Back in January, two friends dropped me off in my parent’s driveway after an all day escapade with my closest hometown friends that included reminiscing on our wild party days, dancing in the living room to the Dixie Chicks, and lots and lots of laughing.  As they pulled in the drive, we were talking about moving away from home, as they too contemplated what it might be like to pick up their lives and live on the East coast for a couple of years.

I surprised myself when I said, “New York is my adventure, but this, today, and you guys, that’s my life.”

And it’s so true. My best memories aren’t places or things, my best memories are people and the experiences we’ve had together.

My sister losing all of her skis and us being both terrified, but laughing hysterically, when she wound up buried in snow after a big spill.

My first year at Iowa, eating dinner in the resident halls, going to parties, and driving home from Iowa City with Thomas listening to Texas country music, yelling at him when he successfully, but terrifyingly, tried to ‘shoot the gap’.

Shopping and snacking in the kitchen with my mom and picking my dad’s voice from the crowd at track meets.

With Rachel it is riding around in the Dodge Durango, eating Scribbler popsicles in the shower, hysterically crying when I found out she was pregnant, and feeling like a part of her family for 10+ years.

Nights in the Ped Mall with Jordyn, and cooking blueberry pancakes and watching Mad Men in the morning. Oh, and that one time at Rachel’s wedding. Also crying in the car, idk how many times.

Sitting in the hot tub with Holly, living room dancing with Kal, anything related to fruit with Shinelle, thrifting with Bethany, sneaking into Courtney and Adrianne’s apartment, and girl’s retreats with Kels and Hannah.

Those are the moments that make my life so good. But here I am, choosing to pull myself away from the opportunity to have these experiences.

Today I missed out on one of my favorite days of the year. For the last three years this day, I packed my car, headed to the lake house for a weekend of wine and fun times with my favorite ladies. But this year I chose not to splurge on a $300 plane ticket to be there.

My question is…is it worth it? At what point do my experiences in New York turn into my life? Or— will I always feel like my life is waiting for me to have my adventure and come home?

I don’t know, and it’s something important that I think about often.  It’s true for all of us!  Not just those of us away from home.  How are you making sure to get the most out of your life or make your life and the way you spend your time ‘worth it’?  What makes your life, your life?  You know?

For what it’s worth, I’m happy where I am, and the fact that I know the great times I’m missing out on is only motivation to work harder everyday towards my dreams. I’ll never give up fighting for making my life what I want, whether it is lived out one mile from my best friend’s doorstep or a $300 plane ticket away. Life is what we make it, and happiness is ultimately up to us.

Was that cliche? Whatever. I miss you guys.

XO, Lo
March 5, 2017

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