If there’s one thing you must know about me, it’s that I long for closure. I seek finality to all things, but it’s not necessarily because I’ll dwell on the past otherwise. It’s because I'm sentimental, I get attached to things easily, I hate saying goodbye, and I want all things to be lively and joyful and ceremonious and so their endings must reflect this.
Thus far in my life, I’ve avoided painful endings (i.e.: graduation from high school, leaving home for college, etc) by pretending the days aren’t drawing to a close. I’ll pretend that 3 days is so much longer than I actually think it is, when in reality, 3 days goes by in a landslide. And the cycle repeats.
In an attempt to rebel against this tradition, I’ve decided to slowly start saying goodbye to things in my heart so that the transition isn’t as difficult on the day of.
So, here's my goodbye to this sweet room. Vail 511: the home of many a mental breakdown, but even more so, the home of many laughs and open windows with breezes flowing in. The home of many shared beds and sleepovers and watching Riverdale (even though season 2 isn't as good as season 1). The home of finding peace and joy and sorrow and tenderness and grief all tied into our very existence. The Bible was read a lot in this room. Textbooks were read a lot in this room.
Yes, 511 is a shoebox, but she’s a shoebox full of love, memories, and nostalgia. She’s a shoebox that the Holy Spirit dwells within. She’s a shoebox where I laughed, cried, wrote papers, called my mom, had New Girl marathons, did infrequent ab workouts on the rug, made popcorn, snuggled with my roommate, had late-night silent dance parties, got up way too early, went to bed way too late, had sleepless nights, had restful nights, wrote poems, songs, journals, blog posts– a lot of writing was had in this room.
Freshman year should be better known as the art of consistently surrendering to the unfamiliar. I gave up every inch of familiarity in moving to Samford, and this is the room I came back to whenever those days of unfamiliarity had concluded. I'd enter a wearier girl, heart worn thin, but all the better for it. It is because of the consistent refining I endured while living in this room that I can say that freshman year was worth every penny. This room was a room for growth, a place solely designated to be my touchpoint amidst days of uncertainty. I'm glad I had this place to serve that purpose when I needed it most.
Yes, this season was challenging, but there was a strange undercurrent of simplicity woven within these days. The simplicity of coming home to my sweet roommate every day, the simplicity of making my own decisions for the first time in my life, the simplicity of seeing the Gospel lived out on the daily. Make no mistake, freshman year takes a lot out of you, but it's still so life-giving.
So, here's to you, freshman year. Here's to Lena Vail Davis Hall, a dormitory much too old and far too in need of renovations. A building with a lobby that has consistently smelled like spoiled milk since that one incident in October. A building with no elevators, a building where the fire alarms broke too often, but really a building that I will miss. My time here was far too short and way too fun.
It's hard for me to come to terms with this season ending, but I know summer will be such a spiritually necessary time of refinement. The Lord can do such amazing things in each and every season of life, so really, I should be thankful for the season I had here in Vail. I'm already getting SO excited for sophomore year and praying so hard for the two sweet girls who will take me and my roommate's places next year--man, I hope they love it as much as I did. I pray they feel the Holy Spirit's presence in sweet lil' Vail 511. It's with a glad heart I hand down this room to the next two girls who will make this room their own place for growth.