1. North Carolina is beautiful, and I can't wait to move back. Actually, I can wait, but I really miss it. I feel homesick when I'm away from it and I feel even more homesick when I'm there. Does that make any sense at all? It's like being there makes me realize how much I miss it so I miss it even more, knowing that the beauty I'm experiencing is only temporary and that come the end of the week or weekend I will be heading back to Indy. Here's proof that it's gorgeous.
View from the top of the mountain after a morning run.
The NC Smoky mountains are incredible. Go to them immediately.
2. Indiana is also beautiful. When I got home last night and was missing NC, I peered out the window and saw this. It's almost like Indy was like, "OH, REALLY? YOU THINK NORTH CAROLINA IS MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN ME?" I've seen a lot of beautiful sunsets and skyscapes from our bay window, and I have to say this is a new favorite. There's no filter on this photo, either. Seriously, how is this real?
3. Moms are always right. So when I spent my entire morning working on the aforementioned activities before writing my paper, I was trying to convince myself to get it together. And I remembered what my mom would have made me do. Instead of lying in bed working on my paper in PJs with the blinds closed, she would have made me get up and get dressed, make my bed, and start the day. Two pieces of advice from Mom: always make your bed, and always get dressed in the morning. And besides the minor detours in my day that came with bed-making (oh crap, we haven't changed the sheets in a while, let me just change them real quick now that the bed is made), my quest to write my paper became increasingly successful after I decided to follow Mom's advice.
4. Friends are forever. I just watched my best friend from the age of 7 get married this weekend and I honest to goodness feel such gratefulness for this opportunity. Even across hundreds of miles and in the midst of busy lives, my friendships with people back home continue. Distance has nothing on relationships, as I learned long ago while dating Scott. I'm thankful that this holds true in friendship as well as romantic relationships.
5. Love is incredible and something you have to choose every day. As one of the only guests attending a wedding extravaganza without a date or family to accompany, I spent a lot of my time introspectively and came to a conclusion about love. As I watched both married and unmarried couples around me, I was caught with a wave of jealousy for those that were unmarried. My, how far I have come in 3 years. 3 years ago I was green with envy for those who were engaged or married, with a deep longing to be in their place. So what gives, now? I'm happily married to the man who captured my heart at 16, how could I be jealous of those who are not married? I realized that marriage changes the way you love someone. When you're not yet married, your relationship hasn't been tainted by dirty laundry and financial struggles. There's always the option to just walk away when things are tough or to go back to your apartment to decompress when you need a break from your significant other. In marriage, you have to work through those things and live in the midst of them. There's nowhere to go when you need a break, unless you're Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City 2 and you have the luxury of owning two apartments. At the wedding, I found myself feeling jealous of those around me flirting with someone or who just seemed to have that romantic spark that I remember feeling before Scott and I ever talked of marriage. Though our marriage binds us together for the rest of our lives, loving my spouse is something I choose to do every day. Love changes over time, and I think I've already seen small glimpses of what that looks like and how it changes. I have to choose to pursue Scott and date him even in marriage, and that's something that I had to learn for myself despite being cautioned on this.
That's all I have to share today, friends. Be blessed and grateful this week. I have the windows open as I write today and am so thankful for fresh air, freedom, safety, and the skyscapes that God paints outside of my window every day. I pray for contentment, even more than that, joy, in your life this week.
Love you all to pieces and I promise to write more soon. Sorry for the long sentences and stream-of-consciousness writing. I feel trapped in academic writing and needed a little more freedom in this space today.