Homeward Bound and Messing Around

Last Nostalgic Post, I Promise.

I have been posting a lot about my current feeling of limbo, between an entirely new adventure and step in my life, while visiting the area in which I grew up. Last time, I promise.

I’ve been thinking greatly about the friendships I have cultivated here, and maintained throughout the past half a decade of being away. It is strange which people stick with you. Some of the friends I had out here that I thought I would be close with forever have faded out of my life, for various reasons. Some people that I saw sporadically throughout highschool, and never became close with, are the people that I might contact while in Illinois, and thoroughly enjoy their company.

I suppose, having been a sociology major, that I am generally inclined to be interested in the paths people choose, and how those paths correlate to society as a whole. While visiting, I have seen friends that completely fulfilled every prediction I had for them, as well as friends that exceeded all expectations. It is wonderful seeing that people that I knew for most of of my life doing well for themselves. I wouldn’t even know how to describe the feeling- pride? Perhaps.

I am just overwhelmed with how much happiness it brings me to realize that, despite some broken friendships, I still have so many great people in my life. People that have known me before I became the person I am. People who have seen me at my worst, and still kept in touch. It is such a treat to see friends that I have known for ages, and revel in each other’s successes, discuss each other’s hard times. While I have forged some of the best friendships of my life while in Hawaii, being able to relate to people I have known since adolescence holds an enormous place in my heart. I am lucky enough to say that some of my friends from ten years ago are still the people that I truly care about, wonder about, and wish the best for. I wonder if they feel the same, sometimes. While many of my good friends have stayed in our hometown, they have obviously changed and evolved as the years passed, as have I. The life changes we have experienced have brought some of us together, and driven some of us apart. I have felt so lucky in the past few weeks to share some moments with people that I rarely get to see, and catch up on our lives. It is a true blessing to have that opportunity.

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Goodness, I am aging.

Having not had cable for approximately 4 years (mostly due to frugality, not snobbery), being at my parent’s home for a couple weeks has been a treat. Yet it is an interesting feeling to sit on the couch I used to watch MTV from, absurdly engrossed in House Hunters. It is a weird juxtaposition of my childhood surroundings and the interests that I did not understood while I was growing up.

I think I first became acutely aware of growing up when I asked for a Kitchen Aid mixer as a present. I remember being a child, helping my dad pick out Christmas presents for my mom- I swore to myself that I would never become “boring” enough to want household goods as presents. Yet, at this moment in time, I could not ask for a better gift than a $25 gift card to Home Depot. Or some plates. Seriously.

But I think that, in some ways, it is the beauty of life. Each phase brings a new adventure, a new priority, a new mindset. The person I was when I left Illinois is so far removed from the person I am now. I feel that every experience we have helps us grow, learn, improve.

Well, I’ll drink a shot of tequila to being an old fart. It seems appropriate.

“The things you own, end up owning you.”

I have always loved that quote from Fight Club, yet, I have to admit, I do love the feeling of a great purchase. Thus, I don’t believe I’ve felt the full weight of that sentiment- until now.

As I’ve mentioned, I am currently visiting my childhood home for a couple weeks before heading down to my new house. Up until this point, I have been very adamant, to my husband’s (obviously all-knowing), disbelief, that I would not have too many things to bring down from home.

Lies. I have so much STUFF. And not only am I realizing how much money I’ve spend on things that I entirely forgot about owning over the past four years, I’m dealing with the idea that I will actually have to spend more money to transport it. Fabulous.

At the same time, the memories have been rampant and almost dizzying. So many things representing so many past events and experiences. And a reminder of how important certain things can seem at the time- I found a folder of over a hundred professional prom photos. Over a hundred! With exactly 2 of the photos cut out of sheet. While my prom date and I still keep in touch, I can’t help but think about the fact that, at one point, I could not be satisfied with a mere twenty copies of our portrait. Goodness.

I guess this post is somewhat disjointed and scattered- but I suppose those two words are easily the best description of my boxes of memories, which I plan to drag all the way down from Illinois to Texas. Little snippets of a life eagerly lived, traveling from the home I grew up in, to the home I plan to live my next chapter in. In some ways, the things I own have ended up owning me- but I love that most of them are things that are full of memories of who I used to be, how I came to be where I am, and lessons for who I want to be. And what could a person want more than to be owned by their own past, present, and future?

Well I just got a reality check.

Fed Ex was delivering a box to my parents house, and I signed for it since they weren’t home. The delivery guy asked me, “No school today?”

… Yeah, I need to stop bumming around my parents house in clothes from high school.

A Hearty Midwestern Breakfast

As anyone who has ever asked me to join them for breakfast knows, I am not a fan of breakfast foods. Give me some baby back ribs or a cheeseburger over eggs or pancakes any day. That being the case, I absolutely hate going out for breakfast, and spending money on something I don’t even eat at home.

