Friday, November 29, 2013

The beauty of letting go

BIG NEWS: I officially sold my car. The last of the major things that I own.

It might not seem like a big deal to you.. but it is a HUGE deal to me. And here's why.

What this means:

  1. I have $7,000 EXTRA for traveling and adventures!! This means months in Southeast Asia, moving to New Zealand, or backpacking through the rest of Europe. It means a trip to Africa, or Greece, or one of the hundreds of other places I want to go. It means moving to New York City, or Boston, or the beautiful state of Hawaii (let's be honest.. who really cares where when it's Hawaii). It means an around the world tour, volunteering abroad, and flights back home to see all of my loved ones. Or if I'm really, really smart about it, it means the time and money to swing all of it when added to the savings I have back home, combined with the money I'm making and spending very little of here. 
  2. It means freedom. Freedom from a life consumed by an over-abundance of things, and things that tie me to my old life in Wisconsin. 
  3. It means that I'm fully committed to this life of minimalism and that I can survive pretty functionally with very little. I love the idea of living out of one simple suitcase, because it shows me that THINGS have very little influence in my overall personal happiness. In fact, in my case, less things = less commitment. less commitment = more freedom. more freedom = one hell of a happy me. 
  4. It means that money is and never will be the driving force of my life. It means that I've learned to place less value on owning things, and more value on learning about myself through traveling, forced independence, and cultural immersion. 
  5. And finally, it means that I have officially let go of my life back home.

You see, keeping my car was my way of having something to hold onto. It was my safety net. It was one of my few reasons to return home. But now I've realized that I'm okay with letting that go, because I'm just not ready to or content with settling back into that kind of life again. Because that life, was not one that I loved.

Sure, I absolutely LOVE and miss my friends and family. But as we all continue to grow up and settle into our own lives, let's face it, we hardly see each other a whole lot anyway after investing much of our time in significant others, families and careers. In fact, I'd argue that I talk to most of you more now than I did when we lived in the same country. So until I find a person or a place worth settling down for, I don't see a reason to have to. And I can't let the beauty of not knowing my next move in this big, amazing world, be overshadowed by simply occasionally missing things and people from back home.

Because being here has solidified my need for constant change, my love for travel, and my desire to adventurously live out of my comfort zone. Even though it's only been 3 months since the big move, I can hardly remember a time when this wasn't my life. Every second of being here is a complete whirlwind. Every day is an adventure. And every day, I am happy. And I don't want that to change. Now or ever.

People ask me all the time if I'm homesick, and truthfully the answer is no. Not really at all actually. Sure I miss the people, the cheap beer, football and the occasional cheese curd, but other than that, no. As a girl who knows a thing or two about living in many different places, I don't feel as though I evolve much when I'm confined to living in one place my entire life. I don't grow as a person by living in comfort and by settling into a life of contentment. And I feel that life is all about evolving, learning, becoming the greatest version of yourself, and leaving a good and lasting impression on this planet. So for me, that meant leaving, even if it meant leaving people and a place that I still love so dearly.

And let's be real, as a summer-obsessed girl who would desperately bust out the flip flops on the first 50 degree day, I certainly don't miss the weather. I don't miss the cold, the snow, the lack of sunlight or the seasonal depression that hit me like a ton of bricks for a minimum of 6 out of 12 months of the year. I don't miss ice skating/walking/falling every time I stepped outside, scraping my windows at 6 am, or shoveling a foot of snow just to move my car. I just don't. Seasons are for some people, but they're clearly not for me.

See the problem?

I thrive in water and in sun. I love walking outside and seeing palm trees, open land, and the ocean nearly every day. I love that instead of waiting all year for summer, that I simply experience summer like weather, 90 (if not more) percent of the time.

And on top of that...

I love meeting so many amazing new people, that so easily fill the void that naturally comes with an across the world move. I love hearing about people's adventures, about where they come from, and being offered a place to stay in so many countries across the world. Because other travelers just get it. You have this undeniably unshakable bond, and almost always, an instant connection and countless things in common. You'll feel like the girls you met two months ago understand you better than most other people your age. You'll travel with people you've never met before, and take offers from strangers on the internet for a free place to stay. You have friends from everywhere, sometimes without even having actually met in person yet. And you'll realize that in so many weird ways, it's such a small world. Travelers- you know exactly what I mean here.

