Giving to Guatemala

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two years ago...

Two years ago I was getting ready to make the "dreaded" drive to Knoxville where my parents would drop me and most of my belongings off in a dorm room on The University of Tennessee's campus. (Can you tell I didn't want to leave my little town?)

I never, ever, ever thought I would leave Greenbrier. Ever. I never thought I would go to college, much less on three hours away from "home." Parts of my senior year were hard for me. My dad had been on a deployment since June after my sophomore year. So when I began my senior year of high school, my daddy had been gone for over a year, and there was still no word of when he was going to be home. Here I am, starting my senior year, and my daddy is in Iraq. I'll tell you right now, that feeling sucked. I didn't know when and if he was going to be home to see me graduate, so leaving for college was the absolute farthest thing from my mind. Graduation was also a distant thought. My guidance counselors were both family friends, so they had my best interests at heart. They pretty much made me fill out applications to schools, and I did. I filled out a bunch. They just never got submitted because I didn't pay the application fees. (I thought I was going to get that one by them, I didn't.) I finally payed the fee for UT, mainly because one fee covered three schools, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Martin. I figured if I got accepted to one, my duty was done. And accepted I was.

My daddy's deployment came to an end, and he was home right before Christmas. At this time, I didn't know if I was accepted to UT yet, but I still had no intentions of leaving for college, so I didn't care. I received my acceptance letter in the mail a few days after my dad was home. Of course, my parents were excited, and I was too, because to me, getting accepted to UT was a huge accomplishment, but inside I had a knot in my stomach too. I didn't want to live three hours away. My dad had just come home, I had a boyfriend, and all my family was in Greenbrier. Not to mention my best friend wasn't going away to college, so who would I have to go with me??

I still had it in my mind that I wasn't going to college, and I had serious doubts that my parents would make me go to UT. So, I went through the rest of my senior year without giving any other school a thought. I had a blast. Graduation came and I still had it in my little mind I was going to live in Greenbrier forever. Remember that boyfriend? Yeah, we were still together and we were going to be together forever. High school sweethearts, best friends, and all that jazz. We were the "perfect couple."

Summer came and I never registered for orientation at UT. I figured if I "forgot" it would be too late and I wouldn't have to go. Wrong. They sent a letter and my mom sat at the computer next to me and made me register. It looked like I was going to UT after all. I went to orientation and decided that it might not be so bad. I could at least give it a shot. Not to mention that I got free football tickets. Who didn't want free tickets to watch the Vols play?? Plus, I could always come home on the weekends and see the boyfriend. We would be ok, right?

I moved to Knoxville and literally came home almost every weekend. Except home game weekends. Free tickets, remember?? And I love the Vols :-) My relationship seemed to be hanging on, and I didn't know really anyone else to be interested in anyone else. Life seemed to be good, and it was for the most part. I hated being in Knoxville (besides those free football games) so I had every intention of moving back home after my year was up. And those were my plans, until after Christmas.

{I'm sorry. This turned into a really long post, but it's my blog, and I'm having fun going back a little and remember all this stuff. Plus, all these things are what brought me to where I am today, and I like knowing it.}

Christmas break came and went and I moved back to Knoxville. I started coming home less and less. The drive got old after a while and my relationship with the boyfriend was starting to fizzle out. We ended up breaking up in March, two months before I was supposed to move back home. That break up literally made me do a 180. I got with a friend of mine who was planning on staying the summer in Knoxville and we decided to get an apartment. I called my dad, he co signed, and that was that. I was living in Knoxville for the summer.

The ex-boyfriend found out and was furious. He tried to talk me out of it. We talked and talked. We got back together and broke up and tried again to work things out. I got a job at Hooters and loved it. The ex boyfriend and I still tried to make things work. However, I knew in my heart, it was never going to work, yet I still held on because he was a security that I could still hold on to. A month passed and I decided I didn't want to go back to college. So I emailed my dad, told him I still wanted to live in Knoxville, but didn't want to go back to UT. (Even the free football games weren't going to change my mind) I didn't go back to UT. I worked at Hooters, and the ex-boyfriend and I ended our relationship for good. No looking back. I was starting a new life.

And I started a new life...
And by reading this blog after today...
You're reading all about it :-)

Stay tuned for how I met my sweetheart!