August 24, 2011

Running Into College

Singing Taylor Swift at the top of our lungs. 
Throwing oatmeal at a lawn full of college kids. 
Drinking water out of a green nalgene bottle because I lost my OSU one. 
Rewinding what I need to do for my homework. 
Feeling the fluoride sit on my teeth from going to the dentist. 
Thinking about the story that is my life. 
"Sitting here on the hood of this truck looking up, at a caramel colored sky..." 
I've missed Oklahoma summers. 
I love the fact that me and Cortney just went on a crazy "no destination planned" road trip because we were housebound. 
I'm listening to old school Steven Curtis Chapman now. 

Philippians 2:3-4
I have a Mac now. Woo-hoo. 
Who am I? College identity experiential class with Dr. Crutcher. Should be great. 
I bought a new journal today. 
Coach just texted us and said to run on our own tomorrow. Best message I've gotten all week. 
Except for this one other one. Never mind that though. 
I'm so stoked that all of my old friends are back on campus. 
I'm so stoked about all of my new friends. 
I really need a backpack. 
Tomorrow is an amazing new day. 
I wish Katie, Kirsten, and Jenni were here with me though. 
I still miss Florida with all of my heart. 
Except, my heart's expanding a little more every day to this new home. You can never love too much. 
NSI was a blast. 
I had a pretty epic football moment during the Siren kick off.  
And anyway, college is good thus far. 
Great, actually. 

August 19, 2011

Fighting Chasing Loving

Fighting exhaustion.
Fighting sickness. 
Fighting the easy road.
Fighting the desire to get caught in nostalgia.
Fighting to run like I know I can.
Fighting a strange hair day.
Fighting being desensitized.

Chasing an incredible school year.
Chasing a million new friends that I've yet to meet.
Chasing the chance to go skydiving again.
Chasing my dream around the world.
Chasing the chance to reboot spiritually after playing defense for a year.
Chasing a dog out of our dorm room.
Chasing lost roads in the "mother ship" with a backseat full of friends.
Chasing pictures from Florida as they fall off my bulletin board.
Chasing the chance to show em what I've got.

Loving the confidence that Florida gave me.
Loving my new apartment.
Loving living in the city I grew up in.
Loving seeing my old friends.
Loving the cheaper gas prices.
Loving rocking out to Taylor Swift while I'm cleaning.
Loving my team, my understanding, compassion filled, strong team.
Loving the journey. The road. The places I've been. The places I'm going.
Loving the journey.

August 15, 2011

Four Minutes into College

I have about four minutes to write this.
But basically, I'm all moved into my dorm/ suite/ apartment.
It's pretty sweet.
I have a feeling that it's going to be an awesome year rooming with Cortney.
And my first cross country practice was today.
I slept through my alarm but still made it to the parking lot in time.
This was crazy and it totally stressed me out.
Mostly because I'm the girl who must have military in my blood, because usually I can go to sleep and say "I'm going to wake up at 7:21 tomorrow morning." And I'll wake up at 7:20. So sleeping past an alarm? That's a new one.
But the run went okay. I've gotta lot of work to do, but the coach is great and super understanding.
And I'm about to go meet up with some girls from my team and get our new shoes.
I'm really excited about that.
New high quality running shoes that the school pays for?
Anyway, four minutes is up. My ride is about to get here. And I'm starving.
But it's been a good first few days.
I went out to Piedmont yesterday and had such a blast getting to see my old crew. The Acre family is definitely my second family, I'm considering adopting them officially.
Now...I really need to run.
Figuratively speaking this time around.

August 11, 2011

The End of My Disney College Program - Journal

July 19
I am tired of feeling so out of place. Out of place because I'm expected to want to go home. Out of place because I catch myself falling in love with new friends every day, and I have to leave them so soon.
August 1

I feel like my heart is breaking in two. Every friend who had stolen my heart here in Florida, every goodbye I said wasn't enough. Every mile I drive "home" feels like it takes me one more mile further away from where I am supposed to be. Florida is my home. Katie and Kirsten
are my roommates and sisters. Disney is my employer. Jocilyn is my encouraging friend. Jenni is my fwench fwy eating friend who's going to change the world. Jake is my balloon selling boyfriend who still owes me a Burger King. Kevin, Ashleigh, and Victor are my parade vendors. Aleicia is my neighbor. Erin is my Ariel look alike friend. Jasmine is my adventure buddy. Jessika is my road trip go to girl. Chelse-A is my friend who will always eat ice cream with me. Nate is my late night Denny's and IHOP bud.. Every person, every friend down here, they've become my life. And tonight I'm already two hours north and continuing a journey to a new life that doesn't include them. I'm heading off to school and new friends that I don't know yet and I'm excited to meet, but all I can think about is the family that I am walking away from. The people who have stolen my heart. Florida has become my home. Except it can't be my home for the next four years, I have to figure out a new place in this world after finding one that suited me so well. I have to move. I have to move on. I have to let go. And it hurts more than I ever imagined that it could. My heart feels shattered.

