Myrtle Beach, SC Vacation

The url implies this was written and posted on September 4th, but it was September 3rd at 11:45 pm.

you may know, I recently went on vacation. Yesterday, my family returned to our home.

Before we arrived in Myrtle Beach, my brothers and I didn’t know where we were going. I knew two things: (1) it was a surprise trip for my birthday, and (2) my mom wasn’t sure if we’d be able to reschedule it when Walmart initially refused my time off request.

My younger brother Aidan predicted we were going to Florida. My mom’s teasing responses of “We’ll see,” or “Maybe,” with a smile seemed to imply he was right.

During the drive, it wasn’t until we were in the Appalachian Mountains that I realized how wrong he was. I guessed wrong, too, though. The mountains and the sign welcoming us to North Carolina brought me to the conclusion that we were visiting my aunt and cousins who live in the state.

But we drove on.

When we reached the South Carolina border, Aidan asked with a groan if we were visiting Bob Jones University again. A few years ago, we visited the university and met a few of the teachers from their homeschool distance learning program. Luckily for Aidan, that’s not what we were doing.

Finally, late at night after leaving early in the morning, we came to Myrtle Beach. That night we stayed in a hotel that had a small pool and served breakfast. Oddly enough, the room’s balcony was positioned such that we could see the next room’s balcony, and the people were sitting outside. We had two full beds for five people, three of us adults. I think my brother Aeryson may have slept on the armchair and footstool.

The next morning we checked out at 11 and headed to the other place we were staying, a condo overlooking the beach. We discovered that early check in was not an option, despite the room being vacant. On our way from the hotel to the condo, we passed the Myrtle Beach State Park. We decided to check it out.

At the park we walked down the pier, hiked in the woods, watched a demonstration in the park’s nature center, and my brothers played on a playground. At the pier I bought a small shark snowglobe to add to my collection. My dad and Aidan saw a shark and we all saw some brown jellyfish.

From that Saturday until the next Saturday, we were in the condo. The condo had a small pool and it was right on the beach.

Everyday we swam in the ocean and pool and played on the beach. I believe everyone felt a bit sick at least once while we were there, unfortunately.

One of the days we walked down the beach to a pier that was nearby our condo. As we walked down it, we saw two people surfing and I identified at least four different sharks that were swimming around. We saw some brown and some white jellyfish at this pier.

On Saturday  we left the condo before the check out time and started driving back west.  My brothers and I knew we were doing one more thing, on Sunday, but no notion as to what. I knew my grandparents would be joining us, as well.

When we stopped in Kentucky, my parents told us we were in Cave City and would be going to Mammoth Cave. Aeryson was super excited. Our grandparents, my mom’s parents, arrived at the same hotel later on that evening.

On Sunday, we drove the thirty or so minutes to Mammoth Cave National Park. This is the first national park my brothers and I have ever been to. We took the Historic Tour, which is two hours, and learned about the history of the cave and human interaction with it. At the end, there was a five story climb, up stairs, through a natural shaft in the cave. That was probably the only place we saw natural cave formations from the water running through the rock and depositing minerals.

While we were in Kentucky, my dad realized we would be driving through the town his uncle lives in. He hadn’t seen them since before I was born, he guessed before he had joined the army when he was seventeen. We met my great uncle John, his oldest son, his son’s three daughters, and two other cousins. I didn’t even know about this part of my family until the day before, which was pretty crazy to me. My cousins said they had known of my grandfather but never got to meet him.

It was a great trip and I enjoyed my break from work, but I’m glad to be back home.

My Birthday: A Reflection

Some of you reading have never met me, but over the next year and beyond you will probably come to know me better, even if it is in a limited sense. Since I only now started blogging, I cannot point you to any posts with more details about the events and progress I am referencing in the body of this post. I plan to do this again next year, however, and there should be a plethora of blog posts about the events I mention in my reflection.

Today I am eighteen. Legally an adult. Wow. I still can’t believe it. It sure doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.

I could take this reflection in a direction similar to Life Is What You Make It, but that’s not what I plan to do. I want to look over the past year and how I’ve grown and some of the big things that happened. It’s really too bad I didn’t start blogging a year ago instead of only a week ago.

Last year about this time I was a recent high school graduate. I had procrastinated calling the local high school about my failed driver’s ed behind the wheel and so did not yet have my license. Once I did meet with the person in charge of the program, I found out I didn’t have to do anything and could go get my license.

I was hired at Panera Bread in late May shortly after graduating, but couldn’t take myself to work until after I got my license in July. Then in August I was hired at Walmart.

For a while I was a bit lacking in direction. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I was not taking active steps toward it for the most part. At some point in the fall my friend Justine reached out to me about writing for a blog she wanted to start. Initially we had four people, two of them unfortunately had to leave the project for the time being. Justine and I were still committed to starting the blog, and we launched in February. That gave me some focus and it felt like I was taking real steps toward my goal of someday making money writing. Additionally, I applied to Praxis in October for the second time and was accepted. Between Over the Invisible Wall and my acceptance into Praxis, I felt like I had a clearer picture of the near future and that I was taking real steps toward my goals.

Around the same time that I was accepted into Praxis, I noticed that I had a crush on one of my co-workers at Walmart. We had orientation on the same day and were forced to hang out because of it. We’re both very introverted, but we were forced out of our shells in order to complete the various tasks/activities we were given. Over time, we interacted at work and became friends, though we only saw each other occasionally because we worked in different departments. After I became aware of my crush, I thought about whether I was interested in dating as a general. I did want to date him, but I was open to the possibility that he wouldn’t want to date me. We were merely friends and co-workers and didn’t know each other very well. Leading up to the night when I asked him to hang out in the breakroom for lunch and he later asked for my phone number, I noticed that he seemed to like me too. I’m not sure when we shifted from just dating to really being a couple, but we’ve been dating for seven months now. (I omitted his name at his request. He did not want his name included so I wanted to be sure to respect that.)

Less than a month ago I decided to commit to my decision to start a personal blog and launch in July. I knew that if I waited til I felt fully prepared I would never start, so I needed to jump in as soon as possible. At first I was only going to post at least once a week, probably twice, in order to have more time and be “comfortable.” I quickly changed my mind and have been posting every day instead.

So that’s about what my past year has looked like. I’ve taken some big steps forward from unfocused general goals of making money writing to actually working towards that. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds and how much things change between now and then. To everyone who is part of my journey now and to those who will join me in the coming year: Thank you. It’s been a wild ride and I’m sure it will continue to be.

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