The map of my heart


A photo taken in a place that has worked its way into my heart

I love car rides. I love to blast music and scream my heart out and just go somewhere. I love impromptu trips to my favorite places, and I love getting lost in the middle of nowhere.

I’m not a good navigator. I’m actually pretty terrible if we’re being honest because I get so lost in conversation that I forget to give directions, which usually leads to Google Maps being our wayfinder. Google maps has everywhere mapped out. It has my home mapped out, but not my heart.

I mapped out my own heart. I mapped out the places that hold my heart, and the places that are in my heart. My heart has streets, rivers, and destinations. My heart has landmarks that have plotted themselves into the depths of my being.

My first stop is the place where I discovered my biggest passion. Who knew that a place in the school I go to could mean so much to me? But, it does. In the back, through a set of double doors, and down a hallway, are a set of rooms that have etched themselves into my soul. They have created a safe space for me to always exist. They created memories that will last a lifetime and a love for something I never could have imagined.

They are stained with the smell of burnt hair, hairspray, expired makeup, and cleaning supplies. The counters have lasting memories held within the stickiness of makeup remover. The mirrors hold visions of nervous breakdowns and impromptu acapella sessions.

These rooms started it all for me. They mapped themselves into my heart within the first few seconds, and they plotted memories throughout my brain.

My next stop is always going to be my favorite place in Michigan. It’s always going to be the place where I met my best friend. It’s always going to be the place where I had the most stressful day of my life.

I love that I associate this building with stress. It reminds me that stress can lead to happiness. Because I always leave that place knowing that I accomplished something. I always leave that place happy. I usually continue to feel stressed after I leave, but I know that I can go back and accomplish something again.

That place holds what will continue to be some of my favorite memories. It holds moments that I hope are forever trapped in time because I never want to forget them. Every single room in that place holds a memory that never fails to make me giggle or cry.

I love that place with everything in me, and if someday I forget about it, or I never see it again, the memories and stress that live in every room will never leave me. I will never forget it.

The next landmark that has mapped its way into my heart is a restaurant that I have always been fond of. I’m sure it has very little sentimental value to most people, but to me, it means I’m about to have a great night.

This restaurant is where I found out that Roe V Wade was overturned. It’s where I saw a man have a heart attack. It’s where I wind down after long Fridays or Saturdays.

I’ve only ever been inside four or five times, but the drive-thru reminds me of Bluetooth phone calls, blasting music, and trying to decide what to order.

That place gives me an infinite amount of happy memories, and whether I go there often or not, I love it. I love sitting in the drive-thru, dipping my fries in my shake, and singing along to music. I love the food, no matter how greasy it might be. I love it there.

My next stop is yet another restaurant, this one holding more sentimental value to me than the last. I remember the first time I went there, and I will never, ever forget it.

I got my best friends in this restaurant. I became part of a family in this restaurant. I will always remember how a plant, a couple of guys, and deep-fried pancakes made me the happiest I had been in a while.

I have been there a couple of times since the first time, and every time I feel like I am a part of something. I feel special. That restaurant will always feel like a place that I can go to when I need to be comforted. Not only is the food comforting, but the environment is as well.

I love this place. I love the waitresses, they always make me giggle and they are so sweet. I love the location, I love driving there at night, and I love sitting inside for hours. That building will always remind me of the family I became a part of that one night in March.

The mirrors hold visions of nervous breakdowns and impromptu acapella sessions.

If we’re on the topic of restaurants, I might as well have an ice cream shop be my next stop. I grew up going to this place, and it is one of my favorite summer traditions. This place also became somewhere that I look forward to going a couple of times a season with my best friend.

I go to this place probably once every three months to try the new flavors. I love to try new things, and I love the adventures that take place before, during, or after going there. This place reminds me of summer, family, and friendship. It reminds me of new opportunities.

The spilled ice cream, the sticky seats, and the stomach aches are always going to be there. If I ever need to go on an adventure, I just need to go there, and along the way, I know an adventure will find me.

The last place that has mapped itself into my heart is one of my favorite places ever. It is a place that holds countless moments.

Sitting in the warmth, watching the slowly setting sun and the bright lights below me, I never felt more like the person I wanted to be. I never felt more at peace. That place makes me feel like me, and I appreciate it so much.

I didn’t always have the best time, but I was always me, and there were always moments when I had the biggest grin on my face. There were always moments when I didn’t wish to change anything.

Sitting there also made me really sad a lot of the time, thinking about how a lot of things would change soon. But in those moments, I always knew that for now everything is still the same and that brought me comfort.

So many places have made landmarks on my heart and worked their way in. A lot of places have created the map of my heart; the places that have created me.