I typically feel grateful and lucky each day about my life. Not necessarily all day every day, but at least once a day I think to myself "Wow. My life is pretty awesome."
I pretty much felt this way all week until my Purdue memories came creeping back. One of my best friends came down for a visit. She was at one time the roommate of another best friend who lives in Tampa, so the three of us made sure to spend plenty of time together. And let me tell you: I don't laugh as hard as I did this week except with my sister.
These two phenomenal women came to my apartment last weekend and we shopped, ate key lime pie, watched The Hills, and just hung out. The crazy things we talked about had us keeled over in laughter. Then our visitor and I went to Tampa to have dinner with the third musketeer on Thursday. Between my shoe getting caught on the deck at Bahama Breeze and our crazy waiter who lingered too long in silence before saying anything, we were in tears of laughter on the drive home. Then, the visitor and I said goodbye. It was almost tearful and I couldn't figure out why. Brief background on this visitor: she became my rock after a difficult break-up and we've basically been BFF ever since. We even traveled Europe together. So, as I was driving home from dropping her off and wishing her well on her travels back to Indiana, all these memories came rushing back. I realized I missed the convenience of having my best friends a few blocks away. This turned into missing my family who is normally 20 minutes away. Then it was missing the comfort of all things familiar in Lafayette, IN: something I thought I would NEVER say. So what could I do to get myself out of this sadness? Move closer to my family? Make all my friends move back to Purdue?
Nope. As much as I've known my life has changed (just by 1,000 miles or so), it took having two best friends within a 60-mile radius for me to realize that ALL our lives are changing. Every day. There's not a whole lot we can do about it and things will never be as they were. This isn't a bad thing, of course. We're growing up; things evolve because that's what life does whether or not you want it to. We're not college students, but working adults who are trying to figure out how to live the best way we can. And when I think about all the cool things I get to do on a daily basis, that's when I can pull myself out of the sadness and say "aren't I lucky to have friends and family who, no matter what, love and support me?"
This week at work I met some incredible people. They were truly inspiring to talk to. We shared values and ideas that made me feel so excited to be meeting people with such similar mindsets as my own. These were people who want to change the world like I do. These are the characters I should be adding to my life story: people who will encourage me and join me in making a difference. Whether it's big or small, I think I'm forming a core group of people who want the best for others and will do everything in their power to help.
When I remind myself of the work I do, the goals I have, and the people I'm meeting, I remember that I'm ok. I miss my family. I miss my close friends. But at the same time, if I got up tomorrow and moved home to Indiana, nothing would be the same. I wouldn't be in the place I am now in this community that I'm starting to love. Being a part of my community here gets more important to me every day. For me, that's what life is all about: finding your niche where you see yourself growing and contributing. I have friends here. One of my BFFs is an hour away. I have family here, too. Is it the same as my college life? Of course not, but if it was, I wouldn't be doing half the things I'm doing now. But because of my family and friends, I'm doing things I couldn't do without their support.
Speaking of which, I was offered my first paid writing position. I'll be an independent contractor for a women's news magazine. My first article hasn't been published yet, but was loved by the article's subject. I'm looking forward to what's coming with this opportunity!
So I'm meeting people. Opportunities are around every corner. And I was able to spend nearly a whole week with two people who know me so well, they wouldn't let me get away with whining about my shoe getting stuck in front of a deck full of people.
I think it's safe to say I'm getting used to being a grown-up. And I think I like it.