Words

From a young age we hear the phrase “monsters live under the bed.”
I wouldn’t necessarily call what lives under my bed “monsters,” I’d more so call them memories. 

Under my bed are cards and mementos from people in my past. 

But more interestingly, the space under my bed houses the journals I have written in since I was 13. 

And recently I dove back into the latter half of the summer of 2011. 

That was a summer I will never forget. 

Many of the people between those lined pages are no longer a part of my life. Some by time, distance, and by their own hand. 

But just because those people aren’t in my life doesn’t mean I don’t recall those marker-written memories with the utmost fondness. 

I got to know one of my best friends, who I consider a brother, that summer. 

I met a boy who spent almost the entire summer with me, I fell for, and he ended up breaking my heart. 

I reread what would be my last memories working as a summer camp counselor. 

I grew up a lot that summer. 

I cruised down Ocean Avenue, doors and windows off, blasting Mac Miller and felt like I was on top of the world. 
I did all of this and so much more that summer. 

And those words. In their different colors page after page, bring me back to those days. Those afternoon soccer practices. Those nights spent on the beach. 

Random symbols that we call letters, strung together to create a physical memory.  

It amazes me the fears and fearlessness I exhibited at 16. I like to think I still have some of that girl in me. 

The girl who was scared of her junior year and growing up too fast, but went forward with it. 

The girl who lost some friends, said good-bye to others, and gained some along the way. 

The girl who did things spur of the moment. And those spur of the moment days/nights ended up being the most memorable. 

Some might think I live in the past and I should be cautious. But if we don’t live in our past from time to time, recall it, and learn from it, how are we supposed to better prepare ourselves for our future?

Maybe that’s why I wrote all of those words and write new ones now. To show to myself that what I thought was the end of the world then, really wasn’t. That I was stronger than I gave myself credit for. 
Maybe I also wrote them to remember the good times with people who have walked out of my life. 

Or maybe it’s to show me what an amazing life I have had so far and what’s yet to come will make my hand fly to my mouth as I gasp, “oh my gosh. I remember that!”

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Happy Memorial Day

The weather wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for today. 
The beach may be a little emptier, some bbq’s might be rained out, and traffic might start a little earlier than usual. 
But that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of today. 

Today means different things to different people. To some it’s a day off of school or work. To others it’s the kick-off to the summer season. 

What it should be to everyone, however, is a day of remembrance and appreciation. 

Growing up I knew my grandfather was in the Navy and that his brother was reported MIA in Korea. Now, as a young adult (for lack of a better term), I have more military influences in my life. 

My uncle was in the Navy. One of my friends is being stationed in South Korea in November. My friends cousin who I grew up with is in the Marines. The father of the two boys I babysat for was in the Marines as was the father of a boy I dated. 

But what really struck a nerve was what one of my best friends who is in the Army said. He said a year or so from now he might disappear. And that is purely due to the nature of the field he is going into. 

Even though I know he is fully capable of fending for himself the thought of that still scares me. 

I pray to God that one day, not too soon, I don’t have to remember him for his service on Memorial Day. 

I am blessed enough that the only people I have to keep in remembrance for today are those I never met and those who have served our country. 

So wear the colors of Old Glory with pride today. Hug those around you in service a little tighter today. Remember those who have lost their lives here and abroad for our country. 

And grill a burger or two. Today is one for celebration. 

Coming home

I’ve come to learn that people come in and out of your life.

When I was younger I thought a relationship with a significant other was going to be one of the hardest things I would learn to maintain. I was wrong.

Granted it does take a lot of work, but I’ve come to find that maintaining relationships with people you consider friends is much more demanding.

With my third year of college now behind me, I can probably count on my hands the number of friends, outside of my family, I come home to. And the number has shrunk over the years.

Some relationships have faded over time where others have come to an abrupt stop (and those are usually the saddest). I feel like I keep losing friends from back home rather than maintaining them.

But then I have to step back and think about the great people I still do have in my life.

