The Really Real

Here’s a little bit of the real. The real, the truth, is changing…always. All of the things I’ve said to this point remain and are as true as could be when they were first said. At the same time, there are days that I don’t even know what to think.

This isn’t a vacation. The weather has already proved to be so much better, the scenery is a change of pace and we get to discover new things everyday. What a dream, right? Well yes, but dreams don’t last. 

It’s good and it’s different and we’re doing alright. But we still have hard decisions, we don’t really have friends and we don’t always know where our life is going. We miss our loved ones. We have ridiculous car troubles (yes, another instance occurred last week, too insane to talk about). We get sick. We lose sleep. We wonder what is to come.

Despite all of the good, I’ve been a mess of tears the past few days. It was sad and simple and even a bit of a relief. I didn’t and don’t regret moving or the decisions we’ve made. Through the tears I just kept saying, “I don’t want to be here today.” A lot of things went into that feeling, nothing major but nothing completely petty. I miss my mom. I miss feeling completely comfortable and confident at work. I miss seeing a familiar face at church. I miss the uniquely Iowa things you just can’t get anywhere else (we went to the fair this weekend and almost immediately decided our next Iowa visit would have to be in August so we could go to a real state fair).

This is all part of the deal. We knew that going into this move. Up until now, while we’ve been stressed, we’ve pushed through because we knew everything was ultimately alright. And it still is. But some of this hard part was oozing out and needed to be acknowledged with a few sniffles (or sobs). It’s still good. It’s still hard. It’s how we know we’re alive. And that in itself is something to be thankful for.

Say It

To a certain extent, I feel as though we’ve officially told the world. This isn’t really true, however, as most staff at the hubby’s workplace have yet to hear due to the mid-week holiday and scheduling last week. It’s good to feel like we can finally be open and honest though about what we’re doing and where we’re headed. We’ve received mixed reviews, but overall quite positive feedback. Excitement. Sadness. Encouragement. Jealousy. Disbelief. Shock.

It’s good to feel like people are behind us. What is most interesting to me is hearing the response. Not the response merely about our immediate plans, but about us. Sometimes what’s said about who we are or what we’ve meant to the people around us is surprising. I appreciate it being said and am often flattered by it. What’s crazy to consider is that these things may not have been said otherwise. No one’s to blame for this and better late than never, but strange just the same. I’m probably equally guilty of this at times but want to reconsider this trend.

It may sound cliche, but why not tell people what they mean to you? What are they good at? What do you appreciate? What makes them important? What will you miss (even if they aren’t going anywhere)? What impact have they had on your life? Why do you enjoy their company?

I can’t say whether or not knowing all of these things six months ago would have changed the plan for us, but it might have changed a bit of our outlook. Life can have its struggles here and there and for awhile we wondered if we had any friends in this town. If we were appreciated at work. If we would be missed.

My hope is to remember this moving forward. Say these things. Show people you care before they have to wonder. See what changes. I yearn for a life of truth and honesty and even some vulnerability. Let’s be real now.

All Alone

There have been several points during this process that I have felt so isolated and alone that even a crowded room of people wouldn’t be able to convince me otherwise. The weight of what’s happening and how to handle it just seems to fall squarely on my shoulders. We each have separate feelings and emotions to deal with and sometimes we’re dealing so much with our own that we can hardly handle to take on someone else’s. That goes for me and the hubby, me and a friend, me and a co-worker, etc.

Whether it was because of distance, secrecy or lack of depth, I’ve had a hard time this past year knowing who my close friends were. No one is to blame and some of it comes down to the stage of life so many of us find ourselves in. With so much transition and change, it makes it difficult to keep track of who’s life is facing the most chaos. I’ve struggled, I’ve reached out, I’ve cried, I’ve given up and I’ve found it. For a while though, I thought it wasn’t possible. That close friendships couldn’t be created after high school or college and was even told as much.

You don’t have to throw me a pity party, because trust me, I’ve thrown a few of my own already this year. This isn’t one of them. Instead, this is me owning up to it. I’ve felt alone. I’ve been lonely. I’ve needed help. And really, I’ve just needed someone to say, come over and let’s eat chocolate and veg out. I’ve needed someone else to say, I need a friend.

So if you feel like you’re the only one, let me take a minute to be real with you – I’m struggling too. This kind of vulnerability is rare, and I don’t want it to come off as desperate. I’m willing to risk that though in order to let someone else know that they are not alone.

As we take this next step, I’m going to need some support. My prayer is that I find it in God, in my husband, in my family and in some good, solid friends. While I may be leaving a few behind, I’m hoping to find some friends ready to go deep, get real and plain hang out.