surprise!

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I honestly don’t even know where to start this post. It’s Friday night and I had plans to meet my friends Angela, Scottie and Mike for dinner.

We get to Mike and Scotties and headed to the restaurant and my mama was watching my niece and nephew and they were texting me so my mind was 100 emoji’s deep because Lane wanted to text me. We walk in and I look up from my phone and see 20 of my closest friends yelling “surprise!” as I walk in.

Completely in shock.

Completely happy.

Completely thinking I am so glad I wore a somewhat cute outfit, although it could have been cuter.

And completely humbled by that moment.

Because not only did those people give up their Friday night to come surprise me for a going away party but those people made such an impact on my life here. They saw value in coming to be with me on one of my last night’s here in Tampa.

Angela, who I have mentioned on my blog before, pulled this all off. I am so thankful for her for many reasons but things like this confirm how amazing she is.

We had an awesome time, I walked around and mingled with everyone and talked about how we met, our memories and them visiting me in North Carolina. It’s easy to say ‘oh yeah! Forsure! I’ll visit!” but as adults we have to execute those plans. It’s no longer a 20 minute drive across the bridge. It’s now a 10 hour drive. And I know there will be people who visit and I know I will come back to visit.

I did take a second and I looked at the room and took note of everyone one there.

Everyone in their group they knew or came with. It made me think how crazy it is that in 5 short years (8 of those months I spent in Orlando, not even Tampa!) that I made so many friends. There were work friends. There were friends I met through friends that I became better friends with than the friends I met them through. There were friends that I met from work that I became best friends with and became part of bigger events in their life. There were friends I met randomly throughout my time here whether it be crossfit, Kforce, or in a bar.

But these people mean something to me. They mean everything to me.

Because moving away from home isn’t easy. I remember I hated it here for the first 1.5 years. But then I found happiness because I decided I would be happy while I was here. And I was. I am happy here. But North Carolina has literally called me home and I know I am doing the right thing by following that. No doubt in my mind.

And as I drove across the Howard Franklin for one of my final times living here – I started to cry. Because as happy as I am to go home part of my heart will always be here. I am a beach girl. I am a warm weather Florida girl. I’ve made an amazing life here that I will never forget. But I’m happy with my decision. Because each and every one of you, better come visit me in North Carolina. I will haunt you. I will text you. I will facebook-instagram stalk you until you do.

My time in Florida might be coming to an end but the memories and friendships will last forever. I will do my part to keep in touch.

I love every one of you and I am so thankful for us meeting. Whether it’s been 4 years or 4 months, YOU have made an impact on my life and I will cherish those memories forever.

Until we meet again… xoxoxox!!!!!!