April 15th was a hard day for me and it made me realize how careful I need to be with people. On this day, I had a real and terrifying fear that had I not escaped the situation that I was in, I would have been raped. Rape isn’t a term I throw around lightly in any sense, but I truly believe that the situation could have become a lot darker had I not gotten out. I am thankful for the ladies that surrounded me with love that day to remind me of the truths I had forgotten in that moment. I would also like to point out that on April 17th, 4 days before prom, I somehow managed to get my dress hemmed, bought shoes, made a hair and make-up appointment and get my nails done all before prom. Prom was exciting and was super fun, despite seriously spraining my ankle, lol.
April was another month full of people and helped me grow in loving everybody always. I had gone to Mexico for my final time as a leader and as a student and enjoyed every bit of it. There is a developing story there though. The Story of Hector. If you’d like to hear it, reach out and I’ll gladly tell you. At the end of the month, I was more aware of who I was. I knew that May was going to be a life-changing month for me and I had all the people in my life making me ready for it.
May: Oooooo boy. May was a very long month. I had spent the entire month traveling all over. On the 5th, I went to Flagstaff with a future summer staffer named Kellan. Both of us had secured our positions as upcoming summer staffers and after talking on Facebook for a day, we thought it would be a great idea to make a spontaneous day trip up north. It was incredibly fun getting to know him more as well as making a friendship with someone I would be working with in the future. On the 7th, we had senior ditch day so my group of friends and other classmates went to Sedona to cliff jump for the day. If I had a bucket list, I’d cross cliff jumping off and then I’d never do it again. Ever. I hated it. On the 18th, I had completed all my finals and headed to UCYC to move into my new house and do as much training as I could before I went back to Phoenix, only to go to California on my senior trip. The senior trip consisted of two days in Disneyland/California Adventure and one day at the beach. Disneyland is great! Don’t get me wrong. But I truly enjoyed the beach day even more because I spent the ENTIRE day with Cynthia, just me and her. We both didn’t want to be with anyone else so instead, we laid on the beach, listened to music, got matching hennas, ate together and just talked a lot about our relationship with God and how thankful we are for each other. Cynthia, again, I cannot thank you enough for all the love you have poured out on me over the last few months. I am so grateful to have been able to watch you grow and mature. Thank you for spending one of the best days of my life with me. On the 25th, I graduated high school. After spending five years at NCS, I was so so so excited to leave. It was a huge moment for me and I am so happy I was able to graduate alongside my best friends. One of the coolest moments from this day was meeting my mom’s 7th grade teacher who had come to watch me graduate. I knew that he was proud of me, but even more proud of my mom. I’m proud of her too.
By the end of May, I had moved out of my parents’ completely and was living at UCYC. I received the camp name “Crowd Surf” and lived with 7 other strangers who I eventually began to love extremely hard. I was assigned to working paintball with jr. highers and was so in love with my job. I also had a goal going into summer that I wouldn’t date anyone because I was going to be moving to Portland in August. This goal didn’t work, but I’m thankful it didn’t because that was one of the best experiences of my life.
>> pictured: Jessi and Kellan
June: If I were to talk about every experience that I had at UCYC in this month, I would eventually hit a character max out, and neither of us want to be here all day. To summarize, I had begun to develop feelings for Isaac, another summer staffer and we had a huge fight ahead of us to possibly pursue the relationship that we wanted to have with each other. On the 12th, I lost my friend, Carson, to suicide. I remember feeling so empty, confused, angry and sad. It’s been six months and I still find myself feeling all of these emotions from time to time. Carson, we miss you dearly. I’m sorry our friendship fell through, but I’m going to love everybody facing similar struggles that you had harder than I’ve ever loved. I’m sorry I didn’t love you enough and wasn’t appreciative of the times we did have together.
June was a very busy month with a lot of lessons and hard work. I had received Warrior of the Week which encouraged me to work harder and pursue this job even more. I spent a lot of time loving kids, playing games with them, refilling paintball tanks/hoppers, thrift-shopping, cleaning and getting to know other summer staffers. The list of those who I got close with is far too long, but King, Jessi, Strum, Tazer, Potato, Isaac and Maps thank you for motivating me to always be a better me.
July: This was an even crazier month. I went to Vegas with Isaac to meet his family then drove to Phoenix for him to meet mine. While there, I celebrated my birthday with him and Cynthia and spent time with Matt Berger and his brother, Josh. We had super busy weeks at camp and I spent lots of time on stage doing the pump up dance in a moldy, sweaty bear costume. By the end of camp, I was completely drained, but kept going. I had gone to Portland to attend new student orientation at PSU for the upcoming fall term and was able to reconnect with someone very important to me. Hey, thank you. Once I came back, I connected with the students at a church in Phoenix so well that I have been able to attend their youth services while I was in town.
