“Baby, WHAT is wrong.. ”
I was bombarded with my Aunt Melissa, Aunt Misty. and my sweet sweet Mama. It was a few weeks out of college and I was standing in my Aunt Misty’s kitchen as we all were filling cups of ice for our family get together. I looked at those three women… All who have seen me go through each awkward, blooming, and wonderful stage of life… All who watched me grow from that poor unfortunate soul who actually brushed the lions mane and got tiger striped highlights to the woman who graduated college, who strode confidently across the stage of SEU right into the slump of Mayo, Florida. When you spend your whole life bracing yourself for the never-ending breathless adventure we call college, coming out to nothing but home feels like a dead end…
So here I was, tears threatening to break and I was barely able to croak out a question that has stuck with me for the past 5 years… “Will I ever be that happy again?” I liked high school but I dreamed for college, and it didn’t disappoint. I fell in love with every beautiful, disastrous, irresponsible, life-altering moment. I embraced every type of experience and all walks of people. I sang out the window of cars, and danced down streets with friends… I was the girl who wasn’t afraid.
till then. And as I said it to the women who loved me the most, I cried. I let it happen. I let the fear leak out like tears and the heartache of feeling like I had peaked roll over me in sobs. And just like that, as I wallowed in my own self pity, my mama laughed. Now, my heart was already shattered, and my ego was drastically taking a hit since I had just bared my soul and the woman who usually fights ferociously for me, was laughing at me…. Not okay. “Baby, there will be so much more happier times than this… you don’t even know!”
And now, 5 years later, one huge move to New York, finding parts of myself I never knew I had, moving back, realizing that home isn’t the worst place in the world, I’ve realized she’s right. I’ve realized that college was great but so was finding myself outside of the safe bubble college creates for you… I realized that road trips are great when you can only afford ramen in a gas station kitchen and a peach Arizona iced tea but how much better are they with actual money… with MARGARITAS? That friends are still out there and making them is still just as important.. that the phone calls never change.
It took having such an amazing summer and a few eye openers to realize that I am happy. That adventures and experiences don’t stop when your era is done, but they continue if you choose to continue. That slumps come but it is our choice and a whole lot of grace from the Lord that help us not to be stagnant in the nostalgia of yesteryear. There is beauty and grace in moving forward and there is also.. happiness. Even when it isn’t what you thought happiness would look like. AKA teaching 7th grade Language Arts to baby thugs with too much Axe body spray.
So, I can’t wait to fill you in on my life last week.. If you’re patient, here’s to hoping for Sunday, to tell you about the adventures of left turns, of my first encounter with Virginia Beach, Elizabeth City, and the ultimate grilled cheeses. But I leave you with this, dear readers.. What was your era of happiness.. and does it get any better than this?