As I start to pack up my tiny, old, but charmingly one-of-a-kind apartment in Columbia, I can’t help but think about all the good, bad, and ugly memories that have filled my time here in mid-Missouri.
When I moved here two years ago, I knew no one, loathed the colors black and gold (per my hatred for all things Iowa Hawkeye related), and cringed at the fact that I had moved below the Mason-Dixon line. And although I am still afraid of most uber-conservative Missourians and will always refuse to wear anything black and gold, I have grown immensely during my time here.
I have learned the value of lifelong friendships. I have learned that true friends find a way to make it work even three states apart. I have learned that going to dinner and a movie by yourself won’t kill you, contrary to popular belief. I have learned that even the most stubborn people can change, grow, and learn from the people around them. I have learned that sticking out your right hand and introducing yourself to a stranger can be the start of a long-lasting friendship. I have learned that no matter how hard things get, how lonely life may seem, and how hopeless the future may look, that family will pick you up and make you whole again. I have learned that there are a lot of bad people in the world, but there are a hell of a lot more good people to make up for it.
But most importantly, I have learned that growing up isn’t so bad. The night before I moved to Columbia two years ago, I sat on my best friend’s patio bawling about growing up, moving away, and the possibility of life never being the same. And today, I still bawl to her about those same things at times, but most of the time, we laugh about our grown-up problems and thank the Lord for each other.
It turns out, that being a grown-up is awesome. Bumpy, exhausting, and emotionally draining at times at times, but nonetheless, awesome.
As I start to pack up my things to move on to my next chapter in Kansas City, I feel at ease knowing that friendships will remain, experiences will continue to guide me along the way, and that no matter what, everything is going to turn out just the way it was intended to be.