July taught me a lot about myself and who I was becoming. I was more patient and loving and was able to step up as a leader in paintball which was stressful, but incredibly worth it. All in all, I was sad for camp to be closing, but I was thankful for every experience and relationship made over the summer.
August: Camp ended August 5th and I was extremely sad cleaning my summer house, but was excited for my next big adventures. Over the summer, I connected really well with a girl from camp, whom I call, Remy. One day, Remy told me how beautiful she thought I was. In return, I told her how beautiful I thought she was too, but she told me she didn’t believe me. I was confused as to how she couldn’t! We made an agreement that we would wake up every day, look in the mirror and remind ourselves how beautiful we are as girls because we are made in God’s image. Fast forward to the last few days of camp, Remy and I had a similar conversation. She told me again how beautiful she thought I was and I told her the same in response with an added, “Do you believe it?” at the end. She told me, “Oh, I do believe it! Every day, I wake up and tell myself, ‘You look gooooood today’ and now I believe how beautiful I am!” As you can probably imagine, this warmed my heart. No matter how hard the work was at camp or how frustrated I got, stories like these from students keep me going and remind me of how much I want to go back next summer. Before I drove home, she gave me three friendship strands that I clipped immediately to my key chain. As I did, she asked me why I would put them there and I told her that I was going to be doing a lot of traveling and driving within the next couple weeks. By keeping these strands on my key chain, I would be able to have a bit of Remy wherever I go. Now these strands sit in a container on my desk, but Remy has gone with me through so many states. Again, stories like these keep me going and I am so thankful I got to spend time with Remy over the summer.
I had exactly 7 days to somehow pack up all of my stuff, say goodbye to all my friends and start my road trip. Matt Berger, Cynthia, Ali, Mrs. Ehlers, Adam, Noah, Corban, Kasey, Jessi and Brum – thank you for spending time with me during my last week in Phoenix. On the 11th, I got my first tattoo of a cactus on my wrist. I wanted to get it in order to show my love for the desert as well as always have that reminder of where I came from, who I love and partially for my dad because I lived with him in Phoenix for my whole life. Now in Oregon, I’ve been wanting to get a fir tree or pine tree on my other wrist to show my love for the PNW, my future and my mom. On the 13th, I began my journey to Vegas where I would spend time with Isaac and his family for a week before starting the grand road trip. Since I already discussed the road trip in another blog, I will briefly summarize it here. If you’d like to know more about it, I encourage you to read it. It was quite the adventure. In brief, Isaac and I traveled across ten states in eight days. I started in Arizona, drove up to Nevada to get him, then we drove through Utah, Wyoming (made a stop in South Dakota while staying with the Berger Bros’ parents), Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. It was a trip I will never forget and am so thankful I was able to complete it.
August was a month of moving forward. High school was done. Camps were done. Now it was time to get ready for college and that’s what I did. During some time in August, Zach had gotten close with my whole best friend, Jessi, and after not being able to understand why he and I couldn’t work out, I knew it was because they are supposed to be together and I couldn’t be more happy and in support of them.
>> pictured: me and Remy
September: I spent three weeks living with my mom and brother in absolute boredom. I had yet to develop college friendships and it wasn’t time to move in yet, but by Sept. 20th, I was so overjoyed to be moving into my dorm with the help of my dad and brother. I was like a child, so happy and excited to meet my roommate and make new friends while studying something that I have interest in. Before move in, I flew to Phoenix to say my goodbyes to my lovely Nanny. Her and I created a handshake that had a secret meaning behind it when I was ten. While she was laying in her bed and I was crying, struggling to thank her for all she had done for me in my life, I asked her if she remembered our handshake. I thought this was it. I needed to feel our handshake one last time. I’m tearing up now as I write this because in that moment, knowing she had been out of it for weeks, it was unlikely for me to get what I wanted. Finally, on the last day, it was just me and her. I would give her water and hold her hand. Give her the same arm tickles that she gave me and her other (grand)children for years. We were talking sentences to each other for the first time all week. Behind tears I asked her if she remembered our handshake. She held out her hand and for the last time ever, we did our super secret handshake. I couldn’t help by just cry and cry. This was my last time that I would spend with my Nan. It seemed as if I had just lost Carson and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to someone else that I loved. Before I left, I gave her a hug and a kiss on the forehead. She told me she loved me and asked when she would see me again. With that, I was choking back tears again when my stepmom looked at me with tears in her eyes as well. “Soon, Nan. I’ll see you soon.”
