Today we are breaking from the food posts, to talk about: the storm before the calm; or, the hard times before the good…
We’re going to talk about feeling our most real and sometimes painful feelings, expressing them, knowing that they’re okay… And doing what we can to lift them up… And why these times are GOOD.
A while back I wrote a couple of posts about moving… The first one was all about asking YOU GIRLS what to expect with a move away from my hometown (my first one ever), and the second one was sharing my experience.
I still am totally in agreement with the second post I wrote. Moving has been continually good for all of the reasons I’d listed, and also continually hard for the reasons listed. The absolute hardest parts of moving away (for us) are: (1) putting down roots in SLO (we’ve been traveling like crazy) and (2) making new, rooted, solid friendships (also hard because we’ve been gone so much).
Well, this last week when we were in Ventura, about to head home to SLO I had a really sad day… I was on such an emotional “high” from being around friends and family for the past several weeks, and I felt full in this way. I felt like, that night, that I was looking forward to going home to a quiet town, where I worked from home and didn’t have much connection… I knew we’d be staying in SLO for a while, without a trip to Ventura. This made me sad, and I had a rough time dealing with these emotions. Thankfully, Marco talked to me (talking it out helps me so much) and encouraged me to think of the things that bring me joy (just like I’d encourage him) and to do those things. He also told me that he could relate to how I was feeling, and also felt sad himself going away from our hometown friends, once more… What a good feeling, when someone can relate to you, right?
So, I did this (thought of the things that bring my soul joy) along with asking the people closest to me for prayer, and expressing to them what I was feeling. I can’t tell you girls how helpful it was just to get all of this weight off my chest… to talk about how it was HARD to come back here (SLO), to this quiet place… My prayer request was simply this: that God would help us to deepen the friendships we’ve already made here in SLO and that he would also bring us new (and the right) connections.
I say the “storm before the calm” rather than “the calm before the storm” because often times life feels hard or discouraging right before it’s about to get good… I always say, in my coaching, that the hard times are good because they teach us things. We’re never bad for feeling down… Not at all… In fact, these times help us to recognize that life can be hard… and heck, we’re doing a pretty darn good job.. These hard times can also be the perfect reminder of WHAT, in our personal lives, is important.
Last Thursday, as I was asking for prayer and talking this all out with a few of my closest people, I got out a blank sheet of paper (I’m incredibly visual) and, without a filter, wrote down what it was that I felt my heart/soul needed right now. A few things I wrote: connection, quiet time with just me and God, and basically, to DO THINGS. Fun things. Things that bring me joy. Like, getting out of the house after work, and not staying inside for the entire day (this happens when you work from home). Working from coffee shops. Getting coffee with a friend. Going on walks with friends. Going to the beach. Watching TINY House Hunters (haha, we love it!). Meeting new people. Making plans with those friends we have in SLO. Investing in the relationships that we ALREADY have here. And mostly, just allowing ourselves to feel more rooted, connected, and involved in this new town.
I’m beyond grateful (literally, it brings me to tears) to share that this past weekend was more full than I could have hoped for. And when I say full, I don’t mean packed full of plans. I actually had quite a good balance of plans and downtime… I mean simply FULL of joy. A deep feeling of gratitude and experience. As I did simple things throughout the week to lift my spirits I felt a turn around in how I was feeling.
From the “Desire Map,” which I haven’t started reading yet.
I went from feeling lonely and sad to encouraged, uplifted, joyful, grateful, and connected… And I’d even say excited for new life continually coming our way here in San Luis Obispo. I can’t help but wonder if the hard parts of moving away (it’s been just about 8 months) will now start to shift, and that we will now start to feel like SLO is our home… People always told me before we moved that it takes about a year to feel settled and make new relationships, and that the first year is the hardest part…
Thank you guys SO much for sharing in this with me… If you’re still reading, you’re a “follower” of HHS, and I am so grateful for you… I am so grateful that you would want to read through this with me, and hear what I have to share… I am thankful that I can share this with you…
Here are some of the things (in writing & photos) this week that have helped me to feel uplifted:
Walking through the Farmer’s Market here on Thursday night. So many people to see :).
Grabbing coffee (or, in this case, a “Honey Tea Bowl”) with friends at Scout.
Asking myself what felt “fun” and going to do those things. This night, it was writing from a coffee shop while Marco was working.
Having daily quiet time with just me and God. I wrote this list out of who God say’s I am.
Changing the HHS office around again, so that I could stand while working (I’m LOVING this).
Getting SWEET art in the mail from Amber Thomas. Thank you, Amber! I feel happy each time I see this water color. And thank you for the three extra’s :).
Going to the events that our Church puts on. This one was my FAVORITE. An indoor movie night. We watched “Big Hero 6” with tons of our church family in a middle school gym. We sat in beach chairs, and met the nicest people.
That’s another thing that made me happy this weekend… finally buying beach chairs with M. I don’t know why it’s taken us so long to do this because we’ve always wanted our own set.
Other things that were un-pictured that brought me joy:
Going on a 5 mile walk with my friend Brittany. Lot’s of talking :).
Going to the beach with our friends Jenni & Geoff and their adorable dog Dixie.
Celebrating our friends Hannah & Dusty’s new baby boy Waylon at their BaBy-Q.
Going to our new Church this Sunday.
Going to Target and buying myself a new work binder to organize some new trainings I’m doing (yes, new binders bring me joy).
Having half the day Saturday with zero plans, sleeping in, and just getting to do whatever I wanted around the house (M was working).
Listening to music & lectures loud on our new UE Boom while cleaning (I love listening to things while I clean, anyone else? It’s therapeutic to me…).
These are all of the things that lifted my spirits this weekend… I’m so grateful for them…
Marco just sent me a text from bed saying “I need to break the fast,” so I guess I’d better get going ;).
Sending you all love and warmth today. If you’re going through a hard time, it’s okay… If anything from this post encouraged you, take it and use it yourself <3.
Have you ever moved away? What parts felt the hardest? What helped you to feel the most rooted in your new town?