what a difference a year makes

Last August, a one-way ticket took me from DFW to GSP and I had no idea what was headed my way. Today, I boarded (potentially) my last flight out of GSP and my life is totally different. What a difference a year, an American Airlines flight (read almost 50 flights), and a sweet college town can make. 

The first time I looked out my window and saw this view: 

  • I was starting my first post-grad job 
  • I was looking at my home for the next nine months
  • I was moving 1,000+ miles away from my friends and family 
  • I was experiencing the hardest of heart breaks
  • I was honestly wondering how a city could be covered with so.much.green 
  • I was trying to figure out how to navigate life in a new city, state, time zone
  • I was oblivious to everything that was going on around me- just trying to hold it together until I landed and got to my apartment
  • I was crossing my fingers (and toes) that my two 50lb suitcases were on the tiny plane with me because that’s all I was going to have for the next few days 
  • I was scared and intimidated 
  • I was anxious to meet my roommate and co-worker 
  • I was a nervous flyer 
  • I was already homesick for Texas

But today when I looked out my window and saw the same view for the very last time: 

  • I sat next to the gal I’ve done life with for the past nine months 
  • I was excited to transition into a new stage of life 
  • I was getting on my 48th flight in nine months (so much for being a nervous flyer LOL) 
  • I listened to a guy and girl (who were not flying together) introduce themselves and proceed to talk about marriage would look like with their significant others (LOL what) for the entire flight and exchange contact info once we landed 
  • My heart was sad from leaving the place and people that had been so good to me 
  • I thought about my favorite stops around town that I had said goodbye to and the tightest goodbye hugs that we gave earlier that day 
  • I reflected on all of the things that have stretched me and molded me into the woman I am today
  • My phone was being flooded with pictures from my SC Beta girls 
  • I realized that I had just left the cute + quaint GSP airport (and it's park on the runway and live plants in the terminal) for the last time 
  • I thought about the 12 courageous women who founded this incredible organization 151 years ago that gave me the opportunity of a lifetime (that's what you get when you say goodbye on Founder's Day)
  • My purse was full of the sweetest notes 
  • I realized that the day I had been waiting for for nine months was here
  • And I cried. Sad, grateful, overwhelming tears. 

All of this to say- Everyone needs to move to a new city after graduation. Everyone needs to take the biggest leap of faith imaginable. Everyone needs to be pushed to do the hardest things. Everyone needs to try it out alone, totally independently, with no strings attached. 

When you are challenged, you become stronger. When you are pushed out of your comfort zone, you realize what you are capable of. When you are taking on new adventures and challenges independently, you realize how brave you really are. When you press on, you are the best version of yourself. 

I hope that each and every one of you gets to have an experience like this sometime soon. It’s difficult. It’s lonely. It’s sad. It’s exhausting. But it’s also sweet. It’s fulfilling. It’s overwhelmingly rewarding. And when your time comes, I will be your biggest cheerleader. 

xoxo, forever your girl

Annie BradshawComment