And tonight I sit by my tree and I type in my new pj's and slippers while our solar powered Pink Flamingos glow peacefully in our front yard, I am thankful. I am in love. I miss my friends.
I feel all three of these things simultaneously.
I am incredibly thankful for God giving me my family, laughter, beauty, unique oddballs, weird traditions and acceptance.
I am in love with someone who is in love with me, and I never thought this day would come. Instead of having a life raft in the form of a boyfriend, I have found someone who will swim with me. I did not fall, I just found someone who encourages me to stand by the very person they are. He is my best friend, and I have never felt love like this. 
My friends are the ones who will text me First. 
I will forever be grateful to Cristen and Veronica, because we fight. We disagree. We fling poo and make monkey noises [okay, that last one isn't true]. They've always come back. They've always texted me first.
It's the friends who hold up their end of the friendship that pop into your mind when you think of who you want to cry to. To vent to. 
It's the people that you aren't afraid to show frustration to, and the people you aren't afraid to admit to how much you love pink flamingos. 

And now we have gone full circle, and I love you all and hope you had a merry day full Loves. Loving?

Also: I started a Tumblr! Just for pictures. 
orientation for George Mason University! Yes people, I am going to be attending a LEGITIMATE college/university! 

It has taken a lot to get here. And by a lot, I mean obstacles that I have put in my own way by second guessing myself. I never would have thought that I would be so excited to [what feels like] start my life! 
--->Why is this "starting" my life?
Well I'm glad you asked kind italic print! Once I get this degree that tells the world that I can talk to people and help them with their lives and their problems, then I can go out and start actually DOING that! I can begin not just my job, but my career. I can start making big girl money and having big girl responsibilities. I can choose where I live! 

Also. I can get married :)

So tonight as I print out a campus map and all the paper work, as I enjoy my newly straightened hair and excitedly plan out what to wear [I'm thinking of going with "clothes"] I have this quote on my mind:
It doesn't matter that in high school I messed up so much. It doesn't matter that I took forever at my community college or that I changed my mind so much.
It doesn't matter that I've skipped so many classes, been late to so many things, NONE of that.
Tomorrow is a new beginning. 
And tomorrow I will start afresh not trying NOT to fail [ooooh double negative], but instead to be myself.




Lately I've been around a 17/18 year old and I started thinking about who I was and how I saw the world when I was that age. Really it wasn't that long ago. This isn't a post about how about how much I've changed, because really I haven't. This isn't even really about the things I wish I had known, because that's just not how life how works. 
me at 17
me at 21
Now don't get me wrong, everyone has changed from who they were at age 17 [hopefully]. Heck, I feel like I've changed from who I was when I was 20! But really when I'm around the teenager, all I can think of is a few key things that my eyes have been opened to:
-Everyone is different. That's something my younger friends constantly teach me, mainly because of the way that they haven't learned it yet. I have no idea how it's been so thoroughly pounded into my head, but it is a major Truth in my life. Which is always something I realize when someone is saying something to me that they truly believe applies to everyone and all I can think about is..."wonder when they'll learn?"
--Things aren't as big as they seem. Most of the time if something is a humongous deal, if you try and remember what it was a few weeks later you can't. Because it just wasn't that big of a thing. [Yet another thing I think of when I'm around my younger friends. It's like...CHILL YO. haha]
---Cherish your parents. Just take that statement and times it times 10.

But really?
I do wish I had known who I would be. Who I would eventually let myself be. The person who poses for pictures with a funny face and hops around and dances in the store. That's who I wanted to be when I was 17, but it just wouldn't come out. I wish I could tell the teenager that life never goes how you think it's going to, even when you have quite the plan. And "go with the flow" involves way more than being easy going. 
And to laugh more. Forgive more. Let stuff roll off your back more. 
It's weird.
     ----->I feel like I could start most of my stories/thoughts/ideas with that small sentence.

Today I got all of my George Mason [the college I will be attending here shortly] stuff worked out, for the most part and yet...
I'm here wondering if I'm making the right decision. I want to be so many things and all of them fit me.
    Life is just Too Short

Currently my plans are to be a counselor. Have a little counseling office with a waiting room and a quirky hippie receptionist and a...
tattoo parlor attached.
       ------> uh duh. Isn't that what you were expecting? Yeah? Good. You know me.

And that plan will work. I believe in it. It fits. But today I'm sitting on the couch somewhat wishing I was going to school to become a midwife. Becoming a midwife has been something I've really enjoyed the idea of for a long time, and it would also fit for my life. And "who knows" I've thought to myself, "maybe I'll do it when I'm older, once I have kids and have actually gone through child birth."

Moral of the story is: if I could sign up for more than one life, I would in an instant. Which is crazy stuff, because when I was in high school the idea of dying young seemed very fitting. Now, I want to grow old, have rocking chairs on the porch, my Jonathan next to me, and get facial tattoos in my old age. [Clearly I'm going to be the most rocking grandmother, not counting MY mother] I love that my life has become wonderful and I have so much hope. I love getting to share that. Also I love that I have now parallel parked twice successfully. [That random sentence was so I could show this:]
---watch from 1:37 to 1:58---
Yup. Pretty much the funniest thing I've seen all day.