i’ve spent the last few minutes laying in bed with the lights off listening to my “jesus music” channel on pandora. generally when i do something like that, it’s because i’m not having a good night. actually, it’s normally the sign of a terrible night. that’s what i did the night that i realized i wanted to leave coastal. it’s what i did when i realized i couldn’t get over the depression of ashley and no job and that junk on my own.

the thing is, tonight’s really not that bad of a night.

i’ve said before that i hate holidays. i still stick by that statement. they just end up being reminders of things that i don’t like to think about. i really don’t remember a holiday that was just straight up memorable in a good way.

overall, i think tonight’s one of those nights where i’m ready to get done with this stage of life and grow up a little bit.

i know. i know. i know.

“don’t wish your life away.”

“god has a plan for what you’re doing right now.”

“where you are in life now is going to teach you something.”

i know all of this. that doesn’t change how i feel though.

last week i went to see decemberadio with a friend of mine. somehow in the hour and a half drive down to where the show was we got on the topic of dating, life, and all of that stuff that 20-something year old kids talk about. i remember her saying that there were all of these things she wanted to do before she went to that “next step” of life that’s after the one we’re in now. i’ve sat back and thought about that and really, there’s nothing that i absolutely want to do before crossing into that realm. i’m ready for it.

this week i’ve thought a lot about all the crap that went down between me and ashley. for those that don’t know, i’ve been sharing my testimony (which is pretty much based around that) on wednesday nights at camp for the past two weeks and even the week before that i shared it in small groups. i’ve been able to relate that on many occasions to a lot of students, both guys and girls. i’ve thought a lot about the insane high i was on when i was with her. i’ve thought a lot about the insane low i was on after we broke up.

most of all, more than any of that, i have thought about how much i have grown up and changed since all of that happened.

i used to say that i didn’t want to change. i always wanted to be the same kid i’ve always been. now i’m extremely thankful that i have changed. i’m still that same kid at heart. i like to tell the kids at camp i’m an idiot because quite frankly, i am and i love being one. but even with that, i’ve changed and grown into something that i never thought was possible.

this past wednesday, while we were at the skating rink after church, a camper came up to me and started talking to me about what i had shared in church and how she was dealing with depression issues. we only got to talk for about five or ten minutes, but it was a good conversation. we talked about how the thoughts that hurt will likely always be there inside of us, but that doesn’t mean that we always have to let them hurt us.

and that’s where i’m at right now. those thoughts have been in my head again tonight. i won’t deny it. they’ll likely be in my head over the next week simply because of the fact that it was a year ago this week when everything went to crap. when i go to share my testimony to camp on wednesday night, i’ll be sharing it on her birthday.

a year later, i’m glad all of that stuff happened. i would never be the person i am today if it wasn’t for that. like i told the camper two days ago, the thoughts are always there, but they don’t hurt anymore.

if i’m being truthful, they actually make me smile.

and that right there is what makes growing up worth it.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.