Yes. I'm listening to Backstreet Boys.
I'm back in Columbia and loving it -- no parents to tell me how to live my life (i.e., "Don't let Chloe ride in the front seat with you, you're starting a bad habit;" "Why would you drive to Route 66 to run when you can just run in the Legends;" "Don't put all of your clothes in the dryer... hang them up to dry... you'll ruin them all," and numerous other "life lessons" from my omnipotent parents). Are they aware that I've been away at college for 3 years now and I've been living my life my own way ever since? I guess somebody forgot to give them that memo.
Anyway. Since I've been back in Columbia (for approximately 20 hours) I have come to realize a few things: one, this town is much better sans 28,000 undergraduate students walking and driving around with reckless abandon. Two, I am much more responsible/domestic when I am here in my own apartment (meaning that I actually take time to take care of Chloe and clean when I am out of the disabling environment that is my house and parents in Eureka). Three, the feeling of independence that comes from living away from my parents is exactly what I need right now; that is to say, if I can become comfortable with being my own person (alone; sans a significant other, most importantly) I will be able to close the door to the past and move on with life. I have my heart set on moving to Florida at some soon point after I graduate (preferably in January, but I suppose I can wait until May or June if I need to...), and in order to successfully start a new chapter of my life in a new place where I don't know anyone, I need to be I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T (do you know what that means?) No one takes me seriously when I tell them that I am determined to move when I graduate, but I have never been more determined and driven in my entire existence. Being in Florida in March sparked something inside of me that totally changed the way I think about things -- my time spent there served as a catalyst; something that gave me the courage to do what I needed to do; something that made me realize that I had been settling and that I needed to allow myself to search for bigger and better (in all aspects of my life). Despite the bittersweet realizations at which I arrived while I was lying on the beach contemplating these life issues to the tune of Jack Johnson, I was happy; even though I knew what onus lay ahead of me, I was at peace with myself; while I understood the changes that were to ensue upon my return to Missouri, I had reached (or at least knew that I would reach) contentment.
I'm still trying to get there (both to contentment and to Florida), but it takes time. I am convinced that by the end of the summer I will have laid the past to rest (peacefully, not spitefully) and that I will be both fully prepared and ready (there is a difference, I think) to open a new chapter in my life.
Side note -- "Dead and Gone" just started playing -- coincidence? Sign? Overanalyzation of the iTunes shuffle process?
I don't want to babysit today. 10 straight years occupied heavily of babysitting will really send a girl over the edge. I can confidently say that this will be my last summer of doing such.
Until tomorrow/whenever I decide next to waste time with my useless ramblings.