The Start of Starts
I did it again. I just up and moved. No job but this time I am more prepared, this time I came back home to Illinois. I lay in bad at my good friends house this morning to a nice 33 degrees outside all the while people wonder why I left 80 degree winters.
Florida was amazing to me, all four and a half years of it. Going to the beach in December, January and February is pretty awesome when the rest of the country is covered in snow. The places I traveled while I rested here in Florida where amazing. New York, Alabama, Ohio and of course several trips back home for the holidays. I won’t ever let anyone forget my time on the cruise ship. Yes I was in the Southern Caribbean working on a cruise ship for 6 months, thats what inspired me to move to Florida in the first place. But…..oh my, the summer, while living and working in Florida, that I worked on a cruise ship in Alaska. Between Vancouver Canada and all of Southern Alaska, what an absolute amazing opportunity. Working on a cruise ship seems to be a once in lifetime opportunity and I did it twice! Last but not least I explored more of Florida then other people that have lived there all their lives. From Key West all the way up thru the Panhandle; I did, saw it, experienced it, ate it and took pictures. My last hurrah and long weekend I even took one of my friends kids with me and treated her as my own.
The adventures will continue, the ocean I will miss….deeply. The friends I have made I stood strong in their presents but many tears have fallen as I drove away. Then there was the kids and the discovery of my gift of connecting with them. I will miss them most of all………I worked with kids, mostly Elementary setting, the whole time in Florida. I work at a summer camp for kids and an after school program. I also volunteered at all the after school events and coached soccer. I volunteered at Give Kids The World and Make-A-Wish Foundation. All of this has inspired me to be a motivational speaker for children and write a children’s book. These children were so innocent and pure hearted. Getting to know them was like my reason for living this life I lead. Learning how they think and act. Watching how they interact with others. Seeing first hand where I can step in and inspire them for their futures to come. I made an impact on quite a few. Watching them light up when I said something cool, watching their eyes open back up after helping them through a personal problem, and seeing them show respect for me after talking thru something they did wrong. All interactions with these kids were amazing. I miss them all and most of all I miss the ones I was able to connect with outside of school through the parents I became friends with!
There was one kid in particular I connected with more than any. Don’t know why or how but the connection was huge. I don’t have my own kids but I would imagine it was a sample of the feelings I would have if she was my own. Of course I was good friends…..great friends with her parents and her whole family for that matter. I knew she was connected with me too. I know you should not pick favorites among siblings but too bad. The connection was so amazing, so interesting, so fascinating, so educational and so loving, at the same time. Talking to her, taking her places, watching her grow up and maybe even teaching her a few things as been an unforgettable experience. I knew I meant something to her and that was amazing. I watched her when she had a scare of moving away from me a while back but I dreaded when the time came for me to tell her I was moving away from her. Judging by the tears and anger and avoidance I am pretty sure I broke her little heart. We stay connected though and we have messaged each other back and forth a few times and hope she continues. I want to show her that people can be far away and still care deeply for them. She may have been more then a handful at times but the good moments far outweigh any moments where kids are just being kids. I would steal her up, in every positive sense of the expression, in a heart beat. It was the truest experience I had of all the kids and it will be missed.
Let us not forget the guy that offered for me to stay with him and his wife down in Florida, till I got back on my feet. You know the guy that introduced himself with nunchucks slamming into my hands, the one whose dryer I hid in equipped with snacks and was never found during hide and seek! The guy that will inadvertently research everything about something for you. I have known Chris for 30 years and its an honor to call him my best friend. He is the nicest guy I know, not just to me to everyone. I come down there and its like a reunion of memories. I was able to develop a better friendship with his wife and his beautiful children. He not only gave me a place to stay but him and his wife gave me the job I had that carried me the whole time I was there…..you know working with children. I got Chris into kayaking and soccer and then I leave….pretty sure hes “friendship” mad at me but we will be friends forever. I will miss hanging out at Chris’s house.
Thats it. My heart says its time to go home. I have dressed up Florida to be this amazing place and it is, but its time to go. Sure its the beginning of winter and I have blizzards and negative temperatures to look forward to but my heart says it is time to go. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. There is a reason I moved to Florida and I pretty well nailed that down if you are still reading! There is a reason I am moving back. For a goal oriented person standing still is probably the most depressing feeling ever. I loved my job and what I was doing for all of these children. It pains me very deeply to finally admit that the money was not there to achieve the goals I wanted in life. I was searching for a new job and there was nothing down there for me. I search for a forever girl and shes not down there for me. I have had so many adventures and met so many amazing people but I have spent too much time by myself. I have things I want to do and happen with my life and they weren’t happening.
The choice to move back home was hard. There was alot to give up and alot to gain. Alot to gain back and move forward with. I have not been happy or sad overall. One of my Florida friends said it best, I am at peace with my decision. There is no help like the help of family. There is no love like family love. Coming back here I have a plan. I know exactly what I want and I know my family will help me along the way. Big thanks to my brother for taking me in. My whole family has helped me so much and I know they will support me through this new transition as well. With my friends it’s like I never left. It’s so cool that my friends are friends with my siblings and my siblings are friends with my friends. Just how I left it!
Okay so here is the bottom line……the plan. Its quite simple; find a job, buy a new car, find my own place, get a pet or pets, then start searching for a new soulmate. YES, IN THAT ORDER! Of course I have prepared for this…..I have money saved up for bills. I have a new resume thanks to my other brother, and I have resources and networking connection to chase for my job search. I know what car I want and I know I want rabbits again.
I said 2018 was my year and I was wrong. Thats ok I have had a year to think about it and 2019 is my year people! You think that was it? Nope! Once I get a job and settle in my own place the car, the pets and the girl are just bonuses. It’s back to chasing my main goal…..motivational speaking for children. Everything I did do and will do in my life just adds to my story. I will start speaking this year and I will get back to posting here on the regular. Thats not all I still have a children’s book to publish, a TED Talk speech to give and new adventures to experience. Will there be challenges? Of course there will be challenges. Bring it on 2019. I have support from people all over the world and it’s foolish to not be motivated by that as January 1st 2019 hits. These are my minutes, my hours, my days and this is my life. I will take my life as far as it can possibly go! I will continue to help others at all times and be grateful for the help given to me.
Happy New Year everyone. Don’t just say 2019 will be the best year yet, get off your rear and MAKE IT HAPPEN!