Mixed Emotions.

Closing in on the final days before I move. 6 nights, 5 days. I’m trying to just be slow and take time to enjoy every moment, but I also want to squeeze in as much as I can into these days and it is just hard. I’m kind of struggling with people asking me about St. John, and I so deeply appreciate hearing what people have to say and I love that people are interested in my journey but right now, in these last few days, that’s all I want it to be. I just want to be here, with my friends and with my family, and not talk about the future or plans or anything…I just want to be here, now. An old coworker had that as a tattoo, “here, now.” Stuck with me. I want to remember that wherever life takes me. I can’t control so much of what lies ahead so I just want to focus on the present moment, at least for now.

I was in a very different place when I started this whole thing about St. John. I had one semester of college left and I was totally over school. I was in a bad place in a relationship and did something horrible to get myself out because I was too much of a coward to work for something that I convinced myself wasn’t good, but in these past couple of months I figured out just how good it was and still is. I can’t say this with certainty, but I think I have the chance to try to repair the damage and work to build it back up if I stay. I don’t know if I’ll have that chance when I get back. Scary, right? You can’t make decisions based on the what-ifs, so I’m going to have to make this decision based on the fact that I’ve put a deposit down on an apartment and paid rent for 2 1/2 months without living there. Ouch. It hurts when I remember that part. So I just have to be realistic and know that I have set this up for myself in whatever place I was in that decided I needed to do this. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely excited. But I have 9 million other feelings as well. Someone is dragging me on that plane, that’s all I know.

Whether I am there for 3 months, 6 months, or a year, I am still proud of myself for taking a leap of faith on a crazy adventure, and heres to hoping I get something out of it other than flip-flop tan lines and an outrageous bar tab. I go back and forth on if I like the idea of “life is short” but today I think I’m feeling the opposite. Life is literally the longest thing we do as humans. I have the time to jet off to an island, and I have time to figure my shit out when I get back. I have time to start a career and time to start a family. For the past 16 1/2 years I have been in school and constantly doing what someone else is telling me I’m required to do. Now I am at the part of my life where I get to decide if I want a break from following rules, making deadlines, and constantly running from place to place. I just want to sit down and breathe.

I don’t think that really requires moving to an island for anyone out there who needs a break too- but it doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Find your St. John- whether it be a tropical beach, or a massage table at the best spa in town, or if it is just the comfiest spot on your couch with a cup of coffee…go there. Life is LONG- there is time to do the next thing on your to-do list. If there isn’t time, it wasn’t that important anyways. Do what makes you feel good, do what makes you happy, make memories and impressions on your people and your world. Like the song says, “it’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it’s what you leave behind you when you go.” Find your St. John and leave part of yourself there. I think that’s what really matters.

*I started out sad and scared and then left ya with a pep-talk. Mixed emotions y’all.*

Advertisements

Soaking It In.

Well. A lot has happened since I last checked in- some minor things like uhhh graduating college. Mhm, that happened. It was very surreal and I still don’t think that it has really hit me yet. For the past 4 years, every December we have a month long break and then we return for the spring semester. So this feeling of wrapping up and then coming home with not really much to do still feels pretty normal. I think that when I start to see people going back to school in January it’s going to hit me that I’m not in school anymore. I’ve been a student for 16 1/2 years, so not having that title anymore is definitely freaking me out. Graduation was beautiful, the weather was unbelievable for December, and just like the rest of my college career, and flew by before I could even blink.

cap

gradpic

I leave for St. John on January 2nd. Less than two weeks. To say I’m terrified would be an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely excited I am moving to paradise. But there is a lot in Virginia that I am leaving behind, and certain things that I really don’t feel ready to leave behind at all. Life doesn’t wait for you, so I think the scariest part is what I am going to come back to whenever I come home from St. John. If I am able to work steadily and make a decent amount of money, my plan is to come home for a week or so in March. My friends will have been continuing their lives here for three months and I have never been away for that long, so the idea of coming back to a whole different dynamic is scary. And then theres that whole idea of the person you’ve been in a relationship with for over 2 1/2 years getting into a new relationship while you’re 2,000 miles away so coming home to that definitely doesn’t sound appealing, but as of right now its hypothetical and regardless- this is the bed I have made so I just have to lie in it.