But truly... The best part of my new life is that every day feels like a friday, a birthday, or a holiday. Every day feels like a day to be celebrated, and that's how life really should be, in my opinion. I no longer count down the days til the next big event, I simply enjoy each day for what it has to offer, and hold on for dear life to every day for as long as I can. Because I know that at one point I have to face the day when this all has to end. Damn you one year working holiday VISA!

I never stopped, looked around, and truly relished in the beauty around me. I never made friendships so desperately (love you nanny meet up sites!!) or so effortlessly in my life. And I've never been so comfortable with having no clue what lies ahead of me in 8 not-so-far away months. And right now, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Because every moment here feels like a special one. And I'm not ready to give that up yet. Now or ever.

Here are some of the moments that I live for:

- The girls running into my arms each morning and giving me a big cuddle
- Sunrises.. and sunsets over the ocean
- Skinny dipping
- Hopping off of a plane into the unknown
- Watching "The Big Bang Theory" with the family
- Learning new Aussie phrases daily, and still trying to figure out why everything is called a damn biscuit in this country! cookies and crackers are not the same. help.
- Oceans and palm trees. mountains and snow. looking forward to a cozy night back home with a beer, by the fire in Wisconsin. Or all of the above.
- Days without technology
- Random meetings of people from all around the world
- Taking off my bra at the end of the day.. ladies, I know you understand!
- Road trips
- 5 mile daily walks. Taking in the sun, the fresh air, and dancing crazily in the streets ignoring the stares of the unsuspecting Aussies who are undoubtedly judging me. judging me bad.
- Dancing with strangers. or good looking boys. or both!
- Belting out songs with the girls on our daily commutes :) fake microphones and screechy voices included.
- ... and dance parties around the kitchen while coloring, or baking cupcakes, or both.
- Hearing "I love you" from my little ones while they smile at me and give me the biggest and most loving hugs I've ever received.
- Getting fan mail. your comments and constant emails make my day every time. thank you!!
- Skyping with my friends and family (with a beer is even better)
- And looking forward to the day when I get to reunite with some of my favorites from back home
         - 3 weeks until an 18 day trip to New Zealand, Sydney and Melbourne with my best friend!
         - 4 months until a 2 week reunion in OZ with my parents and sister! both of my families in the same place at one time will be SO great.
         - 8 months until a 3 week trip to Southeast Asia with my friend from La Crosse (to be extended to anyone else who wants to join a solo traveler afterwards :)).
         - And a reunion with the rest of you when you decide to balls up and come and see me OR I decide to come home (both of which could be awhile).

You see.. some moments are big, and some are small. But each and every one plays a vital role in me living this wonderful life. The simplest of moments in fact, 90% of which are moments with my precious Aussie girls, are the ones that someday I'll miss the most. And everything else is just further proof that I made the greatest decision of my life in deciding to take the risk to be here.

I hope that life finds you happy, healthy and refreshed this holiday season. Make every moment with your loved ones count. I'll be missing you!


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Liebster Award: Q and A :)

A BIG thanks to Elicia Shephard for nominating me for the Liebster Award, which if I'm understanding this correctly, is a nice why of saying, "I really like your blog". It's kind of a pass-it-on from blogger to blogger in which you answer these 10 questions to help get your name out there.

She is a beautifully, smart, and talented young lady, living and working as a teacher in South Korea! If you're looking into teaching abroad, love traveling, or are simply looking for an inspirational read, she has some great things to say. You can find her fabulous blog here :).

