I remember it being pretty much the coolest thing since going to my very first Backstreet Boys concert in sixth grade. It was the beach of San Diego. CALIFORNIA! And now here I am, eight years later, a San Diego resident just enjoying part of my day at that very same beach.
However, I grew up as a Virginia Beach Bunny. I'd be down on the beach not long after the beach combers drove by in the morning and left the beach when the hotels started casting their shadows on the sand. I was used to the way the sun moved in the sky. The way I'd position and re-position my towel. And then I moved to San Diego and got all thrown-off.
I was so accustomed to positioning my towel so that my feet were facing the ocean. But here on the West Coast, it's reversed. This time, I placed my towel so that my feet were facing the boardwalk. My feet were facing the exact same spot where I had a picture taken of me eight years ago.
[Good thing Hamel's was renovated, huh?]
Little 19-year-old Chelsea. My very first day in San Diego. With my sweet mom and my brother who was living in SD at the time. I had absolutely no idea [although I sure dreamt it] that I'd be laying out on this beach as a resident less than a decade later. And I had no idea just how much these two pictures would mean to me until now.
In one picture, I'm a girl six months out of high school with years of ups and downs and heartbreaks and jobs and losses and dreams ahead. A girl who had absolutely no idea at the time that one person in that picture would be 3,000 miles away again and the other would be in Heaven.
And in the other picture, I'm a girl who's seen a lot of life and still made it out here, alone, to find the truest happiness I ever could have wished for. A girl who's laying out on a beach she once only dreamt about after touching its sand years ago, studying the new movement of the sun in the sky.
But really... it's not the movement of the sun that has changed. It's just my position in this world. I get to see everything through this new perspective. It's as if I get to re-learn all the many things I already knew about - but this time, they all mean so much more.