Sunday, June 26, 2011

Is it ever gonna be the same?

My parents are divorced so you'd think I'd have some kind of knowledge of what it feels like being caught in between two places, not until today did I learn that I in fact had absolutely no idea what it felt like.

I left Tonkawa at 3:00 A.M. Saturday. In an attemp to avoid the inevitable - crying when I had to say the toughest goodbye in my life - I put up a wall trying not to feel anything at all. I had to force myself to walk the opposite direction from people that mean the world to me. No doubt that Holly was the hardest one!

Chris, thanks for coming to the airport, giving up your 8 hours of sleep. I honestly have no idea how Holly and I would've parted without you being there, thanks for carrying my guitar, and thanks for writing those awesome lyrics.

I didn't really cry again until I boarded the plane in New York but I was bawling by take off. There was no going back from there. I was leaving America for good, at least for a little while. It was then I realised that I'll never be Danish again nor will I be American. I'm caught in between the two places I love the most, the place I was born and the place I've come to call home.

I truly don't know where I belong. I know where I want to belong, but I'm still feeling caught in between, and it really kinda sucks. I miss America and the people there more than I thought I already would, I truly hope that time will make me feel better about it all, or I'll be depressed for the rest of my life. I just wanna be OK.

Don't misunderstand! I'm glad I finally got to see my family again, and it's gonna be great to see my friends too. Denmark looks the same it always has and I can't figure out if I find it depressing or comforting. I guess I expected at least some things to change while I was gone. Truly I'd like to spend the summer in Denmark and just go back to Tonkawa for another year of American high school.

Goodbyes hurt, but it hurts even more to miss the people you said goodbye to.

Friday, June 24, 2011

And someone thought this was going to be easy

Meeting someone new, my personality tends to only give off the surface. Especially to people I know I won't be in contact with for a longer period of time. Then, Nanna Ellegaard Poulsen came into my life. I'd met people before and I did let them get in close enough that they knew practically all there is to make up Holly, but never to the point where I'd attach myself to them so it would be hard to say goodbye. I'd get to know them so well that once I felt I knew they'd be departing from me soon, I slowly weened myself from then so the final "goodbye" wouldn't be as heart wrenching. I was - and somewhat still am - afraid of having to say goodbye, of hurting, and of anything that would make me emotionally upset.
I wish I could give you a play by play of how we became the friends we are today. I wish there was a way to tell you it is easy to depart with someone who has become a part of your family. I wish I could say the things I wanted to without having to make it hurt. Yet, I'm only human.
It scares me knowing Nanna. Partly, because that means the world is so much bigger than I'd ever imagined. And, I tend to wonder if there really are as many people as Nanna and myself. Do foreign exchange students always come to a different country and find a person exactly like them? Then, does the non exchange student decide that they are going to visit their new friend's country? Or is our story really as unique as I like to think it is?
Reality is a lovely place, but I wouldn't wanna live there.
I want so badly to hold on to the hope set aside for me to travel to Denmark next year after graduation. Yet, I know my heart is going to crack a little when I watch her walk the opposite way from me and I have to say the longest "See ya later" in my life. Except, the last few hours I'm going to be able to spend with her are going to be some of the best we'll ever experience and yet, some I'll never forget.
Today, I was able to read her article that will be coming out in the church newsletter. It was a summed up account of her time here in America and to say the least, joy filled my heart and I began to cry just because I was so happy that the impact the small people of Tonkawa had had on her life were a good one. Hopefully, she'll post it up here.
I'm going to miss you Nanna.
Your texts for rides.
The way we'd look at each other and automatically know the other's feelings.
The small surprises when we realized some new trait we shared.
The awakening saying, "You elbowed me in the face again". 
The turning to me with a confused look while playing and mouthing, "Is this right?"
The laughing until we died...."What would I tell your mom?"
The question of disagreement even being possible.
Everything about you.

For one last statement, don't ever forget the transformation made in you. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

But I know better!

I've always had a very supporting family. A family with the philosophy of living your dreams. My family is realistic too, though. I've been told "remember not all things are possible" just as many times as "do your best to live your dreams", probably to avoid disappointments.

I was told the first thing when I first mentioned the idea of becoming a foreign exchange student.