So here are the questions I was given:
1.What was the last thing you ate?
I'm glad this is only asking about the last thing I ate, instead of everything I ate today. Much less embarrassing this way. It was crackers and peanut butter :). One of my favorite, easy, to-go-to snacks.  
2.Do you ever get bored with blogging? Why or why not?
Never. Blogging has become my baby. It's actually beginning to cause me a lot of restlessness, because I'll wake up in the middle of the night with a million ideas running through my head. Every good writer knows that the best ideas come at night, and that you must get them written down immediately. Blogging and writing in general gives me so much peace and purpose, and I love having this as a way to document my life abroad. I'm making it my life goal to turn blogging and/or writing into a career, and thus turning traveling into a long-term, full-time lifestyle. 
3.If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
Well, I really wish my already thin hair wasn't falling out by the handfuls in this country. But in all seriousness, I wish I wasn't such a softie. While sometimes a good thing, I become overcome with emotion over the littlest things, and it's actually borderline embarrassing. Like when little 3-year-old Emilie grabs my face, looks into my eyes and says, "I love you" and "You're my best friend". Or when Lola begs me to stay for dinner and holds on to me for dear life. And how she falls asleep on my lap nearly every night, while I try not to desperately fall in love, for the fear of having to one day say goodbye to them :(. Whoops. Too late. These little girls are my life. And all of my kids along the way, have somehow turned me into an emotional wreck who falls in love with people way too easily. The most beautiful curse I've ever been blessed with. 
4.Where is one place you would never go and why?
I don't know that there IS a place I would never go. I think every place has SOMETHING to offer. Danger, poverty, and illness scares me a little. But I did apply for the Peace Corps, so I'm clearly up for the challenge. Yep. That's my answer. I'll go anywhere. 
5.What seemingly insignificant thing drives you crazy?
So many thingssss actually. 

Stupid drivers. My road rage is bad. real bad. I even caught Emilie in the back the other day saying, "Come onnnn!" while we were stuck in another traffic jam. Whoops. #nannyoftheyear. I'm much more mindful of this now :).

When people care more about their phone, than the people right in front of them. This drives me SO insane! Put the damn phone away and how about you have a conversation with the real-life person next to you? It has been such a freaking blessing, and such a good wake up call, to be damn near phone-less in this country (texting/email/etc works when in wifi and that's it). 

People talking and texting while driving. How about you take the time to talk to people when they can have your full attention and not just when you want to kill time on your drive. While it's nice to drive and catch up with people simultaneously, it doesn't make me feel good to know that that's the only time I cross your mind or you can make time for me. Sort of feels like you're getting talking to me out of the way. By the way, I'm highly guilty of this. As a person who traveled so much for work, having people to talk to and pass the time with, made it much more bearable. But it's SO unsafe for you and the thousands of people on the road. PLEASE stop. You are not invincible. And people die everyday because of this. I don't want that person to be YOU.

Or people smoking near their children. It's sooo harmful to their health. Smoke all you want, but leave your kids out of it, please. 

And ignorance. That's not really a seemingly insignificant one. But it bothers me to the point of tears. 
6.What is one thing you like, but your friends don’t?
Gosh. I have such a wide range of friends that it's hard to answer this one. I think in general, most of my friends are so similar to me it's kind of scary. Otherwise, I don't think they'd really still be my friends? 

But maybe being commitment-less? In general, I think most of my friends, and people in general, like the idea of having stability, a place to call home, a long-time career, person to love, etc. I don't. Not yet anyway. 
7.If you could say one sentence to everyone around the world at once, what would you say?
Live in a way that you'd want to be remembered positively. 
8.Whom do you look up to?
People who are passionate about life. People who recognize their sense of purpose and live accordingly. People who value things that are really important. People who recognize the struggle in the world that is far bigger than themselves. 

Ellen Degeneres- Gosh. Don't even get me started on how much I love her. Attending one of her shows is on my bucket list. She is so incredibly selfless and giving. And promotes so much of what I believe in. You GO girl. 
My Parents- This goes without saying. They're incredible. 
My Sister- The most hard-working, friendly and social young lady I've had the pleasure of knowing for 23 1/2 years :). 
My Friends- All for different reasons.
Military members- So incredibly brave and inspiring. 
Writers- For being so honest and creative. And giving me something to work for!

so. so. many people. 
9.What is your secret obsession?
Hm. This isn't such a secret obsession anymore. But writing. It literally is starting to consume my life. On my daily run/walks, I think about all of the things I'm going to write in my first book. Even started the first chapter :):)! Too bad my memory and exhaustion allows for me to almost completely forget all of my creative one-liners by the time I get home. Oh well. I will keep going anyway. 

And chicken wings :). And fat tire. 
10.If the world were to end tomorrow, and you knew it, how would you spend it?
Easy. Back home in Wisconsin. On a lake. With many ice cold beers, and all of my fat girl favorites: cheese curds, chicken wings, and mac n cheese. Arms around ALL of the people I love. Laughing about all of my crazy hilarious stories from the last 25-years.
Here are my some of my favorite (and nominated blogs) for the Liebster Award:

I'm still working on this part. But will update with my favorites once I get their approval :)!

