Hiking at Deception Pass State Park with Cass de Paz and Thea Jamba (at Deception Pass State Park)
Let’s go back to late nights of staying up until 4 AM, talking about everything and nothing of importance, but always avoiding talk of the Future, when we would no longer be in each other’s lives.
Let’s go back to days when all it took was a phone call for an epic adventure to begin. To all of a sudden seeing this place that we’ve lived for the last couple of years turn from monotonous to magical because we were seeing it through each other’s eyes.
Let’s go back to that summer when we first discovered this friendship. How pure and simple and happy it was. How delighted we were when we discovered each other’s inner child. Connecting in a way that two people who barely know each other rarely connect.
Let’s go back to the times before feelings started getting complicated, at least on one side, and the agony of seeing the other “talk” to someone of interest made a little green monster coil up in the pit of their stomach, because the thought of there being an us that didn’t include the other made one especially terrified.
Let’s go back to before realization finally set in. That this we that had become so commonplace in our vocabulary was soon to just be an I, and that I would have to say goodbye to you without there ever being a confession of feelings, and the fact that you were/are my missing puzzle piece. Because I’m afraid I will never meet someone that so understands this person I am (and vice versa) the way we understand each other.
And that terrifies me.
Let’s just go back.
It’s weird to think that after three years, this apartment will no longer be my home. It’s the end of a wonderful era here in Orlando, and I couldn’t have picked a better place for all of it to happen, both the good and the bad memories. This place, and the friends who visited me while I was in it, will always have my heart. I’m sad to say goodbye, but I know the next stop on my journey is where I’m supposed to be now. #thanksforthememories #Oviedo #apartment #goodbye #homeiswheretheheartis (at Hunter’s Reserve)
Remember those days when you just didn’t care? Your hair was mussed up and flying everywhere, and there was dirt under your nails, streaked across your face, smudged across your shirt. But you didn’t even think about it, because it became that way from spending so many hours outside worrying about things that were more important, like who was better at Red Light Green Light, how many Roly-Polys you could collect, how far up you could climb a tree before looking down and realizing that you would probably have to have Mom or Dad coax you back down with promises of hugs and safety in their arms.
Now when you leave the house, you double-check yourself in the mirror twice to make sure your makeup is perfectly set and streak-free. That your hair is not only frizz-free, but straightened within an inch of it’s life, since no one likes a girl with even a single strand out of place. When you smile, you don’t smile too much, because that could cause wrinkles, and everyone knows wrinkles are ugly. Because apparently aging is ugly.
However, as you look at yourself, you remember back to those golden days, those days when this stuff didn’t matter, and you realize something. Those days when you were the dirtiest, were the days you were the most happy and were probably your truest most genuine self. You look at pictures of you as a little kid and you don’t notice the messy ringlets of curls springing from your head unbrushed, or that stain on your shirt from accidentally missing your mouth while eating because you were too busy trading silly stories with your siblings and cousins.
No, what you notice is that smile your younger self is displaying. Unlike pictures of you now, you can tell this one isn’t forced, it isn’t practiced, and it definitely reaches all the way up to your eyes, and makes the corners of them crinkle, in the exact way you’ve always thought you should avoid.
This. This is a smile that makes your whole face glow, and even though you’re only about nine in the picture, you finally realize how truly beautiful you are, and that the evidence for it has been right there in front of you all along, in the form of a picture not of anyone else, but of yourself.
That picture shows you that all of these outside things that we as a society are constantly using to make ourselves “better” will never actually work, because as seen in the picture you’re holding, that glow and that beauty does, in fact, come from inside of you. It comes from that part of you that remembers that your best self is exactly what it should be: Yourself. Not others’ selves.
And in that brief, bright moment, you realize how much loving completely the person you are, right then and there, can completely change the way you see yourself.
Suddenly, that little nine year old you isn’t the only beautiful person in the room anymore.
And people wonder why I’m moving to Oregon…