I have developed an obsession with Magnum bars.
I have developed an equal, if not stronger, obsession with the Train Game.
I have remembered what it is like to live simply.
I will never be able to think about the songs and/or names of certain Christian music artists the same way as before.
I have moved from a state of total panic to one of controlled fear towards my thesis.
I have an overwhelming desire to play outside all hours of the day.
I cannot hear a Ben Rector song without being immediately transported to McCauley Road, driving through horse fields in the bright sunlight while dodging some very low-flying birds.
I have learned anew in my heart - and not just in my head - that God is good.
Kentucky got inside of me, and I wasn't expecting that. And now after all the new friends, places, and changes I am back in Oxford. Home of Nike shorts and oversized t-shirts, where people sleep all day and party all night, and where you are expected to be out (wherever "out" really is, anyway) on at least Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
There are adjustments, for sure, because let's face it: Wilmore, Kentucky and Oxford, Mississippi may be the 2 most opposite places on the planet, and time away from the Ole Miss culture makes the ridiculousness of some things stand out that much more. But I love Oxford, with all my heart, and the Oxford and Ole Miss I know are much different than the Oxford and Ole Miss that most people see at first glance. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the place that I am called to be and to serve, and I have the best friends in the world here to do it with me.
I am going to miss Kentucky. One week of school in and I already do. But I know the inevitable homesickness is a good thing. At 21 years of age, I can confidently say I am a better person because of the surprisingly many places, people, and experiences that have made up my life. So here's to time spent in Wilmore. Here's to Summer 2011. Here's to one more piece of Katharine Elizabeth Smith...
God is so good.