A special thanks to Elicia for nominating me and to everyone who believes in this blog as much as I do. So blessed to have you as readers and followers!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

25 and Unique

By nature, we are all inherently different from each and every single person on this earth. We all have different wants, needs and desires, and see our own futures playing out in many different ways. And it's become utterly apparent as a 25-year-old with a range of friends who never want to get married or have kids to others who dream of their own beautiful version of the American dream.

And then there's me. 

Somewhere in the middle stuck between picturing the American ideal and wanting forever to be the free-spirited, adventurer. A girl who knows the beauty of love and being in a relationship, yet knows the sheer joy that comes with regaining total freedom and independence.

And as I get older, the more I realize, I want traditional less and less and adventure more and more. And the thought of committing myself to one person, location and job for the rest of my foreseeable future scares the liver out of me.  As a girl who can barely commit to a daily shower, I'm still wondering how one commits to one life partner... forever. And as a girl who kills plants and flowers well before their timely death, I'm still amazed at how people can commit to keeping animals and babies alive and relatively unharmed. You people are WARRIORS, in my opinion.

But, maybe I was just destined to be different. I was born on New Years Day AND named 'Jerrica', after all. And if that wasn't enough, there were many other early indicators that conventionality just might not be my thing. For example:
  • When everyone else was watching "Cinderella" and dreaming of finding their prince, I was faithfully reading the not-so-fan-favorite, "Rumplestiltskin".
  • While most people were dreaming of husbands and white picket fences, I was dreaming of huts in Hawaii. 
  • While people were busy accumulating things, I was busy accumulating experiences.
  • While most people were dreaming of whatever top-of-the-line luxury vehicle, I was dreaming of a half beat up white jeep wrangler and a beach. 
  • While most people were dreaming of a 5 bedroom house with a pool and a housekeeper, I was dreaming of a motor home and never-ending cross country road trips. 
  • While most girls were spending half of their morning getting ready, I was showered and out the door in 15 minutes.
  • While most people were dreaming of a guy with money, I was dreaming of one with a good heart. 
  • While most girls were picking at their raspberry vinaigrette salads, I was eating pounds of chicken wings and guzzling beer. 
  • While most girls were dreaming of walking down the aisle in a fancy church wedding, I was dreaming of eloping in Vegas. 
  • And while most people were dreaming of having their own biological baby, I was dreaming of adopting from a third world country.

And the list far from ends there. Believe me.

While my fellow freshman classmates were deciding on majors and lifelong careers, I had my beloved Psychology major chosen since the 7th grade. And amongst the studying and 4 years of incessant liver damage, I was constantly dreaming of a life different from most other people my age.

I was dreaming of moving to Boston, of joining the Peace Corps, of becoming a flight attendant and of backpacking through Europe. Essentially, I was dreaming of anything that involved travel, adventure, and a life set free from what I believed to be mindlessly accepted societal expectations. Ones that I never necessarily wanted.

And so, after I completed my first rational goal of graduating college, I finally booked that trip to Europe. It was a pretty minor move looking back, but a major step in the constant mysterious adventure that has now somehow become my life.

Because this is when the real wanderlust started. 

Traveling enslaved me. It was my drug. All I ever thought about. All I ever wanted. And I haven't stopped wanting this kind of life ever since. And after spending 2 years of succumbing to a life I knew I didn't want, I finally found the courage to leave. And leaving brought me here. To this beautiful, amazing place. Where my life has become a cross between what feels like a permanent vacation and a dream of every new adventure ahead. 

And now I'm happy to say that my simple plan of spending one year abroad has turned into much, much more than that! I've decided against returning home as planned and will begin my next trek to the beautiful country of New Zealand.

I plan to do some traveling of Southeast Asia this summer first! If any of you have good advice on specific things or places to see, I would love to hear from you. And if anyone would like to join a solo traveler on any or all adventures, please do let me know :). I will be starting in late July and am hoping to travel for 8 weeks ish... or more.

And as far as New Zealand goes, my exact place is yet to be determined. I'm currently working on securing the perfect family and the perfect city. I'm crossing my fingers for Wellington and a family who even somewhat compares to the family I've been blessed with this year! But only time will tell :).

