See you later in Ohio

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 4, 2013

Well, let’s see, there is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
All of those things, if you live with those virtues, can make for a beautiful life.
I’m that girl who likes to live life day by day. I like to cherish each moment that each day can bring, and not worry about the past or think about the future more than I have to.
After all, every day has something to offer, and so much to see, so why wish it away?
My theory on life is “expect nothing, but truly appreciate everything.”
I mean, really appreciate it. From waking up to another day to someone lending you a dollar so you can get a drink from the vending machine — everybody I work with knows what I’m talking about: I rarely carry cash.
Appreciate it. Appreciate people’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Throughout the last few years, I have moved a lot. I have lived in Raleigh, Wilmington, New York, Smithfield and now Charlotte.
I can tell you that the friends I have made in each city are lifelong ones.
I say that about each city, but I am especially talking about Charlotte. I have been incredibly fortunate to make some of the sweetest friends in Charlotte.
Even though I am leaving, I know that it’s never goodbye, only “see you later”
While it is sad, I know that I will see my friends and family all of the time.
My mom and I spend all kinds of time together and she too exemplifies all of the fruits of the spirit.
I realize that friendships and time with family are two things that one should never take for granted.
Always, always be building those relationships, so that if something happens or you do leave you know they are permanent.
Life is ever-changing; some things we’re prepared for, some we’re not.
My new job came out of left field, but I truly believe it’s all a part of God’s plan for my life. A new journey that I can’t wait to embark upon.
Here are a few of the life lessons I have learned during the last 25 years. Maybe they will be useful to you:
Despite what anyone tells you, follow God’s path for your life.
If you have a desire in your heart, God put it there, so follow it.
Laugh at yourself more than once a day.
Be kind to yourself.

Trust yourself.
Don’t take anything or anyone for granted. Ever.
Know that every single decision you make is the right one; after all, it’s your life and it’s not a test run.
Love your family. Love the dysFUNction that comes with a family.
My family and I love each other unconditionally, and I don’t know where I would be without them.
Cherish your friends. In this life, we only get a few “good ones” if we’re lucky.
I have been lucky, and I don’t know what I would do without them. Laugh with them, cry with them, enjoy every minute you’re given with them. Close friends are family in every sense of the word.
Find a church and go. I found myself leading a Bible Study and it was so good for my faith walk. God has plans; you just have to be there to accept them.
Life is short. Every minute of every day should be enjoyed. Remember that.
Find a reason, or 1,000 reasons, to smile every day. In the bad, there is always a glimpse of good.
Remember that you are loved. People love you, sometimes more than you love yourself. Acknowledge that, and let them.
People can be mean. Don’t ever take it personally or let it bring you down. Instead, pray for them, and keep doing you.
Don’t judge others. As Mother Teresa said, when you judge others, you have no time to love them.
I leave you with this: I have been very blessed in Charlotte.
It is going to be very hard to leave such a beautiful life behind. A life that I have created with my family, and my close friends.
I will miss it every day, but I know that every memory is in my heart and every person is just a phone call or a plane ride away.
To me, that is a beautiful thing. To my family and friends, if you’re reading this, I just love all of you. I will miss you with all of my heart, but remember it’s never goodbye, just “see you later.”
Oh, and mom, remember to send care packages. See you in O-H-I-O.
Salisbury native Katie Garner, who has been working as the evening traffic reporter on WBTV, will be leaving this month to take a job with an ABC television affiliate in Columbus, Ohio.