‘Your Happiest Memory Ever’

Earlier today, a very close friend of mine asked me an interesting question – “What is your happiest memory ever?” This got me thinking – what is my happiest memory?
In 23 years of life, I have made millions of memories, how can I pin down one specific moment that made me the happiest I have ever been? I have amazing memories from traveling Australia and Greece and Italy and Japan, and hundreds of amazing memories from being back home in North Carolina or from my five years of university in Vancouver. So what is my happiest memory?

When I ask myself when I was the happiest I’ve ever been, one thought comes to mind. My dogs. In my life I have had three dogs, two Corgis – Keegan, and his son Wylie – and one Golden Retriever, Carma. The happiest times of my life were when I would play with my puppies, especially my Carma. There is a saying in the south (and probably worldwide) – ‘No one loves you like your dogs.’ This is 100% true, even my mother admits it. Because dogs dont get mad. You can leave them alone for hours, you could forget to feed them, you could punish them for being bad, but your dog will still always love you and will always smile and wag their tail when you play with them. And when you are feeling sad and want to curl in a ball, your dog will curl up right there next to you and make you feel ten billion times better.

Unfortunately my beloved dogs have all left this world, but the memories they left me with will forever remind me what true love is. Another saying in the south is ‘The one mistake god made is he didn’t create dogs to live as long as their humans.’ And while I am not religious, this saying is also 100% true. And even though I miss my dogs every second of every day, I would never give up the time I spent with them. Because those memories are by far the best and happiest memories of my life. Every human should have a dog and learn what real love, real happiness, is. Because without my dogs, I would not be the person I am today.

“The Cherry Blossom Girl and the Ancient Tree”

During senior year of high school, my English teacher encouraged me to enter a scholarship contest called the “Trey Cheek Memorial Essay Writing Contest.” Using a short story I wrote in the 11th grade, I entered the contest and by some amazing twist of fate won the $1500 scholarship (which helped me pay for my laptop for University).

Being home for a week, I realize most people haven’t seen any of my writing work in years – mainly because I graduated with a Biology major, which required only academic writing. So I figured I’d use one of my posts to put my old short story back into the universe. Click the link below to read it:

The Cherry Blossom Girl and the Ancient Tree

Spoiler alert – my experience in Japan, and love for anime throughout my teenage years, may have influenced the story a bit.

The Beginning

Since I was a young girl, my parents have made a point of taking my older brother and I traveling around the United States and later around the world. The first long trip I remember taking was a trip to Hawaii with my family the summer after 5th grade. I was an awkward teenager who hated being seen in a swimsuit, and was full of teenage angst the entire trip. But for some godforsaken reason my parents decided I was a delight to travel with and proceeded to take me with them on a trip to Ireland a year later, trips around the United States to places like Colorado for skiing and Florida for Disney World magic, and they even took me on two-week long family trips to Costa Rica the summers after sixth and seventh grade. Continue reading The Beginning