When I came home from school after graduation I decided that I am going to slow down and just enjoy the moment I am in, whatever that may be. Whether it be sitting in my living room chatting with my family, driving down Ashburn Village Boulevard, Christmas shopping at Dulles Town Center or sitting around drinking beer with my friends, I have challenged myself to be present in that moment and soak in the time I have left in this chapter of my life. When I bought my plane ticket I had just less than a month, and now I have just less than two weeks. It all goes by so damn fast. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to make that final step but it is happening whether I am ready or not because again, life just doesn’t wait for you. In the time I have left before my move, I am just going to soak it all in and try my best to not be distracted by anything that isn’t worth giving my time to. I am going to hug my friends as tight as I can, memorize the sound of laughing around the Christmas tree with my family, and love as hard as I can. Soaking it all in.

12366308_10154467248791110_5680831014536616481_n

Island Time, Friends (New & Old), and Walking Uphill Both Ways. 

My idea of live posting from my vacation to St. John worked out really well, as you can see how I’m posting from the airport on my way home. Oops. I’m going to credit that to island time. Island time is what you hear people say a lot, basically meaning you’ll get to it when you get to it, but in like a really pleasant way that doesn’t make anyone mad. Except this one lady in our taxi when we were leaving Trunk Bay, and she was going back to the ferry to her hotel on St. Thomas. When Kerri and I got on the taxi, the dispatcher told us our driver would be there in 5 minutes. We took that as a loose 15, and sat and got comfortable. About 10 minutes later, the unhappy woman and her drunken crew climbed aboard, asked us how long we’d been waiting and stated that we already should have complained. We just smiled and kept on relaxing, as she kept on expressing her deep feelings about the taxi driver not making us his very first life priority. Another family had climbed on, and as she kept talking, the new woman said “Oh it’s fine. Island time.” The mad lady responded and said “F!$& island time, I’m never coming back to this island. I can’t do this crap.” Well sweetie, we will surely miss the delight you bring to the island! 

I love island time and I think I’ve been on island time since I was about 18 years old. I am generally very patient when people are running late, and I deeply appreciate people who are patient with me, so I don’t think I will have a hard time adjusting to that part of the lifestyle. So I planned on writing more, like I also planned on working from the hotel and other ambitious goals, but then nap time and happy hour happened. It’ll happen when it happens. #islandtime

I love new friends, and I love old friends, and I love it even more when they combine in perfect harmony. Before this trip I had talked to so many people online and planned to meet and hang out with people while I was there, including my new roommate. It’s always a little weird meeting people in person for the first timethat you’ve   already been connected with, but within the first few minutes of meeting some of these people I felt like I’ve known them for years. This trip has been so amazing for many reasons, one of them being that I have people to come back to. When I move I won’t have to feel alone and awkward for the first few days while I’m already going through such a huge transition. I’ll be able to hang out with people and my roommate and actually feel at home in a brand new place. Kerri and I saw people we knew almost every day, met up with friends for drinks or for brunch, and stopped and said hi to at least one person every time we walked anywhere. That’s a good feeling for the newbie. I was also so happy that Kerri got along with everyone, and never felt like I was taking away from our vacation together to be with other people. It all just worked out really well, and I’m really happy about that. 

My new apartment is just about a 10 minute walk into town, it’s up on a hill so it gets a great breeze, which is necessary since there’s no AC, it’s fully furnished and has gorgeous dark hardwood floors. There’s a little deck that has a gorgeous view of the water, and little pineapples carved into the wood. It’s definitely not what I’m used to and it’s an island apartment by all means, and it is crazy expensive as they all are, but it’s perfect and it’s mine. And I love it. The walk is something I will have to get used to…you know the story everyone’s parents have told them about having to walk to school uphill both ways? I’m sure we all had a different rendition, including snow, being barefoot, having a hot potato in their pocket or some other weird white lie- but I can absolutely say I relate to the uphill both ways thing. It literally feels like no matter where you walk, you are going to be going up a hill in both directions. It must just be the multitude of hills that make it feel like you’re on a constant incline, but in a few months enter me in a calf muscle competition and I will be at least first runner up. 

In the next very short 12 days, I will be finishing my class and internship, having my graduation party, graduating from college (what?) and packing and moving out of my house in Norfolk. Saying goodbye to a lot of friends, families I’ve babysat for, including kids that I have been a part of their lives since birth. It is going to be quick and surreal, but I’m closing a chapter in my life so I can open a new one. My little island life. So in between putting furniture on Craigslist, writing thank you notes, completing my role as an intern, and walking across the stage, I will write more about my fabulous vacation. Until then.