Let me tell you about my mom. My mom is a single parent and she's retired at a really young age due to Arthritis and Fibermyalgia. Now, she's not the kind of person who just gives up because life is hard on her. I've never heard her complain about her situation once in my life, she never gives up because something is painful, you'll hardly ever see her in a bad mood, and she's always there to encourage me - even when I don't deserve it. She has raised me, more or less, on her own, and it hasn't always been easy on either of us. My mom is a fighter, and I'm proud to call her my mom.

So what's my point with this? She was the first person to tell me being a foreign exchange student probably wasn't going to be possible. Not because I didn't have the mentality for it or because she didn't think it was my dream, solely because we didn't have the amount of money it required. I could've given up right then and there. I could've found another dream I wanted to live, but I didn't. I'd seen my mom fight for her rights practically all of my life, so I wasn't just going to give up on one of my biggest dreams.

In a matter of days I'd found the cheapest exchange student organizations, and the ones with the best scholarships. I remember my mom looking at me hopelessly just waiting to have to encourage me in case my plans failed. It probably didn't help any that my hopes were higher than they ought to have been. That same week I found the one thing I needed, to make my dream come true. An organization that could give me a full scholarship. All I saw was that statement, I didn't pay attention to the fact that only one person would get it, or that I found out about it a few weeks before the application was due.

I obviously got the scholarship, and God probably had something to say in that decision or I have absolutely no idea how I got it.

So lets fast forward to today. All my fights to get to America paid off and now I stand here having to say goodbye to some of the best friends I've ever had. I did not prepare for this at all, and that was probably a huge mistake. I've enjoyed my year for sure, and that was the point of even going, but looking back I probably should have spent an hour or two preparing for the extremely hard days I'm about to experience. I had my first official goodbye this morning and it hurt. It was like a slap in the face. It physically hurt. It was like the starting shot to something terrible.

Yeah, now I have no idea how to end a post like this. I'm definitely going to miss Tonkawa, probably more so the people in Tonkawa. I'm going to miss hanging out with the worship team. I'm going to miss spending way too much time with Holly. I'm going to miss Colby making fun of my accent. I'm going to miss Josh sending out a text about band practice. I'm going to miss asking Paige for rides. I'm going to miss listening to Pastor Derrick preach. I'm going to miss everyone and everything.

All I have left to say is: Saturday, I'll leave a piece of my heart in Tonkawa, but I promise that one day I'll be back to pick it up.

Friday, June 17, 2011

And then there were 8 days.

After a week at YFN (Youth for the Nations) I can only agree with Holly's previous post. I even amaze myself with how far I've come, especially because the last thing I told most of my Danish friends and family was "I will not become a Chistian".
I especially remember one incident, my mom and I were on our way to a nearby town to do some last minute shopping before I left Denmark. Like I did so often, I had one of my little breakdowns telling her how much I wanted to just stay in Denmark (Now I just want to stay in America, Ironic huh?). She said something something like "Remember to be open minded, you know you can get a lot of friends by attending church". As we turned down another road I almost yelled "no! I do not believe there's a God after all that happened to me" - I know it's such an untrue statement so many people use as an excuse for not believing. Obviously, I ended up being open minded.

This past week I've become stronger. Not physically, I don't think that's ever going to happen, but mentally. I've grown stronger. I feel more prepared to go back to Denmark, not that I will ever be willing to leave voluntarily. I'm still going to miss people more than anything, but thanks to one amazing girl, I've come to appreciate what I've gained in America even more. There is a reason that I don't want to leave, if I had an easy time leaving, it would probably be because I hadn't had this great a year. So, I'm glad that I'm sad to leave. It seems like a contradicting statement, but I really need to be happy that I love this place so much.

Back to the part about being stronger, thanks to God, my friends, and my pastor I now feel more prepared to face Denmark again. I will still cry like a baby when I have to say goodbye to Colby and Holly; I will still have to be dragged out my dear family's house; and I will still have to be pushed through security, bawling, at the airport, but I'm ready. Not to mention that this heat is killing me, come hither crappy Danish summers with a whole lot of rain and highs in the mid 80's. Seriously I would've never thought I would wish for a Danish summer. I love rain, it's my favorite kind of weather, but it is nice with some decent weather during my (short) break from school.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Don't fall into the ocean...who knows what's out there?

