My favorite summer was the one fresh out of high school. It was the longest break from school I had to date and I refused to let it get away from me. I made plans with all of my friends. We went to beaches, lakes, rivers, and pools. We saw all the good movies and even went to a community theater show or two. I learned how to make killer cheesecake and helped throw a birthday party for my best friend. That summer I looked like a wild child: my skin was bronzed, freckles came out to play across my arms and face, and my curly hair lightened from exposure to the sun.

A few things have changed since then. During that summer I knew exactly what the future had in store, or at least I thought I did. If asked, I would tell you that my life was all planned out. I had a long-term boyfriend, a scholarship to my #1 school, and no worries about the next four years. Now four years later, here I am typing this article on the gold, floral couch of my Granny’s house. The relationship I had with that long-term boyfriend didn’t work out and I started dating my best friend; I kept all of my scholarships while at school; and I grew more as a person over the past four years than I had ever grown before.

My only plans are to unpack, find a job, and help my best friend have the most wonderful wedding possible. Everything else is up in the air. Even with all the unknowns, I am at peace.

I am going to live every moment. Laugh and cry at weddings, hike new trails and familiar ones, bike in the sunshine, dance my heart out, and sing along to live concerts of my favorite artists. The tan, freckles, and sun-bleached hair will fade away, but the memories of these days will not. This summer will be the best summer yet. Life has just begun and there are so many possibilities. It is as if I am floating down a river of question marks that will someday lead to an ocean of life and I am here for the ride.