I'm a person who has always found a way to be nostalgic. This nostalgia is not discriminating; I have been known to reminisce, with a dreamy smile on my face, about my sun-drenched and friend-filled trips to Hawaii, but I've also found myself consistently waxing poetic about the "dark years" I experienced in college, when I was heartbroken, depressed, and suffering from a severe case of low self-esteem. While these are two obviously different scenarios from my past, they have something in common: they are knowns. I get a sense of comfort from events that already occurred, regardless of whether they were positive or negative. It's not that I would necessarily want to go back to those times; I wouldn't want to redo those weeks in Hawaii because they were wonderful just as they were, and I most certainly wouldn't want to go back to spending entire days in my dorm room watching Sex & The City marathons and eating three boxes of mac and cheese a day. It's just that right now, my future is simultaneously overwhelmingly exciting and frighteningly up in the air, so I have been doing overtime in the whole "strolling down memory lane" department, recalling my life up to the current day.

Now that the big move is 18 days away (that's just two-and-a-half weeks, people!), and it's really starting to sink in that I'm leaving the state I grew up in for an indefinite period of time, I'm realizing that there are a great many people, places and traditions that I will be leaving behind. As luck would have it, though, I've been seeing a large number of those people throughout the past couple of months, which has helped me say some good-byes and remember that me leaving doesn't take away from the experiences that I've had with them, nor does it mean that I'll never get to see them again in the future.

I got to see some of my Hawaii campers after two years of only keeping in touch on Facebook. Once again, I was amazed by how time did not make a difference; we told stories and remembered our favorite parts of camp on the North Shore of Oahu.

Adam, our host in Hawaii and one of the most giving, hospitable, and fun people I know, ended up in the Twin Cities a couple of weeks ago, giving us a chance to finally show him around our 'hood and add more memories and photos to the already overflowing vault of awesomeness that is our friendship.

My dad held his once-annual Cajun party for the first time in ten years, bringing together so many of the adults that have played an important role in my life, and making me realize how fantastically lucky I have been to know them.

We had my mom's side of the family up to the cabin for the weekend, a newer tradition that has supplemented our decades of celebrating birthdays and holidays together almost every month.

While I have gotten sad at how my move means the ending of a lot of these events (at least for me) I am going to strive to live up to the saying, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." So corny, but applicable.

And of course, there are always new memories to be made. Here's to hoping most of them involve the beach and millions of adventures. Don't let me down, LA. The bar has been set, and it's pretty frickin' high.

Happy beginning of the weekend!