Sunday, July 23, 2017

Back Where I Come From: Thoughts on Moving One Year Later

I took the photo to the left in March of last year. It was the first picture I took of this view. Now, a year and four months later I must have taken hundreds of this same view. Every day, every hour it changes, but each time I look out off my deck, looking to the southwest, my heart fills with joy.

When I stood here on that brisk March evening watching the sunset, I was filled with hope, excitement, and anticipation for the move that was coming.

If only I had known how challenging the next several months would be. It's probably a very good thing I didn't.

Today marks one year since we moved in to this sweet house. I really do love it. And finally, after 12 long months, a few too many of them lonely, I am starting to love this little city of Chattanooga. I certainly know that I am loving many of its people...from the ones I know strictly via social media who have answered questions and made me laugh through my frustrations, to the bright and beautiful friends I made in the women's collective I joined. There are the basketball moms, and 4th-grade moms, and 8th-grade parents from my boys' school who have been kind and gracious and loving...especially the one who always makes me laugh and reminds me of my Atlanta bestie.

In hindsight, I needed to have my rock-bottom moment where the loneliness, emptiness, and sense of being lost threatened to consume me. Despair allowed me to dig my way down and acknowledge the root of my loneliness and gave me a place to anchor a foundation so I could start building myself again – body, mind, and spirit.

It hasn't been easy. And Sister, let me tell you...there are days when I want to pack it all in. I still haven't landed a writing job although I did, briefly, have one freelance client. And there are still days when I feel sad and lonely and wonder how did I get here? But those days come less frequently. And if I'm practicing the art of self-care they are few and far between. For me, that means getting exercise – running, yoga, Pure Barre, kayaking, or my new obsessions of hiking and paddle boarding; spending time with friends; sleeping well; writing; and using a varied regimen of essential oils.

There's still so much more to do to have a complete life here. I'm still a newcomer and don't yet feel entirely like I belong. I'm starting to know my way around without Maps, though. And after spending a wonderful weekend in Atlanta with my kids and husband so we could visit old friends, I know I can always feel at home wherever there are people who love me and whom I love; and I know, that for now anyway, Chattanooga is home and I will continue to joyfully make the most of it.

So...Happy One-Year Anniversary, Chattanooga. Here's to us!