I had a single, short conversation with Kirk Goodnight at Alexandra’s graduation party.

He asked me the normal questions: How do you like college? How’s your sorority? Do you miss volleyball? What’s you major? What are you doing this summer? How long are you home for?

I answered every question honestly, but I had had this same conversation with twenty different people so my answers lacked enthusiasm: I love it. I love it. It’s gotten better with time. Biochemistry and genetics. Researching schizophrenia. Until June 29th.

I love Kirk, but my conversation with him hurt. His daughter, Ady, was a middle blocker with me for our high school team. She is an amazing volleyball player, not to mention she is drop dead gorgeous, has an amazing body, and is still happily dating Nate Stoner, one of the hottest guys from our high school. She plays volleyball for the University of Southern Florida, lives on the beach, and has an amazing Instagram. Of all my friends, I’m most jealous of her. She is basically perfect and is still playing high-level volleyball. Talking to Kirk brought up a lot of my old feelings. I hate that I don’t play volleyball anymore. Even more, I hate that when I play volleyball, I completely suck at it.

Anyways, after my lackluster conversation with Kirk, I talked to twenty more people and had the same conversation. I love it. I love it. It’s gotten better with time. Biochemistry and genetics. Researching schizophrenia. Until June 29th. Yawn, fake smile, fake laugh.

Later that night, I was sitting with Michelle, Amy, and my mom. I was on my first glass of champagne, and God only knows what number they were on.

“Did you know that Ady is moving home?” My mom asks.

“What? No! You’ve got to be joking, right?” I replied, almost spilling my champagne in shock. Ady had everything I wanted and she is going to give it all up to move back in with her parents? She had always been a homebody, but her life was amazing.

“Kirk said that talking to you made him realize that Ady wasn’t happy. He finally had a real conversation with her. She’s moving home and is going to attend UNO next semester.”

“She’s that unhappy?”

“Kirk thinks she has been for a while. She kept it a secret because she had been worried about the money. She had a full ride to USF for volleyball and now her parents have to pay her tuition so she can go to UNO.”

“I bet a big part of the equation is that Nate Stoner boy” Michelle pipes in.

“Watch out, Michelle,” Amy quips, “The next girl to move home for a boy will be your daughter.”

I zoned out of their speculating conversation. Ady, whose life seems perfect in the pictures, is unhappy. Ady, who got a scholarship to a college on the beach, is unhappy. Ady, who got to play college volleyball, is unhappy. Ady, who I’ve been jealous of for six years, is unhappy. And one short, boring, routine conversation with her dad made him realize she wasn’t happy. I can’t get 200 likes on an instagram,but I am happy. I go to a college three hours from the beach, but I am happy. I gave up my dream of playing college volleyball the third time I broke my arm, but I am happy. I am happy enough to make a father realize that his daughter is unhappy in a single conversation.

I am sad that Ady is unhappy. I hope moving home will help. I hope being close to her family and the guy that she loves will make her happier. I had been so jealous of Ady. She had everything I wanted, but she wasn’t happy. I guess getting everything we want isn’t the key to happiness.

My conversation with Kirk made me realize how lucky I am. My happiness shone through, even in a boring conversation. I am happy. It’s something I choose everyday, but rarely take time to think about the things that aren’t my choice: my parents owning a house in Abilene so I get in state tuition at A&M, my dad’s military service paying for my brother’s college and my college, my parent’s having enough money to pay for my sorority dues, being intelligent enough to hack it in a science major, having amazing friends and family that support me, I mean the list is endless. I am lucky. I am lucky that life has made it so easy for me to choose happiness every day.

Thanks, Kirk. I hope Ady is as happy as I am with her new choices.


me and ads sophomore year // idk what we are doing or why we are doing it  


me, ads, and mads // middle blocker warm up


god i love this girl // featuring a shin guard taped to my arm


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