I am feeling refreshed and recharged after a long weekend (thank you work for giving us Good Friday off!) and a visit up to see some friends in Tallahassee. It worked out perfect that I could take part in a work function Thursday night AND have a long weekend to visit some friends (and their babies!) which I was long overdue for. My parents no longer live there, so when I go “home” to visit, it’s to NC and not to Tallahassee. **mush and sappiness warning ahead**
Growing up in a small(ish) town I couldn’t wait to get out and stretch my wings. At the time, Orlando was only a four hour drive from my parents if I needed wanted them. I didn’t know at the time I’d be establishing some roots of my own down in the earth here, but obviously grateful that it worked out that way. Seriously though, let’s talk about some nostalgia driving into T-town…
For those of you have haven’t spent time in Tallahassee (now or ever) it’s physically beautiful. It’s more Georgia than Florida, and the canopy roads just do something to warm your soul (image by Russell Grace).
The Civic Center (where the work stuff was at) is the same building I went to Senior Prom in, the same building I graduated from high school and also graduated from college in. Drivers are friendly (albeit a little slow)—they use signals, and let you out on purpose into traffic. I was reminded with a screeching halt, they stop at yellow lights. I was reminded that people there have a sense of pride about the city, which I often think lacks in larger metropolitan places. While I do not have any intentions of moving back, it was fun to go back and see how much the city grows and changes in between visits. While so much feels comfortable and familiar, but so many buildings and new trendy restaurants/grocery stores/bars are popping up everywhere. Fortunately, I didn’t have to crash at a hotel, a gracious friend was generous enough to let me stay in her BEAUTIFUL new house. I had a chance to visit friends, cuddle babies/toddlers. It reinforces in me the happiness that as adults — quality of friends is so much more than quantity. I get to pick my friends. I get to hang out with them because I like them and more importantly because they add value to my life. Leaving a small town meant I didn’t have to be friends with someone because their mom was friends with my mom or because we had mutual friends. Leaving a small town showed me I could do it on my own in a new world if I had to. Leaving taught me who I am (image by Darlene Almeda).
Last but not least, I had a chance to visit with the girls that I used to babysit for (and their parents who in many ways were like second parents to me growing up). When I started sitting for them, the kids were 6 months and 2.5 years old. I was 13, still a kid myself. I am not even sure I can label them “girls” anymore. They’re grown women. They’re now 18 and 20, one is already in college and the other starts there this fall. THEY look a lot more grown up and older…I like to think of course that I have not aged quite as much.
This weekend gave a much needed distraction about the turmoil my ovaries are giving me. I am still on BC and have a follow up this Thursday to see if the cysts are going away. I want mentally to be optimistic that they are gone, but anatomically I am still having symptoms (moderate intermittent cramps and pains) that tell me otherwise. I will be sure to update after my mom leaves town next week. We don’t have any firm plans for the weekend yet, but I assume it’s going to go a little something like my recent weekend of eating, sleeping and drinking Angry Orchard or Wine while sunning ourselves in the kiddie pool in the back yard.