The best is yet to come

I can’t believe that my first two weeks at Hinton are already over, but I am so happy to come home for a week. Yesterday I spent the day at Badin Lake at the Langkamp’s beautiful lake house! We had quite the crew there – Ali brought Austin, Sean brought a bunch of guys, and Nicole brought me, Jake and Keith! I got to ride on the Wave Runner with Ali, which was a lot more fun that I thought it would be. I also went tubing with Jake. I have to give him credit, because he really did try to keep me from falling off. That still didn’t keep us from flipping though! Nicole’s parents are so generous for letting all of us visit. Her sweet mom always fixes us snacks and makes sure that we’re comfortable. I love spending time with her family! Nicole is one of those special people that I hope to keep with me for the rest of my life. She’s kinda crazy… but so am I, so it works. We seemed like very different people when we first met almost two years ago, but now we’ve discovered how alike we really are. We have shared hard times and great times together, each of them equally amazing. I really do love that girl, and I hope she reads this!

It may sound silly to some, and I know I’ve said it before, but it really has been pretty hard to be away from Jake. We’ve shot text messages back and forth over the past two weeks, and have been able to talk on the phone almost every night. When we were lucky enough to get a strong enough internet connection, we even got to Skype. So it’s not like we haven’t been keeping in touch. But talking to him so much just made me want to be with him even more. When I saw him for the first time at home Sunday night I didn’t even know what to do with myself. We both know that the time we get to spend together this summer is precious, and that makes every moment I spend with him even more special. Come September, we’ll be seeing each other every day, and we might even get sick of each other. I’m okay with that though! It’s definitely something to look forward to.

Even though I have only spent two weeks in Hayesville, it already feels like home. I am so happy to be able to spend time with my family and friends (especially my boyfriend) in High Point, but I do miss my Hinton family! It’s funny how close all of us on staff have bonded in such a short time. We’ve already spent a lot of laughs and good times together, and I know that there are many to come. It seems like I’ve already known Jill and Bekah forever. One night last week Bekah moved her bed next to mine. The truth may be that we only moved our beds together because Paranormal Activity scared the crap out of us, but still. We’re so cute, I know! But seriously – each one of us brings different talents and experiences to the table, and I know that each one of us have been placed at Hinton for a reason. The volunteers that we serve this summer are luckier than they know! I’m blessed to work with some awesome people who are going to be great leaders on and off the work site.

I’m going to switch gears a little bit and go on a rant about how I feel old. Today I had a dental cleaning, and the lady scraping and polishing my teeth asked me how old I was. I almost said 18 for some reason, until I realized that I’m 20. In response, she gave me a little speech about how that was such a perfect age, and that I should hope to never grow older. Well that freaked me out! I’m halfway through college. In two years, I’m going to have a real job. Some days that really excites me, but on days like today it scares me. I sat there in that dental chair wishing I could make time slow down. I thought about growing up with Zack, and all the fun times we had with our parents (and those that our parents don’t know about). I thought back to the day we moved into our new house, and the day we brought Pepper Ann home from the pound. I thought back to ninth grade, when my world was just a few miles wide. I also thought back to my senior year and graduation, and some fuzzy nights with friends that I won’t ever forget. I thought back to the first time I met the people at State who would soon become my best friends. But then I realized that the best is yet to come. It always is. Sure, I think I have the right to a freak-out moment every now and then, but when I look back on my life and then look to where it’s going, I know it’s beautiful.

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