The Heart of Me

Who is Brandi Hawthorne?

I’m a country girl from Simpsonville, South Carolina. Growing up, my family wasn’t too keen on living outside the box. Our family vacations consisted of local trips to the the mountains, outlet malls, theme parks and beaches. And, by going to beach, I mean getting our feet wet. Maybe up to our knees. Maybe. Thankfully, my grandma signed every permission slip for every school trip I was interested in. But, even still I never made it west of Chicago, Illinois. The summer before my freshman year in college, I decided I wanted to be a camp counselor in Liberty, New York. (I’ve always been a “Why Not?!” kind of girl.) My grandma rented a car and my older cousin chauffeur me there. (My grandma’s always been a “If you really want to…” kind of woman.) At this camp, I met people from all over the world. Most of the countries represented, I didn’t even know how to find on a globe. (Geography never was my best subject.) Working on that campsite made me realize just how big the world was! On my first plane ride back to SC, I became hungry for living. But, more important than me, I wanted my children to have the luxury of living a well-rounded, well-traveled, AWESOME life! (Yes, I believe traveling abroad and trying out new things is a luxury.)

Today, my husband, daughter and I live on the tiny tropical island of Guam. <—HUGE! Most people in my family haven’t flown in a plane, much less hopped 3 planes to a tropical island. (But, I pray that they do!!) We’re snorkeling (Yes, we went from getting our knees wet to swimming in the ocean w/ fish!) and hoping to become dive certified before we leave this water wonderland. We’re traveling to China this fall (1st stamp on my passport!). We’re eating an array of cuisine –Thai, Filipino, Chamorro, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, etc. (In fact, I’m starting to crave some fried chicken, homemade cornbread, and collard greens. And, my husband always says, “I want some fake Chinese food from the mall back home!) And, once again I am around people from all over the world who have traveled the world.

The honest truth…I’m still so far behind. When my friends talk about growing up in Africa and spending a year in India what can I do but sit and smile? I can’t relate.

But, I have to remember that, for someone like me, I’m five steps ahead of where I could have been.

If you read this blog and think, “What’s the big deal?” then it’s not for you. Maybe the things I’ve done or am doing, you’ve done a million times or have no desire to do. And, that’s okay! (We’re still friends!)

But for a little girl like me, the life I’m living now and the life I’m creating, by the grace of God, is nothing short of an answered prayer.

*WARNING* This blog isn’t about how WONDERFUL my life is. I’m not even there yet! When I get to “wonderful” you’ll know it! : ) This blog is about motivating all the little girls like me who come from meager beginnings but dream about an abundant ending to create the life of their dreams! It’s about a journey. It’s about a yearning for more than what you were given! This blog is a picture of the decisions I’m making to create the lifestyle I want for myself and my family and my grandkids and great-grandkids! (Yes, my decisions today will affect the next 7 generations!! Yours will, too.)

This blog is dedicated to the girls whose parents couldn’t afford to go skiing in the Rockies and visit Paris in the spring. This blog is dedicated to the girls who’ve been told a nice restaurant is an American cuisine buffet (Shout-out to Ryan’s and their buttery rolls, though!). This blog is dedicated to the little girls who dream for, yearn for, and deserve more. 

I’m here to tell you that you can create your future. There is no box. The world is at your fingertips. Go live your life! Do the thing you’re afraid of doing! Make every day count!

With Every Bit of Love in My Heart,

Your Sister

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