Sunday, March 10, 2013

If it wasn't for Texas

I always thought it would be glamorous to travel for a living. However, after spending 3 of the last 4 weeks either at work or out of town on the weekend, I'm exhausted and I miss the 4 walls of my apartment!

Last weekend, Ross had a conference at UTA and I was more than happy to tag along and spend a weekend in the DFW metroplex. It had been FAR too long. Plus, Kansas City weather has been less than stellar. I always miss Texas this time of year.

Leaving work Friday
 It ended up being a very reflective weekend.

Somewhere in Oklahoma, feeling better already
Wide open spaces
I had forgotten how big Texas was. It's a wide expanse of sunshine and suburban sprawl and it captures my heart because it's Texas: unashamed and unassuming. Plus, the country radio stations are just better.

The sunshine and trip down memory lane were both so comforting to my weary heart right now. The trip was a good reminder of who I used to be and where I came from and how I came to be where I am today, both in a good way and a challenging way. I'm learning, as Dr. Seuss says, not to cry because it's over, but smile because it happened.

Saturday morning, I got a massage, went to my old gym, had lunch with my friend Emily, and then stepped foot on the TCU campus for the first time since graduation in 2007. Time flies! My last year and a half of college were fairly miserable, but walking down Cantey street past my freshman dorm put me in the mindset of freshman, sophomore, and junior year when I lived on campus, walked everywhere, and lived in the tiny little world that is college and home and friends all wrapped into one.

Shirley girlies unite
 Man, those were good times with great people.

Frog fountain: a familiar landmark amidst new architecture
TCU tulips- one of the happiest scenes I can think of
I took a long walk in the sunshine and meandered through the familiar parts of campus. It felt like not a day had passed. It's so odd to think that my baby brother is now a sophomore in college. He's 8 years younger than me, but I feel like I'm still there myself!

My brick
I got a brick at graduation, but I had yet to see it in person until this visit. There it was, outside the library, surrounded by so many familiar names and warm memories. In hindsight, I should've put something more creative and less prideful than "BSN, RN" after my name, but man was I proud of all the tears and struggles that went into earning those titles.

Saturday evening, Ross and I got to go to dinner with Brittnye, her husband Evan, and their yummy new baby. Their older kiddo got some quality grandparent time, but we missed her! When I met Brittnye the spring after college graduation, she was an answer to prayer, truly. I begged God for a friend and she walked into my life with her bald little baby and a husband who loved architecture as much as Ross did. We talked about everything and went on long walks in the spring sunshine and shared so many good memories, and then I moved to Kansas City. I miss her like crazy but it was so great and surreal to be eating my favorite sushi in my favorite state with some of my favorite people. Again, it felt like no time had passed!

Friends for-evah
Sunday morning, I went to church and then Ross and I met up with another one of my favorite families of all time. Be still, my heart. These handsome, rambunctious boys are no longer babies!

Eating lunch at Rodeo Goat off of 7th Street
All in all, it was such a good trip. It provided a lot of closure and a lot of peace for a lot of reasons. I can't go back and relive those times. As much as I think I want to, it wouldn't be the same. After all, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man” {Heraclitus}.

However, I can cherish these memories and be thankful for them as I move forward and learn to live in the present and in the peace God offers to me. This trip was a good reminder to smile in the here and now, because you never know if your tomorrows will be better or worse than your todays. I needed this reminder to stop living in the "what ifs" and "if onlys."

As George Strait says...

There wouldn't be no Alamo
No Cowboys in the Super Bowl
No "Lonesome Dove," no "Yellow Rose"
If it wasn't for Texas.

Fort Worth would never cross my mind
There'd be no Austin City Limit sign
No Lone Star of any kind
If it wasn't for Texas.

It made me the (wo)man I am,
Thank God for my old stomping ground.
I wouldn't be standing right here right now
If it wasn't for Texas.

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