It is July. To be specific, it is July 7th, which means I am smack dab in the middle of what feels like the most adventurous summer of my life. I have pretty much scoured Florida from the Keys- to Jacksonville- to a lake that I can’t help pronounce as Lake Weird. From my Facebook to my Insta it has looked like I have had the life, and if I’m going to be honest, from the outside I pretty much have. Yet, as I sat on a towel overlooking the biggest lake I ever saw, in the dark with some pretty great people (if I do say so myself) watching not one set but at least 8 sets of huge fireworks going off all around me… I felt myself come back alive. I felt the worry of my test, the guilt that comes with passing when others didn’t, the messy complications of friendships, the stress of unknown of next year, and basically, the soul clenching hope that the Lord had it all in his hands. With every loud thunderous celebration of the independence of our country, I felt myself begin to pull back together.
I have sat at my computer so many times to write about The Keys, and each time I have sat at a blank screen. I gave up, went to Kristen Danielle White’s house and came back with nothing. I haven’t even read and for anyone who knows me, that’s a conundrum in and of itself. I have just felt in limbo and playing this waiting game with myself, even with the waiting over. I found out the test scores, I heard back from my school, I did a hard thing and stood up for myself, and I finally let myself start buying things for my classroom, and yet here I was still in that feeling of limbo; that sense of uncertainty. So, when the opportunity came for my favorite holiday somewhere new, I ran with it. Packed my bags, shipped the Bear off to Grandma’s and rolled out. Peace signs and all. I stopped at Target-bought 3 books, a million other things, and picked up a girl who could have been from Colorado (Her real name is Denver ;))
Now, fast forward to a day of jet skis, sun, the boat, a million and one people, and the love affair of me and some serious sunscreen. We took pictures, we laughed, we sang, and swam. As the sun began to set we grilled hamburgers and listened to the crowds grow larger and the Cupid Shuffle play on. By the time the sun was just going down so were our blankets, and chairs and we settled in for my favorite thing in the whole wide world. Fireworks. My God, they did not disappoint. The lake is huge and across it there were at least 8 different shows exploding. It was lit up with blues, and reds, and whites. Huge sparklers, and the sound of freedom seemed to ring out from every which way.
I have always said that 4th of July was magical. Every year, something akin to the ways of Disney always happens and as I sat there that night… I felt it begin to seep into my soul. I felt the guilt begin to drain. I felt myself begin to come back in. I felt the urge to read and more importantly, the start of a blog in my head. I felt forgiveness and the excitement for next year growing. And with each firework I felt the sense of peace settle over my soul. I walked away a different person that night. I walked away with the certainty that life goes on and that friendships come and go in the most unlikely places… I let myself finally enjoy that idea that teaching is what I am really supposed to do. That it is my calling. And so are my summers ;).
So, ending of the story, I spent 2 more days ( I was literally only supposed to spend 1, poor guys couldn’t get rid of me) I read a whole book, and I came home with my blog. Here is to the next half of my summer. Here is to friendships, to road-trips, bachelorette parties, weddings, many more books, and to adventures. Here is to forgiveness, to laughter, to stories, and most importantly, to hope.