Embrace Life

In high school, one of the most important things to me was basketball. I loved playing the game, loved figuring out how to win the game, and more than anything, I loved being a part of the team and my teammates. I have such fond memories of my teammates. We had fun. They are a big part of what made me NOT hate high school.

Yesterday, I got word that one of those teammates had passed away.

She graduated three years after me and was a couple inches shorter than me but five thousand times faster than me. She was a true athlete. Every thing that I had to work extra hard for came naturally to her. I always admired that about her.

We ended up attending the same college, but while she played college basketball, I didn't. I can remember being so happy that one (as well as a few others) of my old teammates were on my college's squad.

More recently, we both worked in our downtown area and would see each other from time to time. We always made time to say hi and sometimes talk about the "good ol' days".

Yesterday, her passing reminded me how short life is. How much we should embrace the time we have now, and to follow our hearts. And in the next several months, that's exactly what I plan on doing. Now more than ever, I am even more aware and thankful that I have made the decision to do just that.

Please don't give your condolences to me, but think of her family. They need your thoughts right now. I'm quite happy with my memories of her, and the time we had playing basketball together. It was a pleasure and honor to know her. And my wishes for all of you out there is to take a look at those around you and embrace them.

Life is short. Live life and love it.

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Melissa wrote a great post that reminded me of this quotation:

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

So, here are a few moments that have taken my breath away...

1. The day my nephew was born. I'm not sure I knew what true love was until the day my brother gently placed his son in my arms. I looked down and the sleeping bundle of blankets, and he sighed. Yeah, I was lost to him right then and there. Even though I know this is something parents like to do, I had to unbundle him and check out all of his fingers and his toes. He may have only weighed 4lbs 9oz, but the love he showed me that day weighed more than the world.

2. My last home game of high school basketball. I was the only senior on the team, struggled with the coach who proudly announced that I had no athletic ability right in front of the team, was not allowed to be captain by that same coach, and I knew that was one of the last competitive games of basketball I'd ever play. My team started chanting my name as I walked across the court with my parents, and every single fan gave me a standing ovation (even the visiting fans). Writing about it still gives me chills. (BTW, I got most improved player that year as voted by my team. So THERE you mean coach you.)

3. Despite my love for Virginia Tech, I did not go to Virginia Tech. I was bribed by Jessie to give a Virginia Tech tailgate a try. The moment I stepped onto campus, I fell for the beauty of the campus and the love that those people had for their school. I'm proud to say that I'm an honorary Hokie. ;o)

4. Joining the blogging world and being accepted and loved and friended by so many of you amazing people. (Yes, that's not ONE moment or day. I don't care. It's my post.)

5. I'm going to have to agree with Melissa on climbing the summit. It was 1.5 miles straight up and there were times that we had to stop and times that I was worried that Melissa would hate me for taking her there and times that it took both me and Melissa to get Kelci up to the next level. (We're not going to mention the one time Kelci just about pulled me down the mountain.) The hike sucked, but to reach the top felt so amazing. It was a fantastic day.

6. I cannot end this post without mentioning Charlotte. My mom and I were just talking about this yesterday. The day we brought her home was THE BEST. We had this brand new puppy, and she slept in my mom's arms while I drove us back home and it was just meant to be. She was the best.dog.ever.

Why don't you share with me and Melissa some of YOUR favorite moments?

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Her Blessing

The one person that I've worried most about hurting in my thoughts and plans of moving is my mom. My mom and I are close. We love to go to antique malls, go to lunch, shop...you name it, we've done it. Sometimes she's my "go-to" gal when no one else is available. I know she loves it, and the thought of leaving her kind of breaks my heart. So, today, when the subject of moving came up, I got a little nervous.

Things at work have change recently. The details are unimportant, and honestly, I think that this is a sign that I need to get my ass in gear. There was a time that I needed to just sit tight because I was in no mental state to try to find something new. But now, things are such that I just don't know how long I can stand going to work every single day. I love my friends at work, and my manager is great, but I know myself enough to know that I need a change.

So, I said to my mom, "I just don't know how I'm going to be able to stand going into that place every day."

Her reply was, "then don't."

That sparked a discussion about moving. And she said, "I've lived my life. It's time that you've live yours."

We talked about visits to each other, where I would go, what kind of job I would look for, and getting my house ready to sell, and it all seems so real now. And instead of having this nagging pain inside of my heart that is worried if my mom is going to be okay, I'm excited to begin this new chapter of my life.

And it's because I have her blessing.

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Time to Fly

Tonight, a segment on the Biggest Loser really hit home. There is a father/daughter team who is very close. The daughter is 24, but obviously still very much under her father's wing. The whole segment was about how the daughter needed to start living her life for her. How she was strong enough to do so, AND how she needed to tell her dad that she was ready to do this.

I can relate to her SO MUCH.

I realized at some point, that I have relied a lot on my parents. I stayed under my parents' wings a lot longer that most people did. There was a time that I had to. I needed them. I had no one else. Or I felt like I had no one else.

Once I felt like I could spread my wings a bit, I was afraid to disappoint my parents. I felt like they need me. And while, I know that they would support me, the thought of hurting them killed me. It still does. And I've stayed put.

Recently, some things in my life, especially on the job front, have made me realize that my future most likely means leaving this beautiful valley that I was born and raised in, the place that I've always called home.

And while I'm nervous and scared about it, I'm also excited. I can hear other places calling my name. I love that a new adventure is just waiting on me. I've slowly been getting my parents used to this idea. (And if I'm being honest, me as well.) This change won't happen overnight because I have some things here to get in order and to take care of before I can leave. I know that my parents will be sad and will miss me (as I will them), they just want me to be happy, and this will always be home. And for the first time, I know they will be okay. We all will.

It's time I spread my wings, and I can't wait to fly.

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