Sometimes life shifts beneath you like sand underfoot. And it is in those moments that you cling to what you know, to the things that root you, that lovingly hold on. Not too tight. Just grounded enough to steady your gaze. People who know you well enough to ask the right questions or just walk quietly beside you, Spring evenings spent driving dirt roads and listening for a wild turkey's gobble, for the laughter of nephews, for things of the Earth. Cooking meals from scratch in the kitchen. Singing along with Dierks Bentley while dancing with a one-year old laughing on your hip. Snoring dogs, ever-faithful. Yoga. An old dirt road underfoot. Long, quiet talks with a supportive spouse.
These things are keeping me grounded right now as my world tilts a little more than I'd like. Sometimes things have to sit inside me as I sift through them and sort them out, and while I don't have my circumstances completely figured out, something deep in me knows that I will be better for it.
So here's my truth, one that I've been holding onto for awhile, as I tried to wrap my head around plans that didn't go the way I thought they would: New York didn't work out.
Can I tell you that it took me weeks to type that? That I opened this document the first week of April? That I let my days fill up with other things just so I didn't have to sit down and type that out?
But, there it is.
And oddly, typing that and my admission of the truth feels like a breath held too long finally let out.
It didn't work out.
Over the course of six months, a full-time job did not materialize for me in New York. I could only find part-time work and I lost count of how many jobs I applied for. I had no idea the job field was so competitive and that getting your foot in the door in public education was that difficult. So difficult that I couldn't even substitute teach. I actually had a school principal tell me that I would be better off looking for a teaching job out-of-state. Additionally, Chris and I experienced the worst winter upstate New York had since 1932. The cost of living is astronomical there and couple that with an old, drafty, poorly-insulated house...I won't lie - it was brutal. And no one wants to do an outdoor shoot with a natural-light photographer when it's -18 degrees outside.
It feels like New York chewed us up and spit us out.
Options were limited and I spent a good month fighting what I knew had to happen; my intuition kept insisting it was time to come back to Missouri until we figured something else out. God, what a painful and difficult decision. Chris' job has had its mire of sticky issues as well - one more sign from the Universe that we were just not meant to be there.
On the first Saturday of April, with a loaded UHaul trailer and three dogs, I started a two-day drive home. Without Chris. Without the cats. It hurt then and it hurts now. Being apart from him is a daily struggle, but I am grateful to my marrow that I have a partner in this life who continues to support me and is willing to work through this sticky mess. And I take comfort in the fact that it won't be permanent. Somehow we will figure it out.
But there is a deeply-rooted part of me, one that worries everything to death. It's one of my greatest struggles - staying in the present, letting things go, trying not to control everything around me. Not letting the uncertainty of what comes next halt my growth and work towards whole-hearted living. So instead, I am struggling mightily to lean into the discomfort of my situation and clinging to truth that finds its way to me...truths like this: "I think the most noteworthy thing about discomfort is it’s a SURE SIGN we’re making progress…" - Rachel MacDonald
And I am deeply uncomfortable right now. Everything feels off-kilter. And I have a heavy dose of guilt. And my pride is bruised.
But in my gut, I know that the Universe is at work aligning something else for me. For my husband. For those around me. I don't have an inkling what it is. No clue.
So I will try to accept what is. Love what is in front of me. Look for the good. Let my amazing network of support be there for me. Be kind and gentle with myself.
Because acceptance is like a dose of strong medicine. Healing in every sense of the word.
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
What I've Been Reading
The Girls by Emma Cline
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Never Broken by Jewel
Hold Still by Sally Mann