When I think of Maine, I think of windy summers and foggy mornings. I think of lobster traps on the side of the road and evenings spent watching the tide bump the buoys toward shore. I think of log cabins with pine cones scattered in the yard and yellow rain jackets accompanied by smiling faces. I think of the college town with its wonderful library and donut shops. I think of the lighthouse trips and the clouds that moved faster than your feet, catching you in a rainstorm before you could help it. I think of how welcomed I felt by the northern accents and state pride. I think of weekend trips with a redheaded boy and movie nights by the twinkly lights hanging in my kitchen. I think of the names of towns that I can’t pronounce but can describe in detail for you. I think of the ladies who invited me into their homes for conversation and company, making me, a perfect stranger, feel welcome. I think of trusting people who aren’t afraid to fight for the state they believe in, despite party lines.
When I think of Maine, I think of a summer that forced me to grow up. I think of an experience that made me face my character head on. I think of the real pain of being disappointed in myself and realizing that others saw it too. I think of my imperfections and my intense desire for a second chance. I think of mornings spent with loud music, drowning out the inevitable failures on my part that I knew were coming. I think of long phone calls, hearing only my voice trying to rationalize the ridiculous. I think of typed entries on this screen, only to be deleted because they were too honest.
The truth about my summer in Maine: it wasn’t perfect like my Instagram described. It was filled with lighthouses, lobster and rain storms. It was also filled with conflict and words I wish I could take back. I learned ugly truths about my character but I also learned how to forgive myself and give second chances, even though no one else will. I learned that it is okay to ask for forgiveness, tasting humility, and I learned that my pride isn’t as valuable as my heart would lead me to believe.
Ask me more about Maine sometime and I will tell you about the lessons it taught me, the lobster it fed me and the love it showed me.