10. My car broke down on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, while I was driving two of my best friends to get Thai food. We waited for the tow truck and hiked almost a mile back to camp, where we broke into the snack bar and ate Reese’s pieces on top of the boathouse as we watched the sun set over the lake.
9. I left the senior banquet early with a few friends. Since we were restless and not ready to go home, we parked the car quietly by the side of a pond – and as soon as the coast was clear, we wriggled out of our dresses and dove in, floating in the cool water and feeling the glow of the perfect crescent moon.
8. My cousin Nathan was only a day old, wrapped tightly in blankets and stubbornly refusing to open his eyes. Feeling his tiny body in my arms was the most terrifying, amazing, and beautiful experience I have ever had.
7. The first time I ever took a bow by myself, an orchestral medley echoed in the background, and my eyes brimmed with tears as I saw an entire row of audience members rise to their feet.
6. We laid on the floor of the Jones Great Room, our heads creating a circle of shadow on the dimly lit planks beneath us. In a single moment we all understood how important we were to each other, and our performance the next night was so unified that even the group ended in tears.
5. My best friend and I gallivanted energetically through the woods behind her house, caring little about the nicks and scrapes that covered our skinny adolescent legs. When we returned from our adventure, we stuck Band-Aids all over ourselves and laughed until we couldn’t breathe.
4. I got back to staff house at 7:32 am with a soaked shirt and swollen red fingers. But all I felt was euphoria, because for the first time in my life, I’d finished a 6.2 mile run without stopping.
3. The night I graduated from high school, I opened the time capsule I’d put together with my little fourth grade hands only to discover that I had been convinced at the time that I was going to join the army. I joined my entire extended family in poking fun at my past dreams and giggling like children until our stomachs ached and our faces were stretched with joy.
2. On my birthday, my best friend told me that my recovery inspired her to seek out her own.
1. Every time I write a snippet for this blog, every time I get to put thoughts and ideas into words, I fall in love again. Instead of hating myself, I love something. Over and over again. Forever.