If I'm allowed to, I'd like to share a memory.
A memory that I hold so dear to my heart.
I will cherish it forever, I've decided.

I was headed to a trip to the art museum, one in which was extremely unplanned, but thanks to Nanna, I was getting to go. I rushed to pick her up and make it on time...being 8:01 yet we continued to sit there for probably thirty more minutes waiting on someone who wasn't even going. In the hustle and bustle, I forgot my headphones. At the time, I thought death. Being stuck on a bus with a ton of other high schoolers somewhat more annoying than myself put a small shiver down my spine. Then, Nanna said, "You can share mine." So thanks to our wonderfully alike taste in music I accepted to drown out at least one earful of morning high school squeals. (I'm not any "holier than thou" person but I was in one of those "I'm gonna drown out the noise around me with my music" kinda moods.)
As we were making our way there, I heard the unmistakable piano chords of Jon Thurlow begin to play on her iPod. (For those who don't know, Jon Thurlow is a man who plays for International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri. And let me tell ya, he's a man of God.) I then heard "An' I know that Your eyes are like flames of fire, I know that Your head is white as wool, an' I know that your voice it sounds like waters, Jesus You're beautiful. Now, seemingly that just is a worship song, yeah? Well into the pool of surreal reality did I fall into at that moment. Simply listening to the song proclaiming the hunger for God playing into our ears, drew me near to tears of joy and happiness.

God has done such a work in you Nanna Ellegaard Poulsen, and it nearly kills me how much you've grown into such a beautiful person. You've come farther spiritually in such a short time, there's no telling what God has in store for you when you board that plane to head back to your nearly Maryland and West Virginia sized country. Don't ever cease to stop praising the man who brought you from the dust to be so stable in His eyes. Never let the faces of those around you break your beliefs. For He that is in you is greater than He that is in the world.

Hey Nanna, you are an overcomer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I do say that a lot huh?

Every time departure is brought up, I just look at Nanna and say ,"Let's not talk about that yet." One day, I will have to face it but luckily for me, it won't be a goodbye, it will be the better statement for separating ways...See ya later. But, I'm sticking to my ways and saying, let's not go there yet...
Hey! Do your gang signs.

There's someone in your house!
"I've got G, and C, now?" Nanna...."Em!" Holly
A couple days ago, we went for a walk. Nanna asked if we were going anywhere where she would need shoes and I told her that I didn't necessarily think she would need shoes. So low and behold, she actually didn't wear shoes on one condition..."You sure you're okay with walking slow in places?" she asked. I said yes of course and off we went. You never realize how far you walk until you see that the sun is beginning to set...oops. Can't walk in the dark. Although we still did, but it wasn't too dark. We took a few pictures with our professional amateur of a photographer, my boyfriend, Nehemiah Reese. He did his best. :) Graci! Wrapping up our walk, we made it back to the Reese's house to attempt to watch a movie that seriously had absolutely no sense of humor...then the best part of the evening....Americanized ice cream. (For some reason every time I'm with Nanna now, she craves ice cream.) 

First, the vanilla ice cream, the peanut butter, and the chocolate syrup were set on the counter. 
Nehemiah scooped up the ice cream. One spoonful of crunchy peanut butter was a must. Add the chocolate syrup and you have heaven in a bowl. Don't think too much about it's appearance or the likeliness of you consuming the whole concoction if zero to none. And don't watch anything Austin Power's related...

I was going to wait to put pictures until I laid out my month of June, but I'm sure I will have plenty. Don't die.

Our "bucket list" is still in the works. You'll be amazed at what we've accomplished! (Okay maybe not but it'll be an entertaining blog no doubt)

I'm thinking I'm a little depressed here

I'm sitting here with an urge to blog, but I really have no idea what to blog about so here it goes:

Today, I've been thinking about Denmark. I've been thinking about America too. Perhaps I've just been thinking about my life in general. Whenever I have one of these days, questions pop up in a seemingly unending stream. It tends to make me somewhat melancholic. On days like these there are very few things that can cheer me up. One of them is Holly. Well, she's not a thing, she's a person. A girl to be more specific. The moment that I realise she's the cure, my mood lightens up a little bit.