August 4
I keep saying that I don't want to go, like if I say it enough something will magically happen and I'll wake up with a Floridian license plate and drivers license. But I keep saying it... and I'm still driving west.

August 10
I typed out those last few "journal entries" on my phone over the last month...just a few words, a few scribbled thoughts that I had to get out on those nights when everything inside of me didn't want to leave. And I'm putting them here, on this oh so very public blog, because I want to be honest, even brutally honest, if it lets people know me better...and nothing is more honest than a scribbled journal entry.

Tonight, a few songs played on my computer that made me stop and smile, then I got a few text messages and facebook notifications, that made my heart just twist in two, because I have been blessed by the most amazing friends, and it's hard not to see them every day. I never expected to meet such amazing people in Florida. I never expected to have my heart stolen so completely by friends who just six short months ago, I didn't even know existed. I never thought that I could find a home so quickly in a state that I'd never lived in before, in a town that I moved to by myself, in a place where I was the youngest person out of all my friends, I never thought that the restlessness and the gypsy in me would be satisfied for just a minute because I was so blessed by the people in my life. I'm stealing this quote from a note that Alecia posted, because it fits my life so perfectly:

"Something that has always puzzled me all my life is why, when I am in special need of help, the good deed is usually done by somebody on whom I have no claim"  ~William Feather 

This year, more than ever before in my life, I've touched hands with people who have changed me,who have helped me out, who have backed me up, when there was nothing it for them. Katie giving me her ginger ale and being my mom when I felt sick...Mark helping me out when I took over Frontier lemonade and there was no lemonade to sell and a line to Big Thunder and I was totally stressed out, even when he probably should have been somewhere else...Emilee showing me the ropes on parade vending when I was the annoying girl asking a bunch of many names and faces, so many friends.
 God definitely had a plan when he moved my family almost three years ago and I said, "Two year and I will be out of this town." So I graduated early. I applied for an internship. I sat on my bed with shaking hands as I waited to get a phone call from Disney. I opened a yellow envelope that had the words "Congratulations." written on the inside. I packed a bunch of suitcases. I said goodbyes. Two years and I was out of this town. And my life will never be the same because of it. My heart will never be the same.

So this ones for you guys, the thieves of my heart. This one's for the state that I hope to call home again someday. This one's for all of the friends who visited me in Florida. This one's for you, the person reading my blog and following my story even when it gets long and is full of ramblings. I couldn't have done it without you. With everything that I am, thank you.

August 10, 2011


Storm clouds over Kansas
We watch them roll into our state
Our plot of land nestled just across
The border line
The thunder shakes
The ground is wet with new fallen rain
And the stench of dust
Is strong
This drought is breaking.
As the storm clouds roll over Kansas
This summer heat
Impossible temperatures
Are facing demise
And we sit on the driveway
Eying the sky
Waiting for another host of raindrops
To fall and break the dust
On our side of the border

August 9, 2011

Disney - Coming Home & Learning to Adjust

My last time to clock out. So bittersweet.

Well, I'm back.

Those were the words that began to draw the story of The Lord of the Rings to a close. Frodo said them as he looked at the shire, after wandering the world, after saving it, after fighting huge battles and having his life changed, he said "I'm back."

But how do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand that there is no going back.

I'm home now. Laying in my bed. Eating in my kitchen. Running on my treadmill. And I don't know how to be here. I don't know how to feel.

I'm coming home from a huge adventure, from one of the best things that I've ever done in my life. I'm coming home to a place that doesn't feel like home anymore. This feels like my parent's house.

Being here is nice, but I don't know how to go back after living on my own for six months. I can't back track. I don't want to erase all of the lessons that made me grow up over the course of this year. I loved being a kid here, but I've payed bills, I've worked my butt off, I've been independent and brave. And somehow walking into my room makes me feel like I'm pretending to be something I'm not. It makes me feel like I'm trying to act like nothing has changed.

But everything has changed. I've changed. And there is no way that I can ever go back to who I was six months ago. It's so strange being "home", so strange driving the familiar roads of PC, because this week, these five days, I'm playing a normal teenager for a minute. I'm living out what my summer would have looked like if I hadn't had this crazy adventure. For five days, I'm catching a surreal glimpse of what my life could have been like, and it's nice, but I'm so thankful for every step that got me to Florida. Every choice, every conversation, every prayer, because I had the time of my life in Orlando.

So here I am. Adjusting to being "back". In just a few days I'll load up some car...this time it will not be a little blue Honda, as she is currently out of service...but I have been driving a temptation red Pontiac Solstice (*wink*) and I'll drive south towards school to move into my dorm room. A new phase. A new home. A new adventure.

