“Hey, how are you?”
I sent this text out to a few people this morning and it kind of made me stop and pause for a minute.
Why was I texting this simple, overused and often undervalued question? Did I TRULY want to know how these people were doing? Did I care to hear about the troubles, the joys, the triumphs, the hardships that they are walking through at 8:30 in the morning? Honestly, I did.
One of my monthly goals was to do a check-in post; to pull back the layers and say here I am, this is what’s going on, this is how I’m doing.
So today is that day, aren’t you luck you decided to hop on over here 😉 hah.
Overall decent. I’ve had my share of good days and bad days to kind of balance everything out. Lately I’ve found myself beginning to enter that “separation” mode with the upcoming move(s), adjustments, and overall changes that are coming our way. I’m slowly learning how hard to hit that place of beginning to plant roots and then have to rip the tree up to start over somewhere else; I’ll have done it three times in the last year. Needless to say I’ve had a lot of thoughts/emotions/concerns/joys happening and I guess it’s time to just word vomit all over the place.
Let’s break it down into categories, I think sometimes it’s easier to “check-in” that way.
// SPIRITUALLY //
I’ve been in a really, really numb place. For months, (probably a year or so honestly) I’ve just been kind of going with the flow. If I go to church great, if I don’t, well that’s ok too. I haven’t been reading my Bible, doing a devotional, praying, or even feeling like connecting. I KNOW that it was all me preventing any type of growth or communication between God and I but man, it’s been an incredibly rough couple of months. I will say that the last few days I have been challenging myself to just read Scripture; I don’t have to do a devotional, I don’t have to make it this long drawn out thing – I just need to fill my eyes, mind, and heart with the Word of God. I started and read Ruth one morning (it’s super short) and since then have been reading 3 chapters a day of 1 Samuel. It’s been amazing to me how just reading the Bible has begun to soften my edges. It’s sweeping out the cobwebs and warming the ice that I’ve let build up….I actually find myself looking at the scripture with my old college mind. Wanting to figure out more of the context, the history, the “why” behind it all…it’s been incredibly encouraging.
// MARRIAGE //
It’s been wonderful and also an incredibly interesting learning season.
We haven’t even been married a year yet but things have just kind of come at us full force and we’re learning how to adjust and walk through it. In the first year of Marriage I will have moved 3(ish) times, re-started my photography business multiple times, gone through Eddie’s moms battle with cancer and calling hospice in, Eddies sister being diagnosed with the same lung cancer, multiple weeks spent away from each other with eddie being gone and me in a city I hardly know. High stress from his job, me feeling worthless from my businesses…all while learning how to love/serve/live with/lean on/challenge/encourage/have fun with/relax with another person. I literally cringe at the phrase “marriage is hard” because when I was single all I would hear from my married friends is “you just wait until you’re married, it’s really hard.” Well yes, yes it is hard. However something our premarital counselor said has stuck with me; “It doesn’t have to be what you see”. Meaning, we don’t have to scream at each other, which was HUGE eyeopener for both of us – I grew up where yelling was just normal and Eddie grew up seeing zero communication. So we just assumed all married couples yell at each other here and there; well it doesn’t have to be that way. We can resolve conflict as it arrises, talk respectfully to each other, and never hit that button. I also find it meaning: It doesn’t mean I have to be bitter that he is gone all the time, that he is bitter I’m chasing my dreams, that if our life doesn’t look like XYZ then something is wrong. Our marriage is our marriage and it should only be reflecting one example – the example of how Christ loved the Church. That’s what we are striving for, very very slowly. 😉
// FRIENDSHIPS //
This has been a sore spot for me.
I’ve mentioned a few times just how much my friendships have changed since I got engaged/married/moved away. It’s been a really hard pill for me to swallow and if I’m 100% honest I’ve felt let down, neglected, and just hurt. I still have a handful of friends who have been there through all the crazy, but things just change. People, life circumstances, location…change makes things incredibly hard to stay the same….it makes it impossible. So you either adjust and adapt or you don’t. That’s been a hard pill for me to swallow, the “you don’t” part. I’m a fighter by nature; I don’t let things go easy and I always put forth effort into anything until I realize it’s past the point of working. Ahhh, it’s just hard ya know?
// MOVING //
Ooophf. Y’all this makes me cross my eyes.
As mentioned multiple times I’ll have moved a lot in a year. From South Carolina to Maine, Maine to Connecticut, Connecticut back to Charleston for a bit, then off to California. I think Tobi (my cat) is extremely traumatized haha. In all seriousness I’m actually pretty impressed with myself and how “easy” I’ve embraced the change. Listen I LOATHE change, hate it, and have for years (this all comes from loosing my parents) but I’ve actually enjoyed the newness of everything we’ve experienced. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had my bitter moments (or weeks haha), I’ve been frustrated at having to pack/unpack/get rid of all the things, and my heart yearns to settle in a place longer than a few months. Yet I’m still really excited for all of the adventures that await and all of the new places I get to not only see but live in for a little bit. I never thought I would have this strong of a spirit of adventure with all the anxiety I’ve had, but God has done some big stuff in my life.
// HEALTH //
I’m so frustrated with this area.
I have actually gained like hmm 15lbs in the last 9/10 months. I am sure it’s from all of the stress and change but my gosh it’s sucked. I’ve started working out more and trying to be more mindful of what I eat, but it’s just hard. I’m not comfortable in my own body, I loath the way my clothes fit, and overall I’m just a little angry with myself. Yup, there’s that.
// BUSINESS //
This is another area I’ve seen growth and loss in.
Photography – I feel like I’ve really grown into my own niche in my photography since moving out of Charleston. I’ve been able to explore and capture what I truly enjoy and it’s been great to see the creativity back in my work. That being said it’s been super hard to re-start my business twice and actually make money from it. Marketing yourself to your new area, to new clients, getting your name out there – it’s freaking hard.
Blog – This has also been a whirlwind. I’m trying to figure out my why behind it all and also attempting to make this into something that generates some income has been an interesting transition and learning curve. Seriously, HUGE LEARNING CURVE. I’ve also thought of completely re-branding. Getting rid of “Taking Steps Home” and coming up with a new name; I’m not fully sold on that idea, but it’s definitely a possibility. What do you think?
Etsy – So needless to say I’m shutting this down. Currently EVERYTHING is only $10 (+ shipping an not including stickers because those are less than $10) because I’m trying to get rid of all the stock I have before moving. I just didn’t really invest in this area like I could have and at the time I’m just not passionate about it anymore. So if you’re looking for some stocking stuffers head on over and help me have less stuff to move!!! <3 <3 <3
So there is a real check-in for you.
Which now leads me to ask….HOW ARE YOU?
Really, how are you doing, I truly want to know!