I'm sure most of you know, but for any of you that have been fasting social media I GOT TO GO HOME. I practically counted the hours until I could see my family. I know I kept it on the down low, but I wanted to surprise Camille at her opening night of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ( go see it at FMT; it is a HILARIOUS show).

Okay. Any of you that saw my pictures know that I had a blast at home. I spent a day in bishop arts with my parents, spent time at my home away from home (Cedar Valley), and even reunited with many high school friends at Whataburger. But, right now I need to tell you the ugly side of going home. You spend your entire senior year preparing to be shipped away from everything you have ever known. You are bombarded with tips on staying healthy in dorms, and everything you need to bring and don't need to bring. However, no one tells you how to go home. I wish the moment after I landed in Dallas had been the perfect joyous moment I dreamed of, but that would be a lie. In the 30 minutes it took my airplane to reach the gate from the runway I had a lot of time to think. Senior year was hard for me, with the intensive stress of college auditions that I wouldn't wish on my biggest enemy, a break up that I truly thought would kill me at times, and the constant reminder that I was leaving my family and best friends behind. I got off that airplane and felt all of that come back. As much as it breaks my heart, I had to leave part of my identity in Texas. The part of my identity that was wrapped up in negativity, yes, but still a portion of myself that I was attached to. Coming home was like realizing that the broken parts of me I left behind were still there. In realizing that, I also realized who I've become. I'm stronger than I used to be, but more important to me I believe I'm more loving. A year of rejection forced me to see how badly this world is lacking in love. And as I have strived to become more loving, I have become more aware of those in my life that do love me unconditionally. Those people are really my home. As much as I miss sweet tea and the Texas sky, Texas isn't really home. The people who love me are home. Going home and being with loved ones reminded me that my support system is constant and so special. I remember as a little girl, there was a teenager named Kathryn who changed my life. She doesn't know that she did, but all I ever wanted was to be like her. I wanted to be kind, smart, and passionate. Now I see it in the eyes of little girls when they look at me. I can see their little minds and beautiful hearts think I wanna grow up and be like her. Of course I want to protect them from many challenges I've endured, but to know that they see me that way, how could I let them down? Going home was hard, but it just fed a fire within me that was growing tired and overwhelmed from so many new beginnings. Thank you for making me strong and literally holding me in your arms when I cried out and thought I couldn't be mended. Thank you for believing in me and for letting me touch the souls of your little ones. Thank you for being there when I forget why I'm doing this. And thank you to those that, whether it was on purpose or not, tried to break me, I'm doing all of this for you. So that maybe I can make this world a little bit better. Maybe, no matter how insignificant, I can make a difference. And I can't tell you how deeply I love you for giving me that power and that opportunity. I won't quit as long as you are there. My end goal may change, but never my spirit.

Tu Me Manques,