Thursday, August 7, 2014

:: The Dust is Settling ::

I can't exactly pinpoint the moment it happened.  But, slowly, the feelings of homesickness and loneliness have dissipated.  I don't feel like Portland is "home" yet, but I'm stuck in between some weird parallel of familiarity and stranger-hood (if that's even a word).  I feel like I'm slowly emerging from a fog of some sort.  Moving is so weird.  In the past, I've wondered what it would be like to move away, start over and such.  What would I do differently?  Would I stay the same?  I've experienced emotions I haven't felt in such a long time and can't help but feel a bit changed.  

I grew up in Carson City, Nevada.  I had the same friends from before kindergarten, all the way up to my late teens.  I was extremely outgoing and really could know no stranger.  I was comfortable with my surroundings and with the familiarity that growing up in the same town your whole life brings.  I'd never known the pang of being "new" or having to start over, feeling vulnerable and shy.  The summer of 1996 - right after my Junior year of high school ended, my folks moved to California.  And I went with them.  This was my first experience being "the new kid".  I was enrolled in a small private school where I knew absolutely nobody.  I remember my first day of school - my Senior year, as my dad walked me to my outdoor locker, taking photos and reassuring me with every step.  People stared, as I was one of the only new kids that year.  For the first time in my life...I was alone in a sea of strangers.  I rarely ever look back at those times, but I'm grateful when I do.  I can physically feel those same emotions again - fear, loneliness, anxiety, mixed with excitement, bashfulness and even amusement.  I made friends easily and had a great experience.  I was only there a few short months before moving back to Carson, but I look at that experience as a pivotal one in in my life.  I found out later that I had been voted homecoming queen, but they knew I was leaving so they didn't grant me the title (THANK GOD.  OH MY WORD.  THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AWFUL).  So apparently, I made an impression.

When I moved up to Seattle, I was 18 and knew only a handful of people.  Again.  New.  Lonely and a bit introverted.  I struggled a bit more with connecting with people and putting myself out there.  I struggled with insecurity and tended to withdraw from huge gatherings (I know!  So not me!).  But I survived and - eventually, flourished.  I met Ryan there, so it wasn't all bad, right?!  Ha.

I say all of this to say, all of these experiences prepared me for this move.  I am not panicking like I did back then.  I'm taking each day as it comes, forming some beautiful friendships and enjoying my introverted moments.  I've been able to focus on my health, my kids' health and the health of our family life.  Time has allowed us to focus on family and our marriage.  This move was a gift - is a gift.  I'm so blessed to still see the people up North whom I adore, yet make some pretty awesome new friends down here.  I am lacking nothing.  Not wanting for anything.  Happy.  Relieved.  Excited for what's next.  We're good - really, really good.  There are moments when those old feelings creep in - insecurity, loneliness and anxiety, but thankfully, they are few and far between.  

We've been running our legs off this summer and our August calendar shows no signs of slowing down.  We've camped, played, gone to the ocean and played some more.  Life is Good.

Some photos from the coast:

A few camping photos: