Road trippin’ to Florida

I’m probably jinxing myself by typing this in the car. I typically get car sick trying to read/write while riding but oh well, it’s worth a shot! My husband and I are currently en route to Ocala, the “Horse Capital of the World” a.k.a my hometown. My best friends sister is getting married on Saturday, so it was the perfect opportunity to take a long weekend to see my friends and family.
Road trips have always been an exciting thing to me. I remember taking them when Jordan and I were kids with my dad to visit our Aunt, Uncle and cousins in South Carolina. The thrill of spending a week in a different state with our fun family was always so exciting. Growing up we would also take trips with our mom to see our Papa in Tennessee. We would always stop for Krispy Kreme donuts because Ocala only had Dunkin’ (and Tas-t-o’s… Drool). It was also on a trip to TN that we saw snow for the first time. Now, though, “road trips” take on a different meaning to me.
Road tripping these days means going home. Sure, I live in Charlotte with my husband and doggies, but Ocala will always be my home home. It’s where my mom is. Where my 102 year old great grandma Neene lives in a nursing home wondering when her favorite great granddaughter (me, duh!) will be by to visit. It’s where my Grandmommy spends time with my cousins and sisters missing me (Just kidding…but really). Ocala is where my 15 year old sister is growing up and going through high school without her older sister to help when mom just won’t understand. It’s where my friends are. The ones I can’t imagine not having in my life.
Ocala holds a lot of things for me. Taking a road trip there sends a mix of emotions spiraling through me. I feel excited, happy, sad, stressed… Just to name a few. I’m excited to see everyone, happy to be home, sad because I know it won’t be a long enough visit and stressed because I want to fit in as many people as possible and it isn’t always that easy.
Moving 8 hours away from Ocala has opened my eyes to a plethora of realizations. Family is so important. Not having my Grandmommy a ten minute drive away has had a huge impact on me! Not being able to take my sisters to school when my mom can’t really bothers me. Only seeing my friends faces on social media SUCKS! It’s hard when you have a full time job and responsibilities keeping you in place. We don’t always have time to see each other when we want to.
But moving has also helped me to grow as an individual. I am not the same girl who left Florida as a 21 year old with a Boston Terrier and a car full of clothes. I’ve matured in more ways than one. I’ve grown more confident in myself and my abilities. I’ve learned the importance of keeping up the relationships that mean the most to you. I’ve learned that it isn’t necessary to waste time trying to make people like you if they don’t.
I am almost 24 years old. In the last 23.9 years I have learned, grown and adapted to become who I am now. I’m proud of what I’ve done and gone through to get me to this point. I’m looking forward to where I go next. Well, after Ocala. Thanks for reading!

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