You might be wondering where I’ve been in the last month. Long story short. We moved back to California, moving company was 2 weeks late in delivering our stuff and all 3 kiddos began a new school year while my husband transitioned to a new work setting. As for me? A million crazy, outlandish things happened and at a certain point all I could do was laugh. So many great stories to share and I will at a certain point. For now, I am relishing in being home where I belong and creating my new normal. Work has picked up and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do meaningful work with nonprofit organizations that are changing lives.
On this Labor Day, I’m thinking about my husband and one of the greatest journeys I ever embarked on- getting married 18 years ago. I literally had no idea what I was doing but in a way I think that’s the way it should be- that’s life- stepping off the ledge- hoping for the best and knowing you’ve got to prepare for a little turbulence. So- here’s to new beginnings- that we never grow so comfortable that we are afraid to step off that ledge. I’m off to push my family into joining me for a hike in our beloved canyons this morning. In the meantime, while I catch my breath- I leave you with this piece written during my last week in St. Louis. Many blessings to you all…
The cicada’s song has returned and serenades us upon dusk. The out of nowhere monsoon thunder and lightning storms have resumed as well.We chase the fireflies around the yard and marvel at their lights. The ground smells strong after a good storm and the birds and bunnies remind us of how much life there is in the world.
I’m not scared anymore.
One year ago we landed in St. Louis, ready for an adventure and yet so sad to leave California. Also scared because I knew this move would bring so many changes and I was afraid of how those changes might affect us.
The past few years had caught up with us. My father-in-law’s stage IV cancer diagnosis and subsequent passing along with the aftermath. Ever watched a person die before your eyes? It’s a frightful thing and as you watch the horror unfold in front of you, control is slipping out of your hands and you realize this is how we all end. Life and marriage and kids and problems had turned us into shells of what we had been in our younger days, we found ourselves scrapping through, with no gusto for life- our feet heavy upon waking and hitting the hardwood floor most mornings. And then out of nowhere- poof- we were moving to St. Louis! Everything you thought about your life and what you knew about gone in that instant.
Although we didn’t know it at the time- we had just hit the re-start button for our lives. What an incredible gift. People entered our lives that we didn’t even know we needed. Experiences were had that we didn’t even know we needed to experience. But most importantly- our most valuable lesson is that we learned to laugh and find the joy in life and in each other again.
It is time for this family to go home back to California. We will pick up where we left off but from a different place. Continue our adventure we will- seeking out those people who are a bit different- the outsiders if you will- realizing how hard it is to be the person that no one talks or relates to, the person that doesn’t quite fit the narrative. Always looking for new places to discover, new journeys to travel, new experiences to have so we can continue to learn about ourselves. We will challenge ourselves to be more empathetic, caring, loving and open. We will try our hardest to protect our sacred family time and space amidst the crazy of life and not overburden ourselves with outside commitments.
I’m not scared anymore.
The sun came out today. It’s shining so brightly and beats down on my face, back, hands. It’s melted any remaining snow that remained on the ground from the first snow two weeks ago.
For the first time in weeks, I am warm this morning. It is a wonderful 50 some degrees and am so happy I could jump for joy. If I close my eyes, it could almost be a very cold day in Los Angeles. Almost. Then I open my eyes and see all the trees and know that I’m not.
It’s been 4 long winter weeks here in St. Louis since returning from our Florida Christmas vacation. Not gonna lie. It’s been hard. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually. Even the dog is cold.
Terribly homesick but it’s been a mild winter here and for that am so grateful. This too shall pass.
I am the woman who follows her own crooked, muddy, rocky path. I enjoy climbing over the many rocks, branches and mud in my way- it’s like a game to me – walking, weaving in and out and running to avoid falling. I am the woman who will wear bright colors in a sea of pale neutrals. I am the woman who is independent and will question the obvious. I am the woman who seeks out people who are different because she seeks to understand human nature that is not like her own. I used to be that girl who says yes to avoid conflict, who would go to the bathroom with large groups of women, afraid of shadows, truths, authenticity and being alone. I will never be that girl again. I would rather be the solitary woman than that girl surrounded by people who call themselves friends.
This past week was a tough one. M and I in particular we fell into that sad place. Homesick and missing friends. Tuesday night we attended M’s first Boy Scout Troop meeting. I sat back and observed the group dynamics and how M was received. We went home disappointed and deflated. M commented on the ride home “Well, that was the loneliest Boy Scout meeting I ever attended.” I wiped back my tears in the dark, once again, this time consoling him- saying- “it’s okay bud- I understand.” I woke up angry the next day- angry that back in California our Boy Scout troop was filled with boys who are friendly, outgoing, and fun and parents who are involved, organized and creative. And that we are no longer a part of those things. Feeling sorry for myself and for M. I went about my day- trying to shift my thinking to focusing on those things that make me happy. Grateful for: Continue reading “Not Settling”
We had our first real summer thunderstorm last night. Thunder shook the whole house, lightning lit up the entire sky and rain poured like a monsoon. It went on for a good four hours. I think my state of mind can best be summed up by what I said as I held on to her for dear life in bed. She said “Um Mommy why are you hugging me like a baby hugs her mommy when I’m the baby and you are the Mommy?” I couldn’t stop giggling. These kids have adjusted to life in the mid-west better than I seem to have.
A dear friend wrote me a letter. Remember those? It was so much fun to receive a letter and as I read it out loud it was as if she was right beside me talking. One of her questions to me was what do you like about your new city? It made me think about all the good things that have happened to us since moving here. It helped me turn the corner so to speak and was exactly what I needed. So this post is all about the good stuff, the positives that have come out of moving out of Los Angeles and to a small town in St. Louis, Missouri.
No more 2-hour work commutes for T. We have him around a whole lot more in our lives. He rides his bike to and from work- a nice 10 minute ride. In LA, his work commute was 2 hours each way. He also comes home for lunch. It’s pretty awesome. Dinner is no longer at 7 pm or not at all. We eat between 5:30-6 pm. One of us says blessing over our food and we eat, laugh and talk over big family dinners at the dinner table on a regular basis, not just on Sundays.
Life no longer stops on Sunday night. Since T is around a whole lot more, we enjoy family time during weekday evenings. Family walks after dinner or a trip to the park so the boys can fly their remote controlled planes. Or bearing witness to a great father-son bonding moment. Here’s a great picture of T showing C how to mow the lawn. A time-honored tradition that has fallen to the wayside partially the result of so many affordable Mexican gardeners in California. Here, in Missouri, not too many mexicanos if any at all and so we find ourselves responsible for lawn maintenance. And let me tell you, come the fall season with all the leaves coming down, the boys will be crying and whining up a storm. I thoroughly look forward to it. He he he. Continue reading “A Thunderstorm, a Letter and One Thousand Gifts”
I’m writing on my iPhone on an old soiled couch cushion. There’s nothing left in the house. Some plastic utensils. A pan borrowed from a neighbor. Air mattresses borrowed from a friend. Even the dog and cars are gone.
Yesterday, I woke up with a horrible tummy ache. I had to drop off the cars with Harold- my new best friend who will drive them to Missouri. A complete stranger taking some of my most important possessions. That’s what’s been most stressful to me I think in these past few days. Trusting complete strangers with all of my possessions. But I need to remind myself that is what they are. That’s all they are. Stuff.
I have been stripped bare. And it’s raw. It hurts. It’s humbling. Continue reading “Blessings and Besos”