Confession: I skipped tonight’s Alabama football game.
I know – that’s so unlike me, little miss rabid football fan. I spent a tearful hour alone in my bedroom before deciding to give away my ticket. I just couldn’t face 83,000 screaming fans tonight.
It’s funny that football season has been the amplifier of those feelings. I miss my friends, and I was reminded of how much during last week’s game. I stood lonely in the student section of Bryant-Denny, reflecting on how my evening would look if I were instead at Doak Campbell.
Rather than quietly applauding for every successful block, I would be celebrating with my closest friends. Instead of smiling to myself after a touchdown, I’d be trying not to get knocked over by the jubilant gentlemen around me. And (ironically?) I would be chatting everyone up about Alabama’s hard fought battle against Oklahoma. I instead spent the evening striving to keep tabs on my alma mater’s score.
Several months ago, I realized a fundamental difference between the cities of Tallahassee, Florida and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. People love me in Tally; here, I am liked (at best).
I love the area where I live, and I’m content in my classes. I know that this is the place where I’ve been called to for this time of my life. I accept that, come what may.
But part of what has come is this: I feel as though I’m expected to fit into a mold here. I can’t be crammed down. I simply don’t fit.
I’m not a teetotaler. I didn’t “grow up in the church,” and I haven’t walked consistently with Jesus since I was nine years old. Additionally, I’m not a prissy sorority girl, and I don’t buy all of my clothes at Gap (and higher level stores). I don’t wear heels with my jeans.
At Florida State, I wasn’t only accepted for who I am – I was encouraged to find out who CJ is and to embrace her! I grew up at FSU. Leaving the people who spurred me on to that growth is hard.
Now I’m learning to grow apart from my support system. You wanna know what? I’m making it.
But I sure hate when it costs me a football game.