I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…I’m a better writer when I travel. I’m more inspired. I’m more focused. My thoughts are clearer. The physical action of moving on to a new place, and leaving a place behind makes my metaphorical wheels turn. It allows me to put things into perspective. To see things pass me by out the window and realize what I’ve left behind and where I’m going. And, today, as we drive back to Kentucky from Florida, I am reminded of all the things we left behind 10 months ago when we left our Jacksonville home. But I am also in awe of all the things we have gained, all the blessings we have received, by making the move to our new Kentucky home. This week flooded my mind with memories of good times past, but it has also filled me with a new excitement and anticipation for all the good times to come.
In the last week I’ve gotten to celebrate my upcoming wedding with my closest friends at my Bachelorette party, spend time with my parents and play mini golf at the same place I’ve played since I was four years old, and reunite with the city that brought me love. Florida has so many places and people who have had such an impact on my life, and, to be honest, coming back for a week was very bittersweet. Wes and I had a conversation on our drive to Jacksonville about how much we miss the city and the people we left there. We allowed ourselves to “what if” for a while. What if we hadn’t moved? Where would we have lived? Where would we be getting married? Would we be happy? We played out the scenarios together for a while, but, ultimately, we decided that our move to Kentucky was inevitable. We were destined for it. Whether it was in 2013 or 2014 or some other time. Kentucky was our future. When I close my eyes I can see it all very clearly. Our wedding. Our house. Our kids. Our whole future laid out in front of me on the path that we chose together.
Jacksonville was so many things for us. It was a place filled with great friendships, the irreplaceable kind. The kind you have standing beside you when you say, “I do”. It was a place where we found our footing in our careers. Where doors opened up for us and we were able to make a difference in the lives of our students. I will always think back on that year with my Kindergarteners with happiness in my heart. Seeing them again this week only reaffirmed how much they changed me, how much they inspired me. Finally, Jacksonville was the place where we found each other, the place where we fell in love. It is the place that will forever be the foundation for the love that will carry us through life, the love that will lift us up when things get hard. It is the beginning of our love story.
But Lexington is where the story unfolds. It is where we will get married, have children, and grow old. It is where we will build a life on the foundation we created. Florida is filled with people and places we love, but so is Kentucky. Florida was my half of the puzzle and Kentucky was Wes’s. But now they are both ours: our niece and nephew, our first house, our wedding, our love story. Nothing is his or mine anymore. Everything is ours. I love watching all the pieces of each of us come together in one perfect puzzle of a life. And, although sometimes things might be unclear or hard, I love knowing that Wes is the person I have chosen to travel through life with. No matter where life might take us, I know he will always be there, writing our love story right beside me.