I'm living in a brief intermediate phase, when I'm stuck spinning between two worlds, my life in Florida and my life at SNU. It's very strange, very surreal, but now that I'm here, now that there is no "going back" to what I left behind in Florida, it's onward forward for me. No looking back. No long glances in the rear view mirror. Intermediate period or not, this is where I am right now, in this moment. So...bring me that horizon.

August 4, 2011

Post Disney CP Program - Re-United with Family

I'm in a sunny lit room right now, and for the first time in six months, my whole family is within a ten foot radius of me. Dad's playing guitar, dancing up and down the fret boards, Jenni just found me a cell phone case that says "This could be a little more sonic..." which is proof that she's knows me and my favorite tv show all too well, and mom is just around the corner working on some stuff. Overall, it is good to have us all together again. We've been laughing like nobody's business, singing along to dad's music and watching the literal versions of Harry Potter commercials on youtube.

It's really good to be with my family again, here in Pensacola for a few days, still strange, still hard, but very good. I'm just trying to adjust to change overnight, jumping from one life to the next without getting a little period of acclimatizing in between them. It's alright, but I've discovered that I'm the worst person to deal with goodbyes. I just don't like them :]

But hearing the chords that I've missed hearing, laughing with Jenni and Mom, it's a good place to be in. It'll take time to swing to a new normal, but I'm okay with that. I'm okay with being sad for a while, I'm okay with admitting that I miss it all and I don't quite know how to adjust right now. It's bittersweet. I just moved. This is a big change to jump from. But for now, for this moment, I'm trying to put aside missing Orlando and just focus on listening to the music coming from those favorite 6 strings of mine.

August 3, 2011

Disney in Retrospect

I was just re-reading some old blogs of mine, blogs from back in January and February, and they made me smile. I wrote about watching the castle show where Donald Duck has everyone say, "I do believe in dreams! I do believe in dreams!" and I watched this little boy during the whole show as he whispered, "I do, I do!" After I was trained on parade vending I would watch the castle show at least once every day as I walked around the hub in front of the castle, and every one of us parade vendors could quote the show backwards and forwards.
"Did someone say adventure?!" (Hey there Peter Pan.)
"Gosh Minnie, you've always been a princess to me!" (Aww Mickey.)
And a hundred other lines.
I could even dance to the songs if you asked me to. (Please don't.)
It makes those first few weeks at Disney seem a lifetime ago. That first moment when I saw a show on the stage and I didn't know what was happening, or those nights when I'd watch the fireworks and I didn't know what came next. It's a funny thing to leave the Magic Kingdom and feel like I know it better than my home town. Honestly, when I get home I'm halfway expecting someone to come up to me and ask me where the nearest restroom or smoking area is.

But those blog entries back in January and February, wow, what a lifetime ago. I was so scared to move to Florida. I was so nervous about meeting a whole new group of friends. I was so little.
That's why I love writing, that's why I write. Because all of those emotions are so far removed from where I am now that I couldn't relive them if I wanted to, but re-reading them, I can see where I've come from. I know the changes in myself that I wouldn't notice otherwise. It's been a crazy ride, an exhausting, intense, filled to the brim ride, and I don't think I'm done writing about it yet. Because here's my chance to catch up on the thousand stories that I've forgotten to tell recently. So if the name Disney comes up in a few more posts, don't be too surprised...after all, when you've seen the castle show a thousand times, there are bound to be some interesting stories. : )

August 2, 2011

Disney - Dreams Come True

I'm out of town. Officially gone. And honestly, I don't know how I feel at all. The last few days have been a mixture of the best moments and the hardest minutes of this whole program. Leaving my friends, the ones who I never in a million years would have expected to love so much, is breaking my heart. But loving them, well it's all worth it. Getting to know these amazing people for however short of a time has made this program the best thing that I have ever done in my life to date.

And now, ready or not, I have to start a new phase in my life. I have to step away from Disney and everything that I love here and jump into a new year at SNU. Despite being the most reluctant traveler on the road headed towards Oklahoma right now, I know that I need to go back and start up this new life at school, just like I started a new life in Florida six months ago. I'll miss this world that I've been lucky enough to live in, I miss it with every mile I drive away from it, but I have to go back to reality. I'm not the same girl going back to Oklahoma, the past six months have changed me, made me grow up a lot, but if I can't be in Orlando then I'm ready for another adventure, quite ready. :]

So thank you Florida, for being my state. You have become my home more than any other place I have ever lived in, and don't worry, because I have a feeling that I'll be back. It may be a few years down the road, but I think I'll be writing an Orange County zip code on my letters again someday. Thank you to my friends, you have changed my life more than you'll probably ever realize, and I am so so blessed to have met you. And thank you Disney, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and I wouldn't change a single moment for the world. "See ya real soon?" Eh? :)

The magic is as wide as a smile and as narrow as a wink, loud as laughter and quiet as a tear, tall as a tale and deep as emotion. So strong, it can lift the spirit. So gentle, it can touch the heart. It is the magic that begins the happily ever after.