If you asked me (you did ask me, right?), I would say that I don't really struggle with getting older. I mean, there was the unfortunate incident on my 30th birthday when all of the sudden I moped about being 30 for a few hours before my husband asked, "Jenny...what is so horrible about your life?", snapping me out of my funk (because the answer was nothing, and I was just being overdramatic).
But other than that, I firmly believe that you are only as old as you feel, and since I feel like I'm 23 on most days, I'm content with that.
However, every now and then one of my college friends throws out how long we've known each other and then I think that maybe I should stop trying to convince myself that I'm 23, suck it up, and accept that I really entered into college 14 years ago this coming August. Which means that in October, our class will get together for our 10 year reunion. 10 years...since college. Which means it has been 14 years since I started the crazy/scary/surprisingly wonderful/life-changing experience in a little town in Tennessee.
14 years since I cried to my parents on the curb outside my dorm because I thought my life was over because I was so far from home and didn't know anyone (like I said, overdramatic).
14 years since I sat in a meeting with the other girls on my floor, looking around and sizing them up, not knowing that they would be like sisters to me throughout our four years together.
14 years since I completely fell in love with the state of Tennessee.
14 years since I met girls that would become some of the best friends I've ever had.
14 years since I quickly realized - about two hours after my parents left me to head back to Michigan - that I had to admit that they were right and that college was kind of a cool experience.
And then I realize that even though 14 years since I started college means that I'm getting a little older than I'd like to admit, it also means that my life is so much better because 14 years ago, I decided to go to a tiny little college in Dayton, Tennessee.
Sarah was one of my freshman year floor mates. Our rooms were right down the hall from each other and if I remember correctly, we quickly became friends. In fact, we became friends with most of the girls on our floor and we ended up being a sisterhood of sorts. We all might go off during the day and do our own thing, or go out on the weekends with other groups, but we always came back to each other at night and to talk about our day, or have a late night snack together (snack of choice during freshman year was Raman noodles, upgraded to Easy Mac by senior year), or just goof off, or cry together...whatever we needed to do that particular evening.
The thing is, we were just always there for each other. And as far away as we've moved from each other post college, and as many years as we've gone without seeing each other, there's always this bond that we share because we were a part of something pretty special when we all lived together for four years.
So when Sarah came to me and asked if I could do moving announcements for her, I happily agreed. And during our work together, I got to remembering all of those fun times we spent together, and even those hard times (we just happened to go through rough break-ups around the same time, which pretty much cemented our bond) that brought us closer together.
In the last few year, Sarah and her family moved around a bit. In fact, in two years, they moved three times. And the funny thing is that the house they left during move #1 was the house they moved back into with move #3.
And with Sarah being who she is, she wanted a moving announcement that fit their situation perfectly - that they had come full circle and were now right back where they belonged.
So Sarah had the idea to have her family pose in the picture you see here. In a circle. And then we put that picture...in a circle. You see the theme, yes? :)
And then I thought some fun chevron stripes behind the circle would be cool and that using the font Chunk Five would be fun, too.
And then we added a picture of them on the back, on the steps of their new (old) home. Happy and content, right where they belong.
Each invitation or card I do becomes so personal to me, which is why I always share a little bit about my own life along with it. This one reminds me that no matter where you move, or how many times you move, you always have those people who will be consistent. Who will keep you grounded.
Which reminds me of 14 years ago, when I would come back to the dorm after a night out, eager to see my forever consistent and loyal "sisters" and talk with them about life over a big bowl of Raman Noodles.
Want to hear more about the value of custom invitations? Check out this post.