After college started, I was making friendships left and right. My roommate, Sarah, and I had become extremely close in the first few days of knowing each other. Sarah, this one is for you. Thank you for always making me laugh, making me take my vitamins, loving me and making me so grateful to be in college. A lot of people ended up with roommates they can’t stand, but I ended up with one of my greatest blessings. Thank you for all that you’ve done for me. I’m excited to continue living with you and doing this new life with you as well. Also in September, I met another girl named Sarah who has filled me with so much peace during the few short months that she went to PSU. Sarah Dav, thank you for ALWAYS making me laugh and for risking your well being for me that one time at the max stop. You are a blessing and I appreciate you.
September was the start of all that I had wanted since high school. I couldn’t wait to be in college and couldn’t wait to study what I wanted. I began hanging out with so many people and making connections all over. Some people that I don’t even talk to anymore helped make my first few weeks of college so worth it.
>> it’s water
October: This month was just about the same as the last. School, hangs, grocery shopping and developing new friendships. On October 13th, Sarah and I as well as three of our friends decided to go to the beach for the day. This is what I had hoped for. I have always loved traveling, but was so excited to be going on a road trip with my close friends and making great memories together. At the end of October, Isaac had come up to visit for a weekend. Since we had been doing long distance, it felt like forever since I’d seen him. Although it was good to be with him again, I knew our relationship was overdue for a breakup yet I did not know when it would be. The end of October was very weird for me because I had lost my great Uncle Filton to a car accident in Louisiana and two days later my Nanny had passed away. I flew back to Phoenix for the funeral which was a day start to finish. I am incredibly thankful for my dad and sister for giving me the strength to get through the day. I love you both. Also, in honor of Nanny passing away and having such a strong impact on my life, I’ve decided to get our handshake in morse code on my ribs. That way, it’s with me forever and continues to be our super secret handshake.
Overall, October was extremely fun. I got to spend time with new friends and create memories with everybody. It was a month I could never forget and I’m thankful for all the people I met along the way. Sarah, Sarah, Olivia, Alayna, Will, Eddie and Ikaika – thank you.
November and December: These months were alike in a lot of ways. School, hangs and friends. On November 4th, I had called Isaac because my heart knew it was time. Although there was indeed heartbreak, I am not only thankful for the relationship, but for the breakup as well. Isaac, if you’re reading this, thank you. Thank you for loving me hard and for teaching me so many important lessons. Thank you for growing in faith with me and always making me laugh. I am thankful that we are friends and that we had time together. I do not regret any time with you at all. I wish you nothing but happiness and love in your future.
On November 9th, I went to the beach with Sarah, Charlie, Will, Eddie and Oso (Eddie’s dog) and had such an amazing time. Thankful for you all for making that day so special.
Over Thanksgiving break, I was able to go back to Phoenix to reconnect with some great friends. Brum, Alex, Jessi, Jash and Lauren – thank you for spending time with me.
November was more exciting than December considering December hasn’t even ended yet, but there was just so much to talk about and I’ve been wanting to make this blog for awhile now. I am happy to say that I finished the term strong and currently have a 3.79 GPA which is literally what I had in high school, but I’m thankful that I haven’t lost my motivation to learn.
If you’re still here, thank you for reading all of this. I know it was a lot. Now that 2018 is just about over, I am so excited to see what 2019 has in store. This year was long and my life did a complete 180, but I’m so thankful for all of it. All the sleepless nights, tears, smiles, frustrations, toilet cleaning, heartache and everything in between was all worth it. To everyone who I met or continued to love this year, thank you for everything. 2018 taught me a lot about maturity, adulthood, freedom, patience, growth, strength and love. My next blog will be out in about a month or two discussing how my resolutions for 2018 turned out and what I want to accomplish in 2019.
My final thank you:
2018, thank you. Thank you for holding so much good and for all the travels and new adventures. You taught me patience and allowed me to love better. You helped me grow and make mistakes and grow from those as well. You were, by far, the biggest year of my life and I’m thankful for everything that happened in you. As I say goodbye to you soon, I hope you know how close you were to my heart. I’m certain that you have made me who I am so that I can be more in 2019. And that I will be.
Thank you, as always, for reading my nothingness. It seems that these blogs are really just my nothingness, but I know these get a lot of reads. I hope you were able to enjoy your year and enjoyed reading mine as well. I’ve had one person tell me that I inspired them to make a blog and if you’re reading this, know that I haven’t forgotten who you are and you are another reason why I keep writing.
Melanie Rose 12/12/2018 1721
Here are ten songs for you. Enjoy:
- Kids // Current Joys
- Zipper // Brockhampton
- Nonstop // Drake
- Let it Happen // Tame Impala
- No Reptiles // Everything Everything
- Bonedigger // Adult Jazz
- With Everything // Hillsong United
- Water or Concrete // Setec
- Never Wanna Leave // Hate Drugs
- Zebra // Beach House