As I am a teacher and have nothing better to do, and would rather not stay cooped up in my house all summer long, I have resolved myself to traveling. This summer has been the summer to top all summers. Last year, right after graduation, I had the blessed privilege of going to Hawaii with one of my BFF’s ohanas (ohana means family!). It was so great! But as soon as I came back in early June, real life started to hit me hard in the face. There was the packing up of my entire 21 years of life, the post-graduation stress (or PGS as I like to call it), the finding a job and a place to live, having a possessed dog… So the beauty of Hawaii was quickly juxtaposed with the harsh reality of ADULTHOOD.
And then came my school year. It was rough. One day, I was just a college graduate who had miraculously been hired at the school she did her student teaching at, and the next day I was a professional commissioned with the literary education of young minds. It was terrifying and difficult and obnoxious and so full of hellfire and brimstone that I had no choice but to fall on my knees and trust that God knew what he was doing. And he did. I survived, nay, I flourished in this first year. And then it ended, providing me with the platform for what I’ve come to know as the best summer of my life, to date.
I kicked off the summer with some tornados and a few dates with a soon to be revealed hunk (watch my Facebook). It’s so weird how blessings and great moments can come out of crap. So many people lost everything, and yet people rose up and brought life back into Central OK. Forget federal aide, hands from all across the country came to help pick up, wallets poured out, prayers were offered. It was a gut-wrenching, ugly, terrible situation but the compassion was beautiful. And while the biggest tornado on record crashed through Reno, I was hunkered down in WMU with one of the coolest guys I know. It’s just so crazy how things work out.
After a few weeks in OK, I came back to Kansas and started off with a jaunt to Kansas City where I spent the week with one of my college roommates. We had reverse Happy Hour at Melting Pot and ate a lot of burritos, we even got trapped in rain a few times. It’s so fun to hangout with college friends and not have anything college related to do anymore. I spent a lot of time on her couch while she was at work and got a lot of shows watched. It’s my life.
A week later, I headed to New Hampshire where in 6 days I was shown the greatest parts of the Northeast. I was with my old roomie (and how I’m gonna miss her this year!) and I used to make so much fun of her for constantly talking about the beauty of the Northeast. And then I went there. It’s the greenest, sweetest, most beautiful portion of the United States that I’ve ever seen. It’s small-town with big cities just hours away. It’s got all the adventure and commercialism you could ask for. I’ve decided that I want to live in a row-house in Boston or across the street from the beach in Maine. I plan on going back next year.
I spent some time in Kansas after that, enjoying the 4th of July and my birthday. Then the loudest part of my summer commenced: visiting Doretti. I spent the weekend in Fayetteville riding bikes and live-tweeting Disney movies I’d never seen before. I would love to give a shoutout to her neighbors for not beating down our door for being so loud. Again, so nice to hangout with college friends outside of college. Not only do we have money to do things, but we also have TIME to do things.
From Arkansas I drove to Branson where we had our family vacation. My uncle has a spectac lake house, just a few blocks from the lake. We spent our mornings drinking coffee on the wrap-around porch and our afternoons lazily tubing in the cove. Honestly, the best way to spend time in Branson. So beautiful.
And now, with my last week in Kansas for a very long time, I’m watching it rain and thunder, trying to get some sunbathing in, and mentally preparing for all that waits for me back in Oklahoma.
Such a great way to spend the time between school years. I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to take advantage of my break and to spend it with such amazing people. I think I’m ready to go back and face another year as a SECOND year teacher. Grown up life is turning out to be great.