I Heart San Diego
I heart San Diego is what frames the beautiful, blue ocean surrounding four best friends. Anna stands smiling in her beautiful paisley patterned dress while her wrist, wearing hope, holds tight to Jon’s arm. Jon’s clean cut, white dress shirt draws attention to his funny face aiming for laughs from the photographer, and my dramatic pose; an open smile with one arm resting on Jon’s shoulder and the other wrapped around Jen’s neck, drawing her colorful dress closer and bringing attention to her eyes looking about.
Picking up this photo from the corner Walgreens, we three girls fight to see the developed pictures first. Of course, the pictures are from my camera, so I have ultimate authority over them. We get in the car and when I am done looking at one picture I pass it along to Anna. Then Anna and Jen do the same, and before you know it, we have an assembly line going. Then, all of a sudden, I get to this silly picture of my siblings and I, and I scream, “I look great in this picture! Look at my tan line!” Anna immediately grabs the photo from my hands and says, “You would say that, Amy. The one picture that everyone is being silly in, I am the dork ball who is smiling.” Then Anna passes the photo along to Jen and Jen says, “Anna, that’s so you though, you hate taking silly pictures! You probably knew it was a silly picture and you decided to smile anyways.” While Jen is saying this to Anna, she starts laughing and then I knew exactly what frame I was going to put this picture in…I heart San Diego. The frame does not match or compliment the picture perfectly, but it does remind me of where the picture was taken and the memories of that weekend in California before everyone had to return to their normal, day-to-day, grown up lives.
Taking this picture the summer right before I began my college journey only makes this more special—being at home from now on is merely temporary. Going to college is amazing and I never imagined it to be as great as it is. I am in love with Concordia University and all of the wonderful friends I have made here. I know I am growing as a person and am also being spiritually filled on a daily basis. Just because I love where I am and this stage in my life however, does not mean I have forgotten my friends back home; it does not mean I have forgotten about my church; it does not mean I have forgotten how amazing California’s weather is; and it definitely does not mean I have forgotten what it is like to have the whole family together—and to have that emptiness eat you up inside when we are not.
Walking back to my dorm after a long day of classes, feeling really tired and a little depressed I get to see this. The tiredness is probably because I did not go to bed at a decent time the night before, and the depressed part is probably a mixture of not having friends close by that know everything about me, you know—the ones who feel like family. It is probably a little from not having a boyfriend like all the other girls, and a lot of it is because I am missing my siblings and my parents. I drop my keys and water bottle on my dresser and instead pick up this picture. Tearing up with the yearn to be in that moment with them, I smile, remember taking the picture and just cling to the frame knowing I will get to see them all soon. Then hearing my next-door neighbor’s dorm door slam, I put the frame down and hope it is Anna & not someone else. I go inside and it is Anna. She knows how I am feeling; she is my twin. She gives me a hug and quietly holds on tight.
I heart my Savior. I heart my family. I heart my three best friends. I heart San Diego.