I have friends who I can drive around with and before I know it, it’s 2 in the morning.

I have friends who I can talk to for over two hours and not realize that much time has passed.

I have friends who will play catch with me just because it’s a nice day out.

I have friends who will drive an hour just to come over for dinner.

I have friends who will look for sea glass and then nap on the beach with me.

I have friends who I can not see for months, or years at a time and meet up every summer like no time has past.

I have this and much more. And I am so grateful for them.

I may have people who I was once close with and are no longer in my life but that’s okay. I have people who have gone out of my life and come back into it, in a slightly different way but they are still there all the same.

When I was younger I was worried about being friends with everyone so I wouldn’t miss out on anything. Now I’ve come to realize that it’s not the quantity of friends but the qualities you find in them that correlate with your own.

My phone might not light up as much with texts, phone calls, and snapchats as it used to but that means I don’t have to charge it as often. And when it does light up, I know its from people who genuinely want to see how I am.

So I may spend a few more nights hanging out on the couch while at home than I will hitting the town, and I’ve learned to be more comfortable with that than I have been in the past.

I guess this is part of growing up too. Coming home, having a few less people on your contact list, and learning to be okay with it. So what if I wasn’t able to make beat the clock at Bar A on Tuesday, I was able to do something different another night with great friends.

And that’s what matters.

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I may be a little burnt…

But I just spent the last five hours on the beach and I can’t remember the last time I was so content. 

I’m relaxed. 

I can still hear the waves roaring in my ears. 

I had sand between my toes. 

And I’m still warm from the sun. 

For the last five hours I didn’t have a care in the world. 

I didn’t have to be anywhere. I didn’t have to do anything. I didn’t even check what time it was (and for those of you who know me personally you know how huge that is). 

I read my book when I wanted. I took a nap when I wanted. I watched the waves when I wanted. 

Then my best friend showed up and joined in on the relaxation. 

We found more sea glass than we thought we would, we had ice cream for lunch, and we reminisced about times that have passed (some good, some we couldn’t believe we have been through, and others we would rather forget). 

We talked when we wanted. 

We slept when we wanted. 

We only left because the wind started to pick up and even the heat from the sun couldn’t keep our shoulders warm. 

I don’t remember the last time I drove home without a single thing worrying me. 

And this is the reason I can’t be landlocked. 

I need the beach. There is no single other thing on this earth that can calm me like the beach can. 

Now I know the mountains are beautiful and I’m sure the canyons and the deserts are too, but when it comes down to it, I’ll choose saltwater and sand every time.  

Ink’d

Today I got my first (and probably only) tattoo. 

Actually, my sister and I went together and got the same one. 

Now I know some of you reading this may be freaking out. But a lot of thought and planning went into this. 

For a while I wanted to get a tattoo. Nothing crazy and something that meant something. And thats exactly what this one is. 

The first line is the coordinates of Monmouth county. It’s where I’m from. It’s where I grew up. It’s where most of my life has been. And I know in my heart I won’t come back to live here for the rest of my life. So I decided to take part of it with me wherever my life takes me. 

The second line is beach waves. There are four. One for me, my sister, my mom, and my dad. I grew up on the beach. We grew as a family on the beach. It’s a huge part of our lives. It has defined my character. I can’t live without a coast line. 

The third line relates to my Italian heritage as well as connects me to my sister. The phrase loosely translates to “sister you keep me.”  Even though we no longer live in the same house all the time, we are each other’s keepers. She will always be my little sister and we will always have each other’s backs no matter how much we fight. 

So that is what my tattoo means. 

And yes Amy and Tony know about it. Alex and I weren’t about to sign off on something that without parental approval would hinder the rest of our higher education. 

Now I’ve heard tattoos are addicting. 

For the life of me I can’t understand why. 

That was the single most painful thing I have ever experienced. And I don’t plan on doing it again. 

So this was my one and I’m done. 

It’s in a spot where a judge can’t see, it won’t show on my wedding day, and I think it’s in a tasteful area as far as tattoo  placement goes. 