My life in America has been extraordinary! A wise person updated his Facebook status saying "It's the people that make the places you go", and he couldn't be more right. America has changed the way I view the world and once again I'm going to say that there is no way I'm leaving this place because I want to leave. Yes, some days I feel ready to go home, but more so because I want to see the people I miss.

Every time I think about that I can't help but think how I will feel about my dear American friends when I return to Denmark. I will miss them more than anything, no doubt about that! I keep imagining that I'll feel cut off from something when I leave them, that a piece of me will be missing somehow. If we could all just live in one place and be happy (wishful thinking).

Yeah, on days like these I need someone to make my day. Like yesterday, when Holly fell on her skateboard inside her house, or last week when Colby tried to drive a stick shift. Who will my Holly and Colby be when I go back to Denmark? Questions like these just fill my head. Quite depressing indeed. I wonder if I'll ever feel ready to leave.

I know that I want to see more of this beautiful Earth, and in order to so I'll have to say goodbye or see you later once in a while no matter how much I despise it. It's yucky and I'm definitely not going to look forward to it. As Holly would say "lets not talk about that yet".

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Same beginning, just another story.

I guess it's my turn now..

I got the idea for this blog elsewhere. I don't remember who had the blog or what it was called, the only thing I remember is that it was two friends living in different parts of the world, who shared their viewpoints on their different lives on the blog. I'm a copy cat. I'm sorry.

The first time I remember talking to Holly was in Cross Country/Football, as she wrote in the previous post. I remember, as we were getting closer to basketball season, that I didn't quite understand why she was so stoked about the season beginning. Turns out she was on the team. Duh.

My next memory was from the county fair. The Terra Nova band went to play at the Bridge and I tagged along, we ended the night in a friend's car on the way to Braums listening to Airplanes by B.o.B. I soon learned that Holly and I agreed on at least one thing - neither of us really liked that genre of music.

Our friendship became deeper than that, of course, especially when I joined the band at Terra Nova. (Thanks for the patience guys, I really wasn't that good) Hanging around each other 6 days a week, we learned that we were pretty much the same person - I mean, we even have similar handwriting! Missing out on team dinners or band practices, which ever we didn't have the time to go to, became our Wednesday nights for almost 5 months. It was great, really.

I truly believe that we'll never lose touch with each other, this is a friendship too special not to keep up with. Because in some way we're more than just friends, no homo! seriously, we're not more than friends in that way!

(yeah, I'm not cool, like Holly, so my posts will be plain ol' black on white)

Yeah I haven't thought that through yet

The concept...we're getting deep here. This blog is a blog. SHOCKING? No, actually we were two strangers. Nanna Ellegaard from Lunderskov, Denmark and Holly Joy from Tonkawa, America who met when Holly was at football practice and Nanna wasn't able to participate in Cross Country activities due to shin splints. Practices for football lasted hours, so there was plenty of time to talk and get to know one another. Shortly, we realized we were practically the same person but not. The common likeness of our personalities was completely ridiculous. Now we're going to each give our separate sides of becoming two people who had no idea of each other to two people who never want to lose contact.

I truly don't remember when we became so close. It definitely had something to do with the end of football season to beginning basketball. Nanna was playing and I began to give her rides home due to her impatience for other people and their rides. Slowly and surely, we became close but not nearly as close as we currently are. Next, get her to Terra Nova. For someone who believed in science, (the story is on my other blog), she came to Terra Nova seemingly open and receptive to what we were dishing out. I remember one specific time she came. (I'm not a freak. I just remember outfits.) She had on a band t-shirt that seriously caught my eye; it was super awesome looking! Her hair was french braided to where the braid was inversely done. And, she did it herself. Already awesome in my book. At first, she seemed like she liked it but didn't want a part of our "religious"ness. (We actually aren't religious..) Then on September 19, 2010 I was playing an alter call and our guest speaker went to pray for her. I felt compelled to go to her but couldn't do so... I came to find out later, she gave her life to Jesus that night. Afterwards, I sent her a text. A few weeks later, she joined our band and that had to have been the best decision that has ever been made. Seeing her grow in Christ and our friendship has also made me smile so big. Our friendship is one to cherish and I know that.

That right there is just the beginning....