4 Months till Freedom

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I am incredibly good at my job, though that’s not saying much as I am a server. I work at a private golf club, and while I hate it, I also love it. We see the same members on a day-to-day basis. I’ve been there for over three years, my longest job to date, and the longer you stay there the more you realize how wonderful it really is. We are a family at Hershey Mill. I know most members by name, I know their children, I know what kind of car they drive, what they do, or did for a living, and I know their golf score. Countless members hand me envelopes that contain not only well wishes for the holidays but cold hard cash. Trust me; it’s not the members who I hate. Actually, it’s the members that keep me coming back every year.

 

The good part of working at a golf course is that you can’t play golf when it’s snowing, which means the golf course and the restaurant both close for the winter months. Well, January really. They open back up in February, but only for the weekends. I, however, am gone from January till mid-March.

 

This much-needed vacation is the only piece of sanity I have left. It gives me something to look forward to and something to work for. My amazing fiancé isn’t native to the Northeast like me. He’s a country boy so you can imagine how out of place he feels in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Anyway, we pack up our little Kia and take that 1,300-mile journey down to the bayou.

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I was born and raised in and around Philadelphia, and while it will always be home, I fell in love with Louisiana the moment my flip-flops hit the ground just over three years ago. Since then I have been trying to find a way back there for good.

 

Not only do I love the small town lifestyle, I love the people. I love the country accents; the simplicity of it all is calming. In Philadelphia, things go a million miles a second, but in his small town, there is no rush.

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I remember how uncomfortable I was when random strangers would strike up a conversation. I have never been good at small talk. I still am not. After spending a quarter of my year, every year, for the past three years, down there I’ve not only gotten used to the friendliness, but I crave it. People here don’t even thank you if you go out of your way to hold the door. Everyone is too busy rushing to get where they need to get they forget to stop and appreciate the company of others, or even the generosity of others. People are more welcoming, friendlier, and less judgmental in Louisiana.

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If there are any couples who have done the long-distance thing, I am sure you will understand this. The dynamics of my relationship change. Here, I am at an advantage. It’s my home; I know the ins and outs of Delco. I am independent and confident. Chase, my fiancé, isn’t comfortable here. He will never admit it, but I can tell in the way he carries himself. This is another world. Most people from his town couldn’t handle the culture shock that comes along with a drastic move from a small town to the city of brotherly love, or any city for that matter. He is more timid and shy. I feel like here, I wear the pants.

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When we are in Louisiana it’s completely reversed. I cling to him. He is so confident, he is so himself. I fall back in love with him everytime we are there. He is in his comfort zone, and I am all out of whack. My self-assurance slips away along with my self-esteem. I need him; he is my only link to that strange place. It’s only then I realize this is how he feels in Philadelphia. To be honest, while I may hate that vulnerability that comes with Louisiana, I love seeing Chase like that, after all, that’s who I fell in love with: a quiet, mysterious country boy with a whole truckload of confidence. All I want is for him to be happy, and here he isn’t.

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I’m not happy here either. My family is here and I love them more than anything. I have two, soon to be three, beautiful nephews who are the light of my life. While it’s hard being away from them, it’s harder to wake up every morning hating who and where I am, and I can’t live my life for anyone else but myself.

 

Every January I hope and pray that I don’t have to come back. I dream up different scenarios in which I don’t have to come back: I find my dream job, I hit big at the casino, I win the lottery, my entrepreneurial skills finally pay off, etc. Three years of crushed hopes. It took me awhile to figure out things don’t change unless you change them. This year will be different. I’ve got four months till freedom. Not just two and a half months off, but I am gone for good. I’m chasing a dream, and I mean literally chasing. Not just hoping and wishing on a shooting star. That’s what motivates me:  to be happy and to be free. I don’t care about making millions of dollars. I don’t care about having a big fancy house or a fast car or even name brand clothes. I want to be free to be happy and still manage to pay my bills. I want to make that move I’ve been putting on pause because of financial reasons.

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So that’s the motivational message I have for today. If you want something, you have to go after it. The reason why you want it doesn’t need an explanation. It doesn’t matter if it seems silly to other people or you’re worried about other’s reactions. The only person you should be living for is yourself. With that said, nothing good comes easy. Nothing will fall into your lap no matter how bad you want it. If you want it get out there and get it! Nothing changes unless you make it change!

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