I’ve been on the road a fair bit this summer, both for work and for me. I’m incredibly lucky that the work I do requires only an internet connection to do my job. And a computer, but obviously, that was implied.

Last week, I had the opportunity to run up to Mackinac Island again. The is part of my story. Can’t really fully articulate, but from the time I was a kid, this place has been my happy place. It’s also been my medium place and my super sad place.

I fell in love on this island. I made incredible friends on this island. I worked my ass off on this island. Ok, I drank my ass off too, but that’s neither here nor there.

This past week, I got to show lifelong friend parts of the island that I love. On Sunday night, we had a lovely dinner and were walking through the Grand Hotel. I was showing her little things here and there, and I paused by this ancient desk outside of the main dining room. The desk is a standing desk, with a big scratched top that raises to hide things inside the desk. I used to stand outside of that desk three times a day- taking and selling tickets for various meals.

I touched the desk and was immediately thrown back to 1997, a time long ago. I had a ton of friends, was optimistic about life and was in the early stages of falling in love. Life was pretty incredible as it could be for a 20-year-old dumbass. That desk. Oh, that desk.

As one must do, I left the island to head back to reality. This time it was a little different. I’m older now. More cynical. More wary of everything and everyone. I left the island this time just me, as I am today. I left behind this time some of my stories and memories. They are better there than floating around my head.

Life changes. Things change. Places evolve. People move on. Boy, some people move on more than others. My circle has changed since those early days. Some have left, some have been pushed out. Others, I still hold onto dearly for the friendships as they are today.

This morning, as I lay in bed writing this, I raise my cup of tea to those who helped build the memories, but even more, I offer cheers that are still here today. Because they want to be.

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