Here it is. My last time blogging from the golden state. In less than five hours, I will be sitting in the airport in Ontario getting ready to depart for Houston…and then Greenville, SC. Should I be sleeping? Probably. Can I? Not a chance! I know I say this all the time (and trust me, I think it WAY more than I actually voice it), but how in the WORLD is it time for me to come home already? I knew this summer would change me. I just didn’t know how much change it would be. Honestly, it’s going to be really hard to go home and do the same things I’ve done for years and years. You know how it feels when you get a taste of something that you love and then you only want more and more of it? Well, that’s where I am at this point in my life. I want more. A lot more. And wherever that more is, I want to be willing to go. Anything less than life-changing, at this point, would be settling for less than what I was made for. That just won’t do. :)
Yesterday and today were filled with a whole bunch of “see ya later”s and “I’ll see you soon”s, and tomorrow there will be two more added to that list. Tomahawk and Kyle treated me to lunch at The Ivy in Beverly Hills, and it was absolutely, positively, without a doubt the cutest and yummiest place I’ve ever eaten at. We laughed and joked the entire time we ate (which is nothing out of the ordinary), I got a Tom Humbarger autograph (just wait, everyone will know his name soon), we chatted a little as we walked down the road, I gave out two of the biggest hugs ever, and cried the whole four-block trek back to my car. I am really going to miss those boys. BUT I will be seeing them soon, make no mistake about that!
|love me some Tomahawk!|
|and, of course, some KYLE!|
After lunch, I went over to Marisa’s apartment to hang out with her for the rest of the day. We ate at Bossa Nova, went back to her apartment and watched Bounty Hunter (so cute, by the way!), and then went to Drais for one last night out in Hollywood for this Carolina girl. We only stayed out for about an hour (long enough for us to each have one of our favorite drinks, of course!), and then headed back to her house to hang out with the stunning fellas of SKYLINE! Why is that so exciting? Well, no big deal, butttttttttt they now have a LEGIT record deal. WORD! I am so excited for them—they have worked so hard for this, and they deserve every bit of it! So proud of you, guys! :-D
|sweet, sweet Marisa and me at Drais. :)|
|some of the best people on the planet!|
This morning, I went to Outdoor Adventures one last time to say my final “see ya later”s to Anne and Jen. I don’t think it is possible for me two love those ladies any more than I do right now. We hung out in the office for about two hours, had one of the best conversations I’ve ever been a part of (that’s always the case when the three of us get together), and then came my favorite part…praying together. That may be the one thing I will miss most about being out here. Coming into the office, spending the day with people who actually care about you, and then making it a habit to pray nearly every day together. Every day was destined for greatness. I pray that all of my future days are just like the ones I had this summer. When Jesus is at the heart of every move we make, there is always greatness. And miracles. And grace. And power. Like I said, destined for greatness.
Once I made it back to the apartment safely (fyi, it’s tough to drive with tears in your eyes), I decided that it was time to tackle the inevitable: packing up my room. It only took me a couple of hours to get everything situated, and I even found a new little friend in the process…a teeeeeeny tiny lizard had made a home out of my room. I finally captured him, but not before naming him Spazzy—that little thing’s legs went a million miles a minute when it tried to run from me. So cute! I trapped him and then Cath set him free. Teamwork.
Tonight was roomie night, aka the best night ever! We began the evening with a Chinese massage, which was definitely a first for me. And for the record, that junk HURTS! Maybe it was because my masseuse was a mean, mean lady. I was grimacing the whole time, and I almost let out a few yelps along the way. Ouchies! My shoulder nearly came out of socket, my shins have bruises all down them because of how hard she pressed them, my feet are uncomfortably tender, and my hip keeps popping in and out of place. One thing’s for sure: she was made at her life, and she definitely took it all out on me! On a better note, though, I had my first taste of sushi afterwards. Surprisingly, it was really yummy! I had California rolls and some kind of shrimp. Confession: every time I ate the wasabi, I thought about Darius Goes West and kept repeating “glosabi!” over and over again. HA!
|first time eating sushi: success!|
Nextttttt, we went to Golden Spoon for some frozen yogurt—mmmm! I had chocolate yogurt with cookie dough and pieces of Heath bar on top—double mmmmmm! We made a pitstop at H&M on the way home for some goodies, and I experienced another first: running through the water spraying up from the ground. No regrets, right? That’s my motto, at least! Catheterd and Shell Station even got some entertainment out of it, so it was a positive experience for everyone! I am a five year-old stuck in a twenty-one year-old’s body. Just had to get that out there. Even though that is no surprise to all the people who know me at all. :o)
|my silly roomies enjoying some deeeee-lish fro yo!|
|the aftermath of my spontaneous frolicking through the water jungle. girl, yes I did!|
My car is packed. Shelye is taking me to airport to leave for home bright and early in the morning. Candice is saving my behind and handing Belle over to the auto shippers after I’m gone tomorrow. I will be back in the Palmetto State at 4:13 p.m. Mommy, Dustin, and (possibly) Daddy are meeting me at the airport for the last time for a while (orrrr maybe not). And thennnnn I get to do something awesome. What is that? Celebrating my best friend not bestie’s (early) 21st birthday! YAY! I can’t think of a better thing to do when I first get home, that’s for sure! Anddddd there’s more. I am spending the night in Anderson with sisterfriend and Lizard in their new big girl apartment! DOUBLE YAY! How cool is it that my seeeester and best friend have the SAME birthday? Glorious, absolutely glorious!
|happy almost 19th birthday, sisterfriend!|
|happy almost 21st birthday, best friend not bestie!|
I can’t wait to get home, I really can’t. But I am also dreading to leave this place. It’s so crazy to me that 16 weeks passed by in the blink of an eye. Seriously. I feel like I just got the email telling me that I got the internship. The older I get, the more quickly time passes. And the crazy thing about it is that I have grabbed and held on to every single moment, yet, they all still fly by. I guess we could all do a little better at seeing all of the moments in our lives as what they truly are: a gift that can easily be lost if we don’t acknowledge them as so.
I have grown up so much and so fast over these past three months. In a lot of ways, I am the same person I have always been. But in other ways, I am completely different. When I was younger, I always saw change as a bad thing, something I should run from and try my hardest to resist. As I’ve gotten older, though, I have come to realize that not all change is bad. In fact, none of it has to be bad—it’s all about how you perceive it. This summer has taught me many things, most of which I may not even realize for years, but the one thing that I have learned that I know will stick with me for a lifetime is that growing up is not a bad thing. I’ll always be daddy’s little girl. Mommy’s little angel. A big sister. A granddaughter. A best friend. I’ll always be all of these things and more. But I’ll also be a big girl who refuses to live a life any less than the one she imagined in her dreams when she was just a wee little blonde thing. I was meant for more. I was made for more. And I will be more. More than I have been. More than I think I can be. More than others think I can be.
Thank you, southern California, for opening up a world to me that I never knew existed. Thank you for changing me. You will be missed, but I promise you will never ever be forgotten. You helped turn this sweet little southern belle into a woman. A woman who is ready to reach the world and do her part to help make it a better place.
“Growing up is never easy. You hold on to things that were. You wonder what's to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be, other days; new days; days to come. The thing is we didn't have to hate each other for getting older; we just had to forgive ourselves...for growing up.” –The Wonder Years
“There are some things that we never want to let go of. People we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn't the end of the world. It's the beginning of new life.”