My decision against 'settling down' in any facet of my life could be linked to many things. It could be the lack of having met anyone or any place worth settling down for, or my extreme commitment phobia, or simply because I've always been and always will be someone who wants different things. I have a knack for questioning reality and a passion for seeing the world, and for now, nothing else even compares.

XO.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My BIG life announcement

I grew up in one of those households that most people only ever dream of. Truly. My parents loved and supported us unconditionally, they kissed us and each other, said "I love you" every day, and we even played the "what was the best part of your day" game during family dinners. We didn't have the fanciest of anything, but we loved the hell out of each other, we were blissfully happy, and that's what we preferred.

My mom came from a big Italian family where money was minimal, but love was grand. And my dad in the sort of household where it was acceptable to carve my moms name into his dresser in his early teens for all of us to see and reminisce over some 30 to 40 years later :). They were the kind of people who loved each other from the beginning, and the kind of people who married for nothing other than for the love of being together. The kind of people who gave me everything I needed, while simultaneously instilling in me the undeniable urge to be independent and work hard for things that I wanted. They highly valued experiences to a whole bunch of meaningless possessions, and I learned to do the same. And above all, they were the kind of people who taught me that showing an unconditional compassion and love for others is the key to mastering one of life's most important lesson: making a difference while you're here.

They also taught me to fall head over heals in love with traveling through yearly cross country road trips that became a tradition we'd give up almost everything else for. They taught me to appreciate everything we have, because somewhere else, people have so little. And although we struggled quite a bit early on, through lots of moving, sacrificing, and hard work, we had managed to create our own little beautiful version of the American Dream.

And I'll never forget the little moments that made me truly relish in this wonderful life we had created for ourselves. The moments that warm my heart to this very day when I recall them:

  • Like sending balloons to my Grandma in heaven every year on her birthday. 
  • Like my dad giving me my first packers shirt in Wyoming before we moved to our new home in Wisconsin, and saying, "This is our team girls".
  • Like belting out John Denver and Roger Miller on road trips and arriving back home to my HUGE extended family in Montana. 
  • Like having easter egg hunts while my dad dressed up as the Easter bunny. 
  • Or like our long embraces before yet another departure and not knowing how long it would be until we saw each other again (ahem.. most recently about 2 1/2 months ago). 
And I'll never forget the day a seemingly pretty insignificant event, gave me an undeniable compassion for people and completely changed my view of the world and how to live in it.

We spent the day making cupcakes, while Steph and I drooled over what was to be a special birthday treat. And in our crazy rush to get things ready for another meaningless celebration comprised of excessive gift giving and game playing, we stumbled upon a mother and two daughters who were homeless and hungry. And in that instant, I think we realized that none of what we were doing really mattered. Presents and cake meant nothing, when these people had nothing to eat and nowhere to go. And so, we stopped our birthday excessive craziness, and did the only thing we thought might make their day a little better. The only thing that at that point, we could really offer them. We went home, and brought them every last cupcake we had. And although quite the small gesture on our part, I've never quite seen the sort of joy I saw in their faces that day, ever again. 

And this is when I learned that even the smallest of moments can dramatically influence the person you become and the way you view the world and your place in it. See, these moments might seem small or insignificant to you, but to me, they were pivotal turning points in the creation of my current 25-year-old self. And I now know that people, moments, and experiences matter, and that all of the other STUFF, doesn't.

And through these experiences, I've learned to: 

- be kind
- be generous
- understand the struggles of others
- be selfless
- be mindful
- and do what you can to change the world, even if it's a simple as making someone's day by giving your cupcakes away. 

So with that, I'd like to thank my family for teaching me to be self-reliant, friendly, and adventurous. For teaching me to be compassionate, loving, and for showing me to see the value in making a difference. Growing up in such a wonderful environment has given me the tools I need to commit my life to making the world a better place, and I'm ready to take another BIG LEAP. 

Which is why I applied for the Peace Corps.

I've dreamed about this moment since High School. I even planned to go after college. But I was too scared then, and I was quick to make excuses. I was falling into the trap of what I thought society was expecting of me and what I was expecting of society. What about graduate school? And my boyfriend? I'm not ready to move. Should I be thinking about marriage? Nothing I was experiencing at that time was saying commit yourself to the Peace Corps, and so I didn't.

