the good life.

I wrote this in the notes app on my phone on the plane home from Italy. It’s really ramble-y and personal and kind of all over the place, but it’s one of my favorite things I’ve written. Italy was such an eye opening experience. I learned so much and really grew in my faith over the week, but it wasn’t all sunshine and happy times. Italy was an experience I’ll never forget, and it made me appreciate the little things in life. Enjoy.

While the trip to Italy was eye opening and such a growing experience, I actually didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought. It was a hard trip. I was away from home for 10 days with people I’d never met, and I had to get out of my normal routine and comfort zone and push through the late nights and early mornings. I just really learned a lot about myself from this trip. I grew in my faith, prayed more than ever, and had an experience I’ll never forget. One of the biggest things I can take from Italy is just how thankful I am for my life. I love Oxford. I love my family, no matter how we may argue sometimes. I love my track team, my job, my friends at school, my bed, my dog. I didn’t realize how good I had it until I was halfway across the country. I was doing amazing things: eating pasta every night, looking at ancient Roman architecture, and exploring castles and basilicas. But I just missed home. I love home. I love cozying up in my warm, soft bed and reading a devotion or a few pages of Harry Potter. I love making my berry-vanilla oatmeal and eating breakfast at the table with Quinn. I love joking with my friends in AP bio when we should probably be focusing. I love runs at whirlpool with a podcast and the sun shining through the trees. I love going to South Depot and getting my usual two soft taco order. I love going to the library and getting way too many books that I forget to read in time. I love talking with Dad at night before bed. I love track workouts with the team, and long runs with Katelyn. I even love Newks on Friday nights πŸ™‚ I love watching YouTube videos in the shower. I love family devotions at the table after a yummy supper. I love rereading Percy Jackson for the 12th time and getting teased for how much I love it. I love spending time with Nana or visiting Gram and Papa in the summer. I love going to Amory for lunch Sundays after church. I love springtime and sunny weather. I love petting Harvey after not seeing him all day. I love popcorn and movie nights on Fridays with the siblings. I love listening to my Harry Potter audiobook in the car with Ella. I love shopping by myself at Kroger or trips to the farmers’ market. I love making coconut banana waffles and loading them with almond butter. I love the late nights in my room when it’s just me, up reading. I love sitting on the porch swing in the sun. I love sitting in bed in my robe and watching an episode on Netflix. I love walking into work with my bosses are happy to see me. This season of my life is so temporary and mundane, and it can be hard to find the good in it. Sometimes I feel like I go every day the same way, with nothing exciting. But being abroad has shown me how much I missed those things. I love my routine and my schedule. It has made me appreciate the little things in life. I need to focus more on the little wonders of life that make it special instead of always looking for more. I don’t need to go on a $1700 trip to Europe, I don’t need to have the biggest group of friends, I don’t need to have my own room or lots of money or fancy vacations. I just need home. And I love it.

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