To be honest I’m still I shock I actually have one. Although the stinging pain for the last couple hours was a constant reminder. 

So for those of you who are considering one, put a lot of thought into it. 

It’s permanent. 

  

Merry Christmas to all

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all are stuffed with good food and are surrounded by family members. 

I have had quite the past few days. 

To start, I was reunited with one of my best friends who I haven’t seen in FIVE years (which was way too long in my opinion). 

And of course we were at the 9 am show of “The Force Awakens” yesterday. Was even better the third time. 

We continued our catching up agencies last night with copious amounts of vino. 

As soon as my glass was empty he would go “I have a great idea, *takes my glass* more wine” and my glass would be returned to me filled. It was great. 

We had a night filled with great wine, Star Wars theories, amazing food, and some pretty cool magic tricks. 

As for today, Santa must have been in a rush because his milk and cookies were untouched. Oh well. Man’s gotta keep on schedule. 

Christmas morning I was up at 6:30 and promptly woke the rest of the house once the coffee was done (my sister was going to kill me). 

An ugly Georgia Christmas sweater, a “Annabelle’s Wish” DVD, and Spring Lake chocolates later, we had breakfast and packed the car to head to Vermont. 

I love driving to Vermont on Christmas. There’s never anyone on the road. 

Now dinner is put away, we’re trying to find room for dessert, and I just got a light-up light saber pen (so excited!). 

And tomorrow we’re doing a tree top climbing zip line adventure thing. I can’t wait. 

So Merry Christmas from my family to yours. Weather you’re on a beach or in the snow, enjoy the holiday and happy new year. 

  

It’s the most Wonderful Thing to be Home

And it was a long time coming. This semester kicked my butt.

Although I did cut it just a tad too close for comfort yesterday. For some reason, I assumed the airport wasn’t going to be too busy at 4:45 a.m. Silly me.

IT WAS PACKED.

Not to mention, security was moving slow as molasses (why were there only TWO lanes open??), no one had their boarding passes out (amateurs), and the strollers. All the strollers.

Obviously none of them knew how to airport (especially the woman in front of me who had on a scarf, hat, jacket, sweater AND a belt. Good lord).

I made it through, eventually, and got to my gate at 5:21. I boarded at 5:25. But I got on the plane so that’s what matters.

As soon as I sat down I promptly passed out (I decided to pull an all-nighter. I didn’t get back from babysitting until 12 and I a had an alarm set for 3:30. Was three and a half hours of sleep worth it? Nah. Was finishing a season on Netflix? Heck yeah).

After landing I nearly knocked my father over in the airport with a hug and we headed out to get breakfast.

Not only did I get a pork roll, egg and cheese on a hard roll, but Santa showed up. Great morning. And it got better.

Had a date with Dad and saw “Star Wars” (for the second time :D) in 3D! Again if you haven’t seen this movie, go see it.

Came home after the movie, the grandparents were here, and I had a, much needed, Italian dinner (the lasagna and rice balls. Oh my goodness. It should be illegal for how good they are).

As for today, Wawa coffee and some last minute Christmas shopping. I can’t believe it’s only four days until Christmas. The last part of the semester seemed to drag on and somehow it’s almost Christmas and the end of 2015. 2015, oh what a year it was.

Countdown updates:

  • TWO Days until my friend from Seattle (who I haven’t seen since I was 17) comes in
  • FOUR Days until Christmas
  • ¬†and TEN Days until the end of the year.

Now I just have to make it through tonight because my final grades get posted at 5 p.m. and I’m praying my GPA doesn’t drop too much. (Damn projects. I had one in 4 of the 5 classes I was taking and they were ALL due during the SAME week. Aka, the week I got back from Thanksgiving Break. It was every form of stressful and evil)

But I’ll try to keep thinking happy thoughts and maybe send a last minute prayer to the grade gods and ask if they can increase the curve in my classes.IMG_9223-2