Florida is where my surgeon said to go when I was sick of doctors.
But that's not why I got on a plane this morning. I'm headed to a writing residency in New Smyrna Beach. Three weeks of writing, and I assume, sitting on the beach. I brought my bathing suit, though wearing it would be a feat of bravery I might not be quite up to.
Last night, while looking for an errant pair of flip flops in my closet, I came upon a little trunk of mementos. Some tiny art projects and letters, but mostly photos. None were from later than 2004. The ones that struck me most were from my high school graduation party.
I looked happy. More than that, I looked relieved. High school was tough for me, like it is for most people I think. I had brief moments of having friends, but those relationships often flamed out, and often I was left without a place to sit in the cafeteria. But when the photo was taken, I had graduated, and that monster had loosed its grip. I was ready to move on to exciting unknown things at college.
It was just over eleven years ago. Before iPhones and social media and What Does the Fox Say? (We did have Star Wars Kid, however.)
Was there anyway I could have known then, what the next ten years would bring? Of course not. And as I sit here on this Airbus, (apparently the Mickey Mouse Express, based on the number of small children on board) I feel an affinity for my 18-year-old self. We have made it through the toughest thing in our lives so far. We are unaware of the beauty and love, and the shit, yet to come.