Public Private Letters, Part 1: Dear Carlee.

Dear Carlee, 

Remember a few years ago when we had an idea to make inspirational/funny YouTube videos back and forth to each other, like Hank and John Green do? Well, as you know, we never quite got that idea off the ground. It wasn't realistic for us, right now at least. Maybe some day when we are wildly successful and have more money and somehow more spare time...or not, whatever! Anyway, I was watching one of John Green's new videos, and then watched the one that his brother Hank made before that, and I suddenly I had an idea: Why don't I just write Carlee a letter on my blog? And, hence, Public Private Letters was born...like, an hour ago.  So let's get to it. 

Oh, how I miss you, my friend. I hope you are well. I was so very happy to learn of your nephew's birth. You're an aunt! How wonderful and exciting! It made my day to see pictures of him. I look forward to hearing more about him. 

I wish I could come see the show you're in right now, but alas, I cannot spare the time to drive to DFW. I was sad that my birthday weekend and your show coincided...very sad. But please don't feel bad! I am in no way angry, of course. Since you can't make it to my birthday celebration, I decided to write to you first though (besides that, you are truly one of my favorite people and dearest friends!).
I won't spill all the beans about what I'm planning to do at my birthday party, but my original idea was to spend some time celebrating each one of my friends who attends. Unfortunately, most of my closest friends are also farthest away from me currently, and many cannot attend my birthday weekend, so that's another reason I'm writing letters. 

Carlee, I really love you and our friendship with a big piece of my heart. You're one of my true friends, my "Soul Friends," as I like to say. "Best friend" just doesn't cut it. It's like our souls were created to know each other, and spending time with you is good for my soul. (All of the letters in this series will be written to soul friends of mine, in case you were wondering!) 

I wish we lived closer. I dream of living next door to you when we're old. That would be fun. Oh! I know! One of the "guest houses" on my dog ranch will be named "Carlee's Cottage," and you can stay there when you come visit me (unless an employee or someone else is living there, but it will still be named after you for sure, I just decided). Have I told you about that facet of my dog ranch dream?? I'm almost certain I have, but just in case I haven't, here it is: I want the ranch to be a ministry, too, where I will house people (in little private houses) and they can work for me while they live there for free. That's the dream, at least. We'll see how it actually plays out. Anyway, if it does happen, you've got yourself "Carlee's Cottage" for sure. 

Okay, changing the subject a bit...I wanted to tell you about how I'm doing lately. It's such a mix of emotions. My last year at ACU has not been easy so far nor do I predict that it will be easy the rest of the way. There are plenty of great people, but everyone seems to be so busy with other things all the time. I'm lonely a lot. I work really hard though. I'm up to date on all my assignments, which is why I have time to write you a letter. I'm excited about my birthday, and how Seekers is going; I love my professors and my classes, but...I'm sad. A lot. I wish it weren't so, but it's true. I'm scared, Carlee. I'm scared about going off to California next year by myself. I'm also scared that I'm not trusting God enough to provide for me, because what do I actually have to be afraid of? 

I went to church tonight by myself. "Wednesday Night Bible" they call it. I'm pretty sure I was the youngest one there, but that's okay. I sat by John Willis, and he was a delight, of course. He apologized for not keeping in touch with me better ever since I was in his class. I told him that was okay--he has so many students, after all. When I was leaving, he hugged me goodbye and told me he loved me. How sweet! I will miss ACU because of people like Dr. Willis. 

On the other hand, I feel quite ready to move forward in my life. I was telling Mom last night how it's getting so tiresome to go through the same things year after year and not get to graduate. I've been here too long in some ways, and in other ways I've just had to take it at my pace. You know what I mean...life has happened. And I'm learning to be okay with my own pace. Most of the time, however, I am not satisfied with taking college slowly. A friend reminded me today though that I could have quit a long time ago...and I didn't. I haven't given up even though most days I want to give up. God has been faithful, and for that I am grateful. 

One of the ways God has been faithful is by giving me your friendship. While I have mixed emotions about my 2 summers of working camps (because of depression and a few other things), I do not regret the second summer since it brought me to you. You've never given up on me. You're always in my corner. I appreciate you so much. Mom often tells me I should call you when I'm feeling down because that always cheers me up. I sure wish we had more time to talk. I know we've said this before, but one of the things I love about our friendship is that we always pick up right where we left off, and there's no pressure in between. I don't have to worry about whether or not you love me in the between times, because I know you do. And we never run out of things to talk about. Maybe when we get to Heaven, we'll actually finish our conversation...eventually. Haha!      

I love you, Carlee Ann. You are the Pork to my Beans. Always have been, always will be. 

Sincerely, 
Haley (Beans)

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