I’ve been here one year.
In some ways, that year has flown by. In other ways, it has felt like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it.
I think I’ve cried more tears this year than any other in my life.
I’ve grieved for all that I gave up. (I can’t say “lost” because I CHOSE this, but that seems like the more appropriate term.) Denial/isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance – over and over and back again.
I’ve vacillated wildly at times between sticking it out and giving up. So much so that, at times, I’ve questioned my own sanity. How can you, in the same day, sometimes in the same hour, have such diametrically opposed thoughts?
Intellectually, I knew the transition would be hard. I was leaving my friends, my family and basically, everything I ever knew. How could it not be? But I thought I had the wherewithal to overcome those things much more quickly than in reality.
I figured I’d settle in, find a church, meet some people and bada bing, life as I knew it would return.
Not so much.
But in the process, I’ve tried a lot of things.
I started a book club.
I took a line dancing class.
I trained for and completed the local Women’s 4 Miler.
I volunteer at local nursing home each month, doing crafts with the residents.
I just completed training to become a CASA.
I flipped (and sold) some cool furniture.
I revived ye olde blog (sort of.)
I “tasted” a lot of wine. And some local brews.
I found out that polo is actually kind of fun to watch.
I met some very cool people who are well on their way to becoming good friends.
I maintained the bonds with many of my good friends back “home” despite the distance. And I am thankful for each one who has responded again and again me in my many ups and downs – with a text back, a card in the mail, a call, a Facebook post or even a visit.
I’ve learned a lot about myself.
I have my down times. And I need to let myself have them but I always try to refocus and find the silver lining.
I am enough. And I am defined by no one but me.
I am resilient.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. Every.Thing. Every person you encounter, every experience, good, bad, indifferent, happened BECAUSE.
I value honesty, loyalty and authenticity above almost anything else.
I found that, when asked if I like it here, it’s simply enough to say, “This place is really beautiful.” Because no matter what else, that is always true.
This year has been full of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Would I make the same choices again, given the opportunity? Despite it all, I think I would, for all the reasons and more…