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You look like the Fourth of July

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

Whenever I hear "4th of July", I think of this movie. Not just because it's a hilarious movie or because my brain is an endless reel of movie quotes and music lyrics, but because it makes me think of tradition. It is quite beautiful how much nostalgia comes with holidays especially when you've had the privilege to build meaningful memories in your lifetime.

As i've mentioned before, I am from a very small town outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I was not born there but I grew up there and a huge number of my memories come from that little town. In 2013, called Lititz, Pennsylvania "America's coolest small town". We've prided ourselves on that ever since. For me, the greatest time to be a part of good ol' Lititz, Pa was on the fourth of July. My family used to gather in Lititz every year for this town's fourth of July celebrations. The little park downtown had a full day of festivities including parades, talent shows, dance shows, and competitions. They'd even crown the Queen of Candles who was a nominated female from the local high school's senior class. The best part for my family though... Fink's French Fries. Oh, how we would crave those little bits of potato heaven dripping in oil and thrown into a wax bag. We'd spend all day at my aunt's house playing yard games and then we would all "get ready" to walk down to the park for dinner. Our "spot" for fireworks had already been set-up by the patriarchs the moment those gates opened at 6am. And you better believe we sat in the same place every year, no matter what. To say it was a big production that every person in our town looked forward to is, in my humble opinion, an understatement. It didn't matter who you were or how much you loathed community festivals - there was a special spot saved in your icy little heart for Lititz Fourth of July.

Ya'll, fourth of July in Lititz, PA was my Christmas. It meant everything to me. And from the way I just wrote about it, I‘m pretty sure it still does.

And yet, here I am on my 4th of July holiday having had 3 days off of work prior to the weekend - alone. Last year, I was lucky enough to be in Spain for fourth of July so being away from home didn't really hit me so much... because... i right? But to be fair, I wasn't in Spain alone. I was with family. My four nieces, my cousin, her husband's family - a solid 20 people in this beautiful villa just drinking all the wine and eating the most delicious meals by the pool. It was paradise. I'd be lying if I said i didn't think about Lititz though. Because, like I said, nostalgia (and those french fries).

Today, I find myself longing desperately for some sort of tradition. Last night, I thought about dressing up for 4th and just being in my apartment so I could feel some sense of celebration (because when I was a kid, you repped your red, white, and blue and you spent weeks making sure you were gonna be cute). Sadly, I am only just now realizing how silly that sounds. But there's my reality. I've spent all morning thinking about what I would be doing if I were home with my family. Thinking about the pool, the games, the food ... the togetherness.

I believe in togetherness. I long for it. Certainly more so on holidays, but truthfully... all the damn time. I don't want to be alone. I don't want endless me time. And I don't want to have to beg people to hang out with me.

Does that make me less independent? Maybe? I really don't know how it is perceived but facts are facts. I feel more myself, more motivated, more ---- happy ---- when I am around my people.

I miss that so much.

I suppose I will do my very best to pull myself out of this day of funk. Because there is no good that can come from dwelling on and longing for what you can't have. I spent my morning cleaning. I watched a couple of movies. I burnt an entire pan of turkey bacon and then redeemed myself with another pan that was perfect (yass!). I ate said bacon along with a perfectly cooked omelette. I did some writing to force myself to really embrace the shit-mood i've been in.. you know, because writing = feeling your feelings. And I decided I am going to make my favorite pie (Hoosier Mama Blueberry Sour Cream -- insert drool here). I might just even crack open a beer ... or two.

I feel really lucky to know myself well enough that I can acknowledge what hurts, figure out why, and then make a game plan to feel better about it. This is a very rambly post (no, that's not a word) but I needed it to get through this lonely day. It was supposed to be a post about traditions ... ha. So, here's whatever this is. I hope the next time your loneliness is overwhelming, you find some little fixes to get through it. I swear the smallest things can have an impact. Even if the productivity is minimal and feels a little bit useless. Do whatever it takes to feel lighter. It's worth it.

But I don't recommend burning your first pan of bacon. Just sayin'.


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