Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 9: Being a Longhorn

I mean, we all knew it would get to this, wouldn't we? It's like you could basically name inevitable posts that would occur when I began this project: husband, dog, various family members, UT. Well, it's after 10:30 pm, I only slept 5 hours thanks to having to clean up vomit from my furry child last night, and I still have about an hour and a half of work to do before I can go to sleep. Bring on the inevitable post #1.

I don't even know where to start on this. I am so incredibly grateful to the University of Texas for influencing my life in the ways it did. UT was where I learned how to stand on my own two feet, and it made that happen for me by breaking me just a little then building me right back up by showing me that while I was by no means perfect, I was stronger than I originally thought. It forced me to think about why I thought what I thought, and said what I said. It surrounded me with diversity. It gave me a student job to keep me funded and able to attend school there without being completely destitute. It provided me with the opportunity to be an orientation advisor and a Camp Texas counselor, which has led to me finding a career I truly love and motivating me enough to get my M Ed. (Who knew that a job that paid roughly, when you broke it down, $2.57 an hour would inspire me in such a deep way? Ridiculous. I wish I could remember how I wound up applying for that position so I could thank whoever put that opportunity in my path.) It gave me a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP and the utmost respect for Vince Young (I'll still totally have your babies, Vince. I mean that.) Most of all, though, I am grateful to UT for their residential housing offices and Whitis Court.

UT Res Life had the foresight to send my mother some information somewhere along the way about Freshmen Interest Groups (FIGs) and how the FIG participants lived in Whitis Court. My mother all but demanded I live there. So I did. And I was placed with the best roommate I could ever have hoped for in my freshman year- she was perfect, right down to being my same size. They placed amazing people in the rooms all around me, and I'm happy some of those people are still my close friends. They got me into that FIG program (which in turn got me the best advisor I could have asked for and into classes that literally changed my life by causing me to rethink my actions and reactions in detail I could never have imagined). And then... UT Res Life somehow brought me back to Whitis Court my second year, when I was supposed to be on the other side of campus. It put me in a building in the quad that I didn't like, which caused me to branch out to make friends with people in other buildings, which caused me to be less of a complete raging bull when I stormed down the hall to yell at my friend Chris playing pool at 1 am when I had to be at work at 5:45 am. And it's a really good thing it did all that, because Chris was playing pool with a guy I'd never met before, and three weeks later I'd tell my roommate that I was going to marry that guy, and about 6 1/2 years later, I did.

And then UT helped give Evan me the best proposal I could have asked for. It literally couldn't have any better or more perfect to me in any way.

And then UT gave me engagement pictures I treasure.

It gave me a wedding full of the best people I could ever hope to surround myself with, so many of which E and I met during our time there. And those people helped give us this moment:

I genuinely hope the Eyes of Texas are upon us always, til Gabriel blows his horn. Hook 'Em.

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