There is, however, one exception- Wildberry restaurant in Libertyville, IL. Whenever I manage to get back to my hometown (which isn’t often), it is the one place on my list that is non-negotiable. What keeps me coming back? Corned beef hash skillets. It may sound simple, but in my four years living in Hawaii, I did not find a single place that would serve me a delicious, hearty, cheese drenched, crispy potato filled skillet.

So today, with my mom and my best friend in tow, I made the journey up to Wildberry. Wildberry is always packed, with a significant wait, but it is no wonder why. The exterior is reminiscent of a cozy Italian villa, and the smell of pancakes beckons slyly before you even cross the threshold. Their menu is extensive- where you want crepes, belgium waffles, omelets, or a skillet, you will not be disappointed. They are also very accommodating about making substitutions and adding on ingredients- I always ask for avocado on my skillet.

Since my husband and I have been considering opening a restaurant in the future, I have been on the look out for what makes a great dining experience, and Wildberry is certainly a good example. Great ambiance, excellent food, large portions, and cute decor- what more could a person ask for on a Saturday morning?

It’s Getting REAL.

Less than a week left in Hawaii! We closed on our new home on Friday, and have been crossing our T’s and dotting our I’s out on this little island.

It feels surreal that this chapter is coming to an end. I think it might be one of those things that hits me later. I remember my high school graduation, watching my friends cry, feeling nothing. Three months later it hit me. I think I will miss Hawaii after I’m separated from it a bit.

I’ll be writing more soon, as my last day of work is Thursday. Let’s get this party started!

When it Rains, it Pours

As though bidding me adieu and good riddance, Hawaii has transformed from it’s usual sunny state into a dreary, rainy, black-out filled annoyance. Regardless, the closer my moving date becomes, the more sentimental I find myself feeling about leaving my home of the last four years. Two months ago, I couldn’t get out of here fast enough- today, I’m thinking about all the things I wish I had gotten a chance to do out here one last time.

I often think about the fact that the average human life is not long enough to accomplish everything, see everything, experience everything that a person wishes. How many lives could I imagine for myself? How many lifetimes? When I went to the library as a kid, I absolutely adored “Choose Your Own Adventure” books- partly because I felt I was not just getting one story, but multiple stories. The concept of those books was fascinating to me- the idea that if you were not completely satisfied with the ending your choices yielded, you could just thumb back a few pages and make a different choice. Real life doesn’t let you book mark a page in case you wish to do it all over again. With this in mind, I am promising myself that on this road of new beginnings, I will try to live life as fully as I can.

We are meeting with the notary today to sign our closing papers on our house in Texas. I am excited for this long process to be over, and for my husband and I to have a home that we can really call our own. I am excited for all the memories we’ll make in our new home. I’m excited for all the personal touches we can add, transforming the house into our own combined vision. What a great new adventure.

Here We Go.

As a young girl, I found few things more enjoyable than writing in a journal. Every day, before I went to bed, I would pull out a brightly colored pen that matched my current mood, and sit in bed writing about the adventures of the day. I truly believed that, one day, my writings would serve me as brilliant memoir of a life well-lived.

On a recent trip home, I rediscovered my journals, stashed under magazines in my dresser drawer. Hidden from prying eyes, that they may not betray my exciting and ever-important secrets. Thumbing through the pages, I found myself laughing, reminiscing, and mostly cringing. Though I would most likely die mortified, should anyone ever read the absurd ramblings of my childhood and teenage self, I found myself thinking about the joy I felt recording my daily life. I also found myself engrossed in remembering the perspective of a slightly awkward, overly self conscious, yet effervescent young woman- a young woman I barely remembered being.

It was also reminded of my first experience with blogging. When I was about fifteen years old, Xanga.com took my highschool class by storm. Everyone had a blog, and reveled in sharing their teenage angst and insights with whichever friends were interested in reading. At the time, blogging was a new concept, in it’s infancy in the midst of dial-up internet, AOL screen names, and chat rooms.

Though I have absolutely no intention of putting myself through the torture of trying to find my old Xanga, and reading through my own jumbled, adolescent thoughts, it put some wheels in motion in my mind.

Now, approximately a decade since my Xanga experience, advancements in technology and the development of online networking, has taken the concept of online journaling and turned it into a valuable tool. Countless blogs function as valuable news sources, hobby guides, recipe compilations, consumer reviews, and ways in which to connect with strangers through common interests. I have thought about starting a blog for a while, but have consistently found myself undecided on a specific topic. Thus, I have decided that I will let this blog go where it pleases.

I am currently on the cusp of a new chapter in my life. My husband and I are packing our bags soon, moving from Hawaii after four years, to purchase a home in Austin, TX. I intend to write about many things in this blog, from observations about the moving process and home projects, to reviews of new places explored. Perhaps I will share some recipes, maybe I will talk about my travels. Regardless, I think I will let this blog take on it’s own life. I strive to live my life without rules and regulations, and I will strive to face this new endeavor with a similar attitude.