Change Comes With Compromise

News first: the boyfriend is not the boyfriend anymore; he’s the fiance, because we are engaged.

We’ve been together almost 3.5 years, and have been talking about this for a good bit of that time.  It’s so surreal that it’s finally happened, but I’m so ready.  We’re both ready.

His proposal, though, came in the middle of a roller coaster of a week.  For one, last week was the second-to-last week of class before finals, so all our projects are culminating.  Then, on Monday, his dad had a heart attack (he is fine and back home now, thank goodness).  Wednesday morning I butted heads with my parents about my plans for after graduation.  Wednesday afternoon he proposed, because it was the first sunny day after he had picked up the ring, and he didn’t want to wait any longer.  Thursday evening I went home to see my parents, to show them the ring and talk about plans.  Because of all of that, I changed my mind about 5 times in 2 days about what I’m going to do in May, and reached a compromise only after a lot of vacillating.

My original plan had been to not move back home at all.  He got an internship in a city to the southeast of us, and I was looking for jobs there as well.  But first, my parents began asking me whether I would come home for a month or two after graduation.  Then, my job prospects dimmed, as I kept applying and applying but got very few calls back.  When my plans didn’t change, my parents got restless, since to them, the lack of a ring signaled a lack of commitment on his end.  I knew that wasn’t the case, and while that was frustrating to deal with, I can understand that view.  After a couple emotional discussions with my mom, I changed my mind completely and decided to move home until whatever date the fiance and I get married.

But I couldn’t feel good about that either, since he and I planned to move together and I would be leaving him in the lurch for those few months.  So I had the idea to move back home right after graduation.  But in June, I’ll join my fiance.  It is a compromise, and by definition those don’t really make anyone completely happy.  But I will get to spend some time with my family, and an added perk will be that I will have more time to job hunt.  Neither of my parents are completely happy about this decision, but they’ve both accepted that it’s the one I’m making.

The real struggle for me is that when it comes to my family, I am a pleaser.  I want to make my own decisions, but it is hard to be the first one really leaving the nest and thus the cause of some grief on my parents’ end.  It has to happen, and I’m excited to have my own space and my own life, but it is not without its downsides.  There comes a moment in time where the paths of the parents and the child separate, and my time is now, and it’s weird and hard.

Of course, it’s not like I’m going to drop off the face of the earth.  When I move to join my fiance, I’ll only be moving two hours away from my hometown.  It’s about the same distance from there as my school, and the drive is a lot easier (according to my dad).  Even though I’m notoriously bad at keeping up with people, I’m not just going to let my family float away.  They’re too important for that.

I know they know this, and I know they’re going to be able to accept whatever decision I make, even if it takes awhile.  What’s made this more difficult than it had to be is my job situation — I have tons of applications out, and on the off-chance I finally get a job, there’s the possibility I’ll move earlier than expected.  I have a plan, but it’s a little bit contingent upon various prospective employers.

So what I’m trying to say, I guess, is that my life is messy right now.  Up till now, I’ve always had a clear plan.  I still have long-term goals I want to achieve.  But the immediate future is unclear.  When will I get a job?  When will I move out?  I don’t know.  It’s a little stressful.  But it’s life, and it’s gotta happen sometime.

Forpy: Grad and Grindstone

Well, folks, I’ve done it. I finally graduated high school! Woohoo!

insert victory dance here

In doing so, I also neglected to do my Forpy post at all last week, instead of just posting late as usual. I’ve also been working quite a lot lately as well. I would do a rundown of high and lowlights from the past week, but really, the list would be short. I graduated! I had a great weekend with my family and friends and now I’m looking forward to what’s next. College orientation and choir tour are coming up, and I got an iPhone as a graduation gift from my parents (on which I am currently typing this). Other than that, nothing much is going on but work and more work. Which I’m okay with.

I will have something slightly more interesting for you to read shortly, as I’m working on finishing up my next book review. Stay tuned!

Breakneck Speed plus My Worst Testing Experience Ever

This past weekend was a crazy, crazy four days.  My life is either dead as a door nail or running at breakneck speed.  There is no happy medium.

Breakneck speed can be stressful at times, but I enjoy those parts.  My weekend started Thursday, when I took my AP Econ test and attended a friend’s graduation party.  On Friday my family and I traveled to the state capital, where I won second place in my speech competition Saturday morning.  From there we rushed home again.  I thought I was going to have to work a shift before prom that night, but thank goodness it rained and my shift was cancelled.  Normally I’m not happy about turning down money, but that cancelled shift freed up an hour and a half for me to wrestle with my hair and make it to the pre-prom party I thought I was going to have to miss.  Prom was amazingly fun, as usual.  I’m so glad I got to go.  Then Sunday morning I had to drag myself out of bed to sing in church.

