"i listen to the wind, to the wind of my soul. where i'll end up, well i think only god really knows."
a few weeks ago, i escaped the frigid north and fled to the warmth of friends and family in central florida. my cousin steven flew in from denver, for a huge, boisterous thanksgiving at his mom's house. i saw family i hadn't seen in maybe a decade. i hugged them so tight and told them just how much i love them.
we went out in my old, sleepy hometown and saw all the good friends i hadn't seen since high school or early college. it was frightening and invigorating and unsettling and wildly inspiring, all at the same time. the sincere words of encouragement from everyone i encountered---people i never knew were keeping tabs on me---was exactly what the doctor ordered.
and i stayed with christine for the entirety of my stay, in her beach house in ponce inlet.
christine and i spent so many evenings just talking at the colors on the horizon. we both needed each other in that moment in time, in ways that other friends just wouldn't do.
we did yoga on her porch, and breathed in the salty atlantic air. we counseled each other on feeling lost, and realized how to harness that vulnerability---how to turn it into something beautiful. we reflected on the pain of the past, and dreamt up the most perfect futures.
we drank wine and beer and coffee and chai tea lattes to nourish our thirsty ambitions. we got tiny tattoos together---another first to add to our list. we cuddled on the couch and listened to inspiring philosophies. and we expended most of our energy just laughing, every waking hour of every day for a week.
we made first draft plans to see each other again, because we clearly can't go very long without visiting each other, wherever we may be in the world.
i adore this girl, endlessly. thanks for the love, christine :)
"there was a star riding through the clouds one night, and i said to the star 'consume me.'" -virginia woolf
christine and i stood outside with cigarettes in hand, blowing our smoke up at the stars. black waves lashed the shoreline, an ominous sound we could hardly see the source of---comforting and terrifying at the same time. we made jokes about the shape of the warrior in the sky, and shrieked at the sight of shooting stars---the confetti of the universe. we stood still in that perfect december air and felt altogether minuscule. all our worries, consumed in galactic perspective.
in an october in-between, i spent a few days with one of my favorite humans in jacksonville, florida. it was a visit we each needed more than we knew.
you might remember shannon from our fun in barcelona or our reunion in paris. i met her this summer in spain, and was so happy to see her again in the states. we reflected on our travels, and how certain principles are transferring over into our lives now. what to do with them. what they'll do with us. she's an elementary art teacher now, and i had the delight of sitting in on her class for a day. she's teaching little tikes how to appreciate the beauty that's available around the world, and i'm not sure there's a more important job than that.
we spent hours in coffee shops, walking down overgrown sidewalks, in dark garage-grunge bars, and on her stoop beneath the stars, just TALKING. ohhh the joy of talking to someone who relates to you on so many levels. is there anything more wonderful in this world?
i adore this gypsy soul, and am so grateful we've become so close so quickly. it's one of those friendships that just click without question. one that feels like they've been there forever. one you know you can count on lasting despite the confines of time and space. i love you forever, my sweet shanz!
one of the main reasons why i came to florida before going to europe was to see this kid. this is my dear friend justin, who i've known since freshman year of college. truly one of the best guys i know.
he's now in the marines and living in hawaii, so i'm lucky if i get to see him one day out of the year! this year i was extra lucky because this sweet guy picked me up from the airport in orlando on the way to christine's house in daytona. he's on leave for a couple weeks and went out of his way just to visit with us spoiled girls ;)
it wasn't as long of a visit as i would've liked, but that gives me yet another excuse to fly out to hawaii soon! i miss you already, justin! you're the best!
i'm in florida! it's weird to be back in my old home state!
i've been here for the past couple days, visiting with some dear friends. christine and i have been close since high school, and i love that we make the effort to keep in touch. she even came to visit me in the virgin islands.
she now lives in this gorgeous little beach house near ponce inlet, so i'm currently getting spoiled with this view.
last week, after a couple days of hanging out in orlando with my big brother & recovering from my recent traveling madness, i called my pretty friend christine and said, "hey wanna go skydiving when this hurricane blows over?" i expected her to say no because it was totally last minute and spontaneous. to my surprise, she said YES!
this skydive was my 3rd tandem jump. i went two separate times last summer and fell in love. the first time, the skies were filled with clouds so the view wasn't the best, but the rush of adrenaline stomped out any inkling of disappointment. the second time, i was more comfortable and the skies were so clear that i could see the coast. a whole new gorgeous view. and just when i started worrying that this third time wouldn't be unique, my tandem instructor said some pretty magical words-- "do you want to pull the parachute?" UH, YES!
they didn't let me wear my new gopro on my wrist (so disappointing--that would've been cool), but christine got the video package so her camera guy snapped a couple of me jumping and landing. the gopro will come in handy NEXT time i jump. because next time... i'm getting certified. YESSS.
once i save up and get the AFF certification, i'll be able to jump by myself and i'll be the happiest little birdie you guys have ever seen. because free falling is one of the best, most addictive feelings in the world... or... high above it. ;)
flying back to tallahassee
to say goodbye to this house i loved:
to clear the rest of my belongings and sweep the floors.
to walk around the neighborhood and to the park.
to swing on this rope swing one last time. and,
to stay with amber and plan our nearest adventures.