The month of July was a roller coaster of emotion.
The tales to be told from this experience will be a separate blog post.
I spent America's Independence Day working in a restaurant in Norway. For the first time in years that I have been in the states to spend the 4th, I end up working amongst foreigners all day long. After greeting each table I would end my conversation with "Happy 4th of July" to which most where unresponsive either due to a language barrier or pride. However, I did buy myself a watermelon which I cut up and took to work so that I could have some sort of classic Americana semblance. Also, I was able to watch the firework show in Epcot after work which was spectacular.
Took a big leap and decided to go shopping at the numerous outlet malls around town. I don't like to shop unless I have a purpose and I have the money. I, of course, don't have the money but I know I needed three things:
1. A new swim suit
2. Tank tops
3. A new hat
I spent the day driving around town and getting lost. However, I not only got lost, I was lost on toll roads which adds up quite quickly and gets ridiculous the longer you drive. After finding the tank tops and hat, I was off to find my swim suit; saved the best for last... not. I found a suit I liked at Target but they didn't have it in my size so I have to drive around to not one, two or three stores, it took four stores until I finally found it.
My head was throbbing after such an expensive day and all I wanted to do was lock myself in my room and vow never to go shopping again. Life has a sense of humor and decided to throw another curve ball my way- a speeding ticket. A speeding ticket for the amount I just spent on clothes and gas. My expenses just doubled. After such a rotten day I decided I was going to make the next day epic and that it was...
I took my adventurous friend Kim to the climbing gym with me, where we spent a perfect day climbing, relaxing and solving all the worlds problems. After I dropped her off for work, I went to the temple and joined a youth group for baptisms. I was surrounded by beauty, peace and temple workers telling me that I look like I am 14 years old. The Orlando temple is gorgeous and so I spent an hour so just wandering the grounds trying to resolve the tension that had wound around my life. After that, a stop at my favorite store, Whole Foods. Bliss.
My wonderful cousins from St. Louis came to visit me! I set them up in the Animal Kingdom Lodge (my very favorite Disney resort) and apparently I charmed the reservation agent because not only did they get an amazing rate but they were put in the presidential suite! It had everything from an office to a dining room, a fire place to a jetted tub, plasma screens in every room and a balcony that overlooked the entire savanna. It was a treat to say the least and was so much fun to see my cousin so excited. They though I was the coolest cousin and that I always have those kinds of connections... I'm just going to let them keep thinking that.
They spent time exploring the parks and came to visit me while on set, then the took off for Clearwater beach. I joined in the fun and we had a great time in our "girls only" room where we stayed up late watching Hannah Montana Forever. The next day we drove to Fort De Soto beach which is incredible natural beach with warm, calm, crystal clear water and sugar-white sand. We spent the day diving for sand dollars and catching crabs. That night the girls got their hair braided on the boardwalk and I got a tattoo. (henna) I taught Emily how to long board on the way home. Then we played an intense game of miniature golf that lasted late into the night.
It meant so much to have them come visit me. It had been years since I had seen them last and we had some catching up to do. I just wish they could have stayed longer!
Here comes another curve ball-heard back from Graduate school and because my Math score on the GRE was just barely too low they couldn't accept me this semester. However, I can retake the exam and reapply which I plan on doing in the winter. For now, I decided to stay in Florida and save money. This was an incredibly difficult decision because I truly had my hopes set on being in Utah this fall. I miss my family.
I took the opportunity to drive my frustration out by taking a trip to St. Augustine. I cried the whole way. My disposition was brightened once I saw this adorable, history-filled town. I ate cupcakes while strolling used book stores (my favorite type of store) I explored the old fort and paid my respects at the oldest school house in America. I ate a falafel at an adorable Greek cafe on the river and climbed 219 steps to the top of a magnificent lighthouse. I spent time contemplating my next steps in life while amongst the clouds and while up there a little 9 year old girl with one leg joined me. She had climbed all of those steps with her crutches and had such enthusiasm that she wanted to do it again! I was inspired by her charisma and fortitude and after that divine intervention I realized that my life is far from over. She was my inspiration.
Moved out of my house and officially became homeless. I perfected the art of couch surfing and mooching off of friends until I found the place where I am currently. However, turns out I have to move again come September 1st. That makes 4 moves in the 5 months I have been here. Blah.
That wraps up July. Stay tuned for August....