Now it’s calmed down a bit, though not much.  This week I have been going to senior luncheons, hanging out with friends, working, teaching flute, and getting ready to graduate on Saturday!  I’m also attempting to decide on a smartphone, since my parents revealed that they will give me one for a graduation gift.  Graduating has a lot of perks, I’m finding.  :)

I’m going to skip the traditional Forpy post this week, as I pretty much already explained it above.  (The pits were being stressed, mostly about prom hair.)  However, in case you’re just really bummed about that (haha!), I also want to share my testing horror story in honor of my very last high school test (which is also my first and last AP test ever).

My Worst Testing Experience Ever

It was my second time taking the ACT.  The first time had gone very well; the only improvement to be made was my math score, and I had since my last test studied much more advanced math.  I was ready.  I was confident.

The English section passed uneventfully.  I filled out all the bubbles with time to spare and checked over my work.  So far, so good.

The next section was Reading, which, incidentally, has the exact same number of questions as the Science section.  I wasn’t worried about this section either — English is my best subject, and I love to read.  I read the little stories and answered the questions.  

As I was filling in one of the last bubbles, I glanced more closely at my answer sheet, and a huge shock ran through me.  I had accidentally filled in half my answers on the Science section!  With the number of questions the same, I had gotten so deep into answering them I had neglected to be vigilant about my answer sheet.

This was a disastrous mistake for several reasons.  First, the rules of the test stated that no marks were to be made to any section before or after time was called.  Second, I had less than two minutes left in the Reading section.

I had to make a quick decision.  Frantically I began copying my answers onto the correct section on my answer sheet.  I thought I had broken the rules by marking in my Science section, and I knew that breaking the rules could get your score disqualified.  But which was worse — risking detection by changing my answers, or risking the ruination of my Reading and Science scores by leaving them as they were?  I didn’t know what to do.  I copied answers until my heavy breathing got so audible that the room monitor looked up.  I put down my pencil.

I was so shaken by that episode that I could not concentrate for the Science or Math.  I left the building feeling like my whole body was made of jelly.  I burst into tears as soon as I shut the door of my mother’s car.

When I got my score, it was considerably lower than it would have been.  It wasn’t a complete failure, though, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected.  I signed up for the next ACT date and took the test again, this time checking and double-checking my answer sheet.  

Because of that experience, I am now paranoid about checking my answer sheet when I take tests.  But my blunder wasn’t as bad as I thought it was when I was in the midst of it.  So the moral of this story is, don’t sweat mistakes like that, because they’re easy to make.  The other moral is, quadruple check your answer sheet.  Trust me.

Forpy: Waiting…

Pits

  • Job.  Job, job, job.  So many things wrong!  Actually, it’s not that bad, but I’m not getting many hours, and the times I’m there I always seem to make mistakes.  Oh well, I’ll be a pro by the time I leave.
  • My AP Econ test is three days away and I really don’t feel ready.
  • Band is over.  *sob*

Peaks

  • Prom is this Saturday…
  • My state speech competition is this Saturday…
  • A friend’s graduation party is Thursday…
  • I graduate in a couple weeks!  Lots to look forward to.

Prayers

  • Tests and speeches.

Praises

  • I move in to my dorm in 99 days!  (Or 98,or something like that…)

Forpy: Bittersweet

This month, this culminating month, has been and is going to be the best month ever.  I am loathe to look past May, when everything will change.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for college.  Uber excited.  But nothing will be the same.  I’ll be working all summer, and then I’ll be off to school and a new life.  I will never be around this same group of friends in this same situation anymore.  It’s quite possible (probable even) that after a few years, most of my high school friends will no longer be in my life.

I don’t even want to think about that.  Right now, I am living in the moment.  I’m working a little, studying a little, but mostly I’m having fun.  I’ve been going out with my friends after band rehearsal, and our last concert is this week.  That is going to be one big party.  Then comes prom, which promises to be epic, and all of our respective graduation parties.  I am so excited.

I’m on a high right now.  Yesterday we had our last band competition, and we hung out at an amusement park all day.  I finally rode all the roller coasters in the park.  I never thought I was a coaster person, but I guess I am.  The coasters, combined with the joy of companionship, gave me such a high that I am still coming down from it.  I am so happy.  And sad.  

Pits

  • Change.

Peaks

  • Friends.

Prayers

  • I must, must hang on to these friendships!

Praises

  • I am so thankful that I have them.