But as I've gotten older and strayed more and more from the conventional American life, I've realized that now is the opportune time. A lack of commitment to bills, people, and a life built anywhere specific, means that I am now ready. And I know now that timing is everything and to take advantage of every incredible experience you can get your hands on.

And for me it all really comes down to this:

I want to know what it's like to live in poverty, and what it's like to struggle. really struggle. I want to know what it's like to have nothing, and I want to live without the luxuries we've all so easily become accustomed to. I want to know what it's like to live in someone else's shoes (or lack thereof), and what life is like somewhere else. I want to know what it's like to be somewhere dramatically different, and maybe even a little bit scary. I want to serve people who need help, by offering my skills and my life to them for nearly 2 1/2 years. And most of all, I want to be given the chance to be reawakened and to truly know what the meaning of life is all about.

I know that my life and my skills can be better used to benefit others. And although a pretty terrifying thing to commit to for 27 months, I feel that through loving and encouraging friends and family, I am well equipped for anything! Thank you to those of you who continue to be such a constant source of support in my life and for pushing me to live out one of my life's biggest dreams. I wouldn't be in this very position without each and every one of you.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

The day that changed everything

It's the 70th day in a row now that I've woken up and said to myself, "I'm the luckiest person in the world". Maybe it's because I am, or maybe it's because I've finally discovered the difference between simply being awake and truly feeling alive. Either way it's safe to say that I am without a doubt the happiest I have ever been. And I owe it all to the one day that undoubtedly changed my life.
We all have defining moments that forever change our normal reality. Like the day we graduate from college, get our first job, get married, or conceive our first child. Some are planned, and some aren't, and some are completely random, and seemingly meaningless experiences. 
My life before my defining moment consisted of a long time very unhappy relationship, 3 jobs, and a exhausted and quickly dwindling spirit. I didn't hate my life, but I surely didn't love it either. In fact, the love for the kids I worked with, was the only thing keeping me going. 
And then came the experience that jolted me back to life. 
I met someone. 
For me, it was an undeniable, instant, and effortless attraction. In fact, it was the closest thing to love at first sight that I had ever experienced. Sure, I'd been in love before. In fact, I'd been in love for pretty much the last 10 consecutive years of my not-so-long life. But this was different. He was different. I was settling, and now I knew it. It was time for me to leave.
So, with that, I bravely faced the realization that my 5-year relationship was failing, and that I was longing for freedom and independence. BUT I had no idea what to do next or how to start over. I had no sense of direction, and at the same time, I had the entire world at my fingertips. 
So, on a complete whim, I decided to search for international au pair jobs. I had always loved traveling and taking care of children, so maybe this would be my ticket out, I thought. 
I found the perfect family in Australia and thanks to my newly rekindled and adventurous spirit (and some good references), they offered me the job! I felt like I had just been given the opportunity of a lifetime, and smiled more on that day than I had in months. If I said yes, I would be committing to moving there for a year and leaving my life in La Crosse, WI, behind forever. I thought about it for a mere 5 minutes, and then I terrifyingly, yet happily accepted. I booked my plane ticket that very week, before I had the chance to be rational and back out. Leaving everything I know and (kind of) love to live with strangers? Putting all of my trust in people I met online whole-heartedly? People said I was crazy, and I agreed. But, “No risk, no reward”, I kept telling myself.
Reality of course began to set in as I said goodbye to that long-time boyfriend, my jobs, my family, my friends, 95% of my belongings, and the place where I grew from a scared college Freshman to a hopeful 25-year-old. I shed many tears as I started to really comprehend all that I was leaving behind, but decided to be brave and take the leap of faith anyway. After all, the biggest growth in yourself comes from doing the things that scare you the most, right?
So, just two months ago, I hopped on a plane feeling completely isolated, sad, terrified, hopeful, and excited, all at the same time. I arrived and was greeted by my new family, and somehow, from 10,000 miles away, I instantly felt at home! 
So far, I've spent my days swimming in the Indian ocean, learning to drive on the opposite side of the road, petting kangaroos and koalas, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, and falling in love with two amazingly beautiful little Aussie girls. 
And everyday I wake up happy and thankful for the moment and the boy that brought me here and forever changed and reawakened my life. The moment that taught me that people come into your life just when you need them. And for the friendship that still remains.