Thinking back on that makes me realize how many things have changed in my life. There are some good things, some bad things, and some just due to the fact that I am growing up. I am 21 years old, finishing up my undergraduate degree, and steadily working. I have had a job since I was 15 years old and I am somewhat of a workaholic (although I have gotten better over time). I get anxiety when I am away from my dogs and I put fitness before anything else. I would rather sit at home on a Friday night than go out to a bar. Does that mean I never want to go to bars? No, sometimes I do! But, most of the time it isn’t my first choice. Hell, I got my boyfriend to go to sleep with me at 9:30 on New Years Eve… if you knew him, you would understand how incredible that is ;). I am in a relationship with a marine who lives 5 hours away from me. Why? Well, because something inside me told me to pursue this relationship. We have a great balance, I help calm his wild self down and he helps bring me out of my shell. Most people probably think I am crazy for wanting to be in a long distance relationship with a man who is sometimes across the United States or in another country training … and maybe I am crazy. But he is worth it.
I am not who I thought I would be at 21 and I am surely not where I thought I would be at 21… but I am so happy at where I am at. I am looking at Graduate schools I want to apply to. I am looking at different countries I want to vacation to. I am saving money so I can live on my own soon. I am very thankful for where I am. I have had many downfalls; lost friendships, heartbreaks, and tough lessons… but they have all helped propel me forward. Sam and Dan recently moved to Lynchburg… I grew up 90% of my life with them living right down the street from me. As I am getting older I am starting to see that things can change, you just have to learn how to adapt.
And yes, we all know that this was going to be apart of the post…
I never thought that I would lose my Grandmother at the age of 18. That was by far one of the biggest learning years of my life. Honestly, every year since she has been gone has been a learning experience. While I am sitting her writing this, it made me almost come to a realization…one that I almost don’t want to write because then it will be real. It is almost normal not having her around anymore. I guess the new normal has finally settled in? I was taking down the Christmas decorations today with my mom at Grandpa’s house and realized how weird it was. There were barely any decorations up, and it just wasn’t the same at all. It is normal to call it Grandpa’s house rather than Grandma’s house now. Going to visit ‘Grandma’ now means going to a cemetery. Watching Kansas does not give me the high that it did when I watched them with her. There is no clutter on the Kitchen table where she sat, or by her seat her in living room. There is no more walking in on Sunday’s to find her playing Bejeweled on her computer. I can’t go have a conversation with her…or tell her a joke. Tuna casserole is not a thing anymore. The bathroom is boring during basketball season… I could go on forever but I will stop before I start to cry.
This is my new normal. I can honestly say that almost nothing has turned out the way I planned it would when I was younger. But that is one of the reasons why I have pursued a relationship with God; I can put my complete trust in him, I believe that he has a plan for me. I don’t have to have everything figured out to move forward. I have no idea if I will get into graduate school, I have no idea when I will see my boyfriend next, and even my schedule next week is a mystery. BUT IT IS OKAY. I am okay with putting my life in God’s hands. He has brought me this far, and I believe he has put me on the right track.
When your alarm goes off in the morning, smile and say thank you. Lean over to your boyfriend or girlfriend and give them a kiss and hug. Rachel, give Nathan the morning cuddles he looks forward to. Not everyone has the opportunity to wake up next to their significant other…don’t ever take that for granted. When Dan is home, Shelby takes everything in as much as possible because once he is gone, all the small things he does that gets on her nerves…she ends up missing. Don’t take any day lightly. Not everyone is granted the luxury of waking up in the morning, but YOU were. Make it worth your while and just live the happiest life you possibly can because at the end of the day, that is all that matters. You are here. Life is here. Life is happening right now and it isn’t waiting for you to get ready.
Get up, dress up, and show up.