I awoke with a headache. I awoke with a pain in my neck from sleeping too long, from weird hours of sleeping. I awoke to the thought of how much I did not want to complete a fitness test in Health. I awoke to the thought of how much I desperately needed ten more hours of sleep. I awoke to the thought of how much I don’t want to live in Ocala anymore.
The first couple of thoughts when I woke up I can contribute to too late of a night with Chris, watching our brand-new obsession (The Blacklist…Netflix has taken over), and just a bit too much of White Zinfandel.
I enjoy late nights. I enjoy the comfort of a long night with a boy that has completely stolen my heart. The one that I never thought I would ever get to be with. I’m twenty and I’m in-love. More on that guy later.
The last thought is what is truly on my mind. The whole not living in Ocala thing. I’m in a landlocked small town that has watched me grow from a tiny nine pounds to a lovely young thing of twenty years. Its been a ride. I’ve had some of the best memories of my life in horse country. I’ve visited secrets spots in Ocala, showed them to others, and been hopeful to discover more. My best friends and I could have almost told you where every store in the Paddock Mall was when we were walking there every day during our time in sixth and seventh grade. The Easy Street all-nighters still sit on my heart. Meadowbrook Church still catches my eye when the sun sets over it just right.
All of these places hold intense memories for me. I have a coffee shop just minutes from downtown where every one knows my name. I’ve been coming here since 2012. My order went from frozen chai to iced everything to hot white chocolate pumpkin lattes and each barista knows what I want before I even go in. My best friend and I have had countless intense talks sitting outside on the porch watching the traffic on State Road 40 fly by. I fell deeply in-like with Chris here. I’ve written countless stories, proses, and poetry at this location. I passed College Algebra by staying glued to the light brown wooden seats.
If I moved, I’d have to search for an apartment. Or a house. I’d find a humane society and adopt a cat. Or a dog. I would be continuing my education at a new campus, one where I wouldn’t know a single soul. If I moved, I would have to find a new job. A new coffee shop. A gym. I would have to find a new slice of every thing.
The only thing I would take with me from Ocala would be my memories, and Chris. And all of my beautiful friendships. But physically, I would be stripped of normalcy. Of normal atmospheres.
But this morning, that’s all I could think about. I have a while left in Ocala. I know that. My time isn’t finished here yet. My work isn’t finished in this place yet. And that’s just fine. I’ve become very calm in the atmosphere of trust, in the lovely hands of Someone else.
I’m interested in knowing if I would still be the same social butterfly I am now, or if I would retreat and focus on myself a little bit more. Social gatherings don’t overwhelm me; I actually flourish in that type of thing. Taught by my momma how lovely community is, to always have a friend. But I wonder if I would give myself what I owe myself in taking a break from so much of the social stuff. I would give myself more of a routine. I would let myself take a day to myself instead of believing that every day I have should be devoted to carving out time for others; a lunch here, a coffee date at this time, a quick run to the grocery store together. Oh, and so many dinners. I love all of my friends, all of this community has built me, but when I say that a full schedule every week since last May has been exhausting me…I mean it.
It isn’t healthy. And I should be able to make a routine now rather than later. Let me tell you, I’m working on it.
But after a lovely weekend in Daytona Beach with Chris, I was able to fantasize about the idea of us living on the coast where A1A is just a step away from our front porch. Where we could take those long walks on the beach. Where I could run and do yoga on the beach. Where I could write in a coffee shop that faces those magical waves as they crash and crash under the flamethrower of the sun.
That’s just been my thought of the day.