July Fourth is actually one of my favorite holidays. I’ve come to semi-enjoy the hot summer months in Texas where sweat running down your spine is just a part of life and having glasses of ice given to you at outdoor restaurants for “when the ice in your drink melts” is a normal occurrence. But what I really enjoy are the colors; red, white, and blue are festive and loud and bold. And fireworks make people’s faces light up and reflect in their eyes. And ice cream! Beer! Picnic blankets! It’s the epitome of summer! Plus, these pictures of Pepper from two years ago are still some of my favorites.
It was one year ago yesterday that I (finally) moved to Dallas. I don’t want to get too sappy here, because I do that on nearly every other platform, but it honestly was the best decision I’ve ever made. (Besides getting Pepper and fostering Suzanna. And all the chocolate I’ve ever eaten.) Once I made the decision definitively to move here it only took me about six months. Don’t say I’m not stubborn.
I remember the day we moved in, July 3, 2015. We were sweaty and my apartment wasn’t cooled down yet and the internet guy was walking around asking me where the phone jack was. We were crashed in places wherever we could find a seat and I was so happy. The night of the fourth we heard fireworks close and all crammed on my patio and ducked around the limbs of the crepe myrtle by my patio so we could see. We were sweaty, and I was happy. Everything I’d worked for kind of summed up in that moment. I got a job so I could afford an apartment so my family could move me in so we could stand on my patio and watch the fireworks coming from Fair Park’s annual July 4 celebration. It didn’t hit me for a few months just how good of a spot I’d snagged.
This last year has given me lots of things and taken away lots of things. I’ve had my heart broken four or five times in that apartment. I’ve cried millions of tears on those pillows, one of which still has a mascara stain. (Sorry, pillow.) I learned that just because you move to a new city doesn’t mean your old crap didn’t follow you. I learned how to be alone after four months of counseling. I learned how to delete the dating apps that were crippling me. I learned how to make my house a home. I learned how to budget (PRAISE HANDS) and how to save (!!!). I still haven’t learned, though, how hard it is to cook a meal for one person.
The first six months in that place were dark. Literally and figuratively. I’m sure you know this about me by now, but I don’t really care to be alone. Actually, I’d never really been alone until I moved here. But here I am, at 25, alone. I’m doing it gang! I’m good! I’ve made new friends, distanced myself from others, met people who were destructive and manipulative, met people who were encouraging and life giving, met perfect strangers that I am coincidentally connected to through random family members or other friends, I’ve stretched and grown and changed completely. I want to hug myself from one year ago and tell her, everything is going to be okay! We love life today! You’re so great! But I forgot to put in the crystals to my time machine and can’t do that.
I still don’t know why I’m here. Maybe it’s just so I can be whole and happy. But maybe there’s something bigger. I tend to believe that about anything in my life anyway. My last serious boyfriend used to tell me all the time that I was going to do great things here. I’m not sure that I’ve really done anything that great. Well, maybe I have. Maybe me changing and stretching and growing and being really me is something truly great. It’s great to me, anyway. And I’d like to think it’s great to someone else, too.
I want my life to be invested in other people. I didn’t change and grow and do all of these things to just say, “Well that was fun! Let’s write that in the journal and put it away in the cabinet.” I live to share. I live to love. I live to invest whatever it is that I have in this tiny, weird heart in someone else. Whatever I become; a writer, a musician, a blogger, I want that to be my end goal. Mindless chatter isn’t really my thing. I want these words to mean something. And I really hope they do.
What are you doing to enjoy the holiday? I’m currently at my parents’ house getting my air conditioning fixed in my car by my dad. (THANK YOU DAD AND THANK YOU GOD FOR A DAD THAT CAN DO THIS!) I’m heading back to Dallas this afternoon to partake in the Fair Park festivities. In person this time.
Happy Fourth, babes!