I think anticipation is one of my favorite emotions. I enjoy it most when I have found the "perfect" gift for someone. I can hardly wait to give it to them because I just want to see their reaction. I try and find things a month or so in advance to let the excitement build. The second best form of anticipation is the kind I am feeling right now. When you're waiting for a great time to start, a friend's visit or the start of a vacation, you sit on the edge of anticipation.
On Thursday my anticipation will be at the max, because Brenda will be arriving to spend a week visiting me! I met Brenda when I was 7. She has been there for the majority of my life's ups and downs. If you need to know anything about me, she could tell you the answer as readily as I could. She is number 3 on my speed-dial. She was the second call I made when I found out I won the scholarship to live in Germany. She was the first call I made after things with J went down and for several years she was the only one I had told. We can go weeks without talking because life is busy, but we always pick right up where we left off. We always talk about not letting so much time pass... maybe one of these years we will actually make it happen!
I really enjoy living in Nashville, but it's not always easy. Since moving here in May of 2003 I have made some amazing friends, had some remarkable clients and have created a network that I can lean on when things are challenging. It's just that I grew up with a TON of family (Mom was one of 7 and most of my Aunts and Uncles had at least 3 kids) around, I went to the same church the majority of my life and aside from 7 kids I graduated with the same people I started first grade with. My Nashville friends like me for who I am now and who all my experiences have helped me to become, but my Minnesota people know how I became who I am now for the most part.
One of the hardest things about my reality is that I am just not a part of their daily realities and the same could be said of them for me. Sure, I miss all of them terribly, but it is rare that I call many of them when I've had a bad day because they can't really meet me to go for a walk or come over for dinner. I sometimes wish I made it home more often than I do, but my parents moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area about a year after I moved to Nashville, so now when I have time off I head that way instead of going back to the cities. When I went back in 2007 for my Grandpa's funeral, it had been nearly 5 years since my previous visit. I went back for a weekend visit in 2008 and haven't been back since. I do keep up with a great majority of the High School and Church crowd via facebook and I touch base with my two Grandmothers and other relatives with phone calls.
Ya know you're friends really love you and rank among your "besties" when they're willing to drive 15 hours to spend a week celebrating your birthday with you! I am so ready for the side aches, smile lines and tears that I know are going to be a daily reality for the week she is here. I am not kidding we will spend 10 out of 12 hours in non-stop laughter. Our time together is always filled with fun, making new memories, remembering old memories, lots of camera flashes and somehow always restores a bit of me I hadn't realized was lacking.
So right now I am filled with anticipation...