South Carolina

Well, that was a wonderful welcome to the island of Hilton Head, South Carolina. 🙂

I was really nervous, but Sarah welcomed me so nicely, and I felt way more comfortable than I anticipated. I definitely feel like this trip is going to do wonders for my anxiety, and my self-assurance. I barely questioned myself at all this evening. Okay, fine, the shot and the margarita might have helped… but normally nothing ca overpower my feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, especially with people who live in ways I fail at, haha. As I mentioned before – people who have FUN, haha. At least the standardized sort of fun.

Standardized fun. Hm. I’ve been failing that test for years. 😛

On a separate, completely serious note, it’s unbelievable how much my life has changed in a week. I feel like a different person, and I feel like millions of doors have opened up to me – and for the first time in a long time I’m actually excited about walking through them. It’s quite exhilarating. Quite quite.

During my travels today, I had time in the car to think about things. I thought a lot about human relationships, and the human heart, and the whole blasted thing. And for the first time in forever, I didn’t focus on the past. Strangely enough, I didn’t really think about the future either. I just… thought about the whole thing in general. How we feel, how we hurt, how we pine, how we ache.

And I thought about my personal strengths. I understand that the occasional weakness can allow one to feel a sense of freedom and abandonment, but I am strong, and I have strong, sometimes ridiculously honorable values.

Overall, a good thing.

And I suppose we’ll just leave that at that.

Strangely enough, these blogs, and my pictures, have allowed me to connect most with the people I’ve always wished to connect most with. If that makes any sense.

I guess when you run away and the only remnants of yourself that can be found are floating around in the world wide web in typed words and megapixels, you discover who really cares. Who supports you, and who validates your beauty.

So… you know who you are. And I adore you for it. 🙂

PS. stopped by South of the Border, SC (and from what I could discern it’s actually listed as a town on the map) and…

yeah, really sketched out by that place. LOL.

Interconnectedness, Day 8

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.

– John Muir

Am I supposed to understand the intricacies of the human heart? No, I am not. However, I am willing to keep learning and growing, and each day understanding the world and human relationships a bit more. Or perhaps never understanding, and learning to accept that, as well. Regardless, I find it fascinating how one twist in the strands can tint a moment different shades, and leave you unable to sleep for hours.

But enough of that. I am vacating North Carolina today, and traipsing down to Hilton Head, South Carolina
to see my friend, Sarah, and spend some time with her there. She recently moved, and she seems excited to (a) have a visitor and (b) have that visitor be me. Sarah is someone whom I have known my whole life, but the social networks involved in growing up always kept us a few steps apart. However, when I do spend time with her, I see many more layers to her than meets the eye, and I feel that we have grown to respect and care for each other a good deal, even if it’s often from afar. So it will be nice to get to know each other a little better, and have a little fun. Sarah likes to have fun, and I’m not really accustomed to that, so it will be interesting to do something different, haha.

Last night I had an interview with a company from Beijing, China. A couple weeks ago I sent out an application, interested in teaching English abroad. Corey thinks the idea is stupid, and I can’t help but understand where he’s coming from. 😛 I was thinking – no matter where I spent my coming year, if it was outside Massachusetts, it would be an entire new world for me. So it is not really necessary to displace myself so extremely as to go to China. However, I will give the idea consideration. They were impressed with my resume, and such an experience would only develop me more profoundly.

Yesterday was an invigorating day. I went for another walk (this time for almost 2 hours) behind Corey & Laura’s condo complex. Each day, I find new paths and new pictures… and it’s just amazing how every hour, each minute, holds something new and beautiful. Nature can teach us so many priceless lessons, if we are only willing to pay attention. And judging by my photography, I have definitely been a star student. I can not stop taking pictures, and doing so has made me ridiculously happy. Each time I capture beauty behind the lens, I feel ready to jump out of my skin with happiness. It’s comforting to know that writing isn’t the only medium through which I can paint. 🙂

After my walk, I decided to shower and go see something new in the town of Raleigh, NC. So I put on one of my new dresses (yay, dresses!) and pressed a bunch of numbers on my GPS, and found my way to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. It was there that I… learned stuff. Haha. It was nice to take my time and look at the exhibits, and realize that I was far from home, learning stuff. 😛

Following the museum, I made my way to the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University. At first I was unimpressed with the gardens, but then as I wandered further into them, a whole universe of colors and light and smells was opened to me. I took about 600 pictures in two hours (ridiculous, I know). I played with light and colors and my new macro lens, and was basically in heaven. My favorite part was taking off my sandals and feeling the grass and dirt beneath my feet, and finding the hidden secrets of the flowers.

I’m getting stronger every day. Stronger, and happier, and more confident. I even felt pretty yesterday (shock of all shocks!), so we know that this trip has already helped me in many ways. When I left Massachusetts, I couldn’t have been much weaker, in spirit and in song. Already, the layers of my happiness and my hope have begun to warm themselves in the sun. I could not be more grateful for this opportunity to feel alive again.

Oh baby, oh baby.

There is something simply… magical, about holding a baby.

I have had more contact with babies in the past couple months than I have had in my entire life. First, there’s Trygg, Annette’s baby boy, who is only a couple months old. Then there is Caitlin, Jeanmarie’s 5-month old baby girl. Finally, there is Gabriella, Corey and Laura’s girl who is also 5 months old. Between the three of these adorable bundles of sweetness, my heart has been overwhelmed to the point of bursting.

I was just upstairs with Corey in Gabby’s room, trying to feed her, then rock her to sleep. The music was wafting and the turtle lights were shining, but she would have none of it, probably because I’m a new person with new scents and new smiles. She kept reaching her chubby hands up to touch my face, too curious to relax herself enough to sleep. And it’s those miraculous moments like that which just capture my heart and make me dizzy.

They are these little creatures…. full of curiosity, with smiles and giggles and ridiculous amounts of adorableness. They completely change people’s worlds, and reorganize their priorities in ways nothing else can. What was once all-important is suddenly meaningless, and time becomes a brand new entity, completely enveloped by caring for this beautiful little creature who trusts you completely and implicitly. I find that beautiful and overwhelming at the same time.

I’m sure this has been a great way to begin my trip, spending all this time in households with new babies. I can not only appreciate life in a new light, but also my freedom. There is nothing that ties you to one place and one person as a child does, but there is also nothing more re-awakening and breath-taking. I can now continue on my journey with my eyes a little wider, and my heart a little more curious to explore.