The Great Unknown of 2017

Change is scary.  Change is uncertain.   Fear of change is what keeps us clinging to past mistakes and bad habits simply because they are familiar.  Fears paralyzes us to stay where we are at, instead of moving forward into the unknown.  Because it is the unknown and not change that we are truly afraid of.  Change is only the vessel with which we are forced to face the unknown.  The unknown is this place where we fill inadequate and unprepared, and maybe worst of all – powerless to control our own destiny.

So we stay.  We avoid the unknown, because here may not be great, but at least we know what to expect.  Here we are prepared; we are in control.  Here is comfortable; it is safe.

I don’t think we ever truly conquer our fears.  I don’t think  we are suppose to.  Fear is there for a reason, and it isn’t going to go away.  No, we will never truly conquer fear, but we can become more comfortable with it.  We can learn to embrace it instead of run from it.  We can learn to stop letting our fear get in the way of our own happiness.

In the last five years, I have done many things that I would have never believed myself capable of.  I was certain that there was no way that I could do something that bold or that brave.  But I did.  I was scared at every step, but I slowly started to learn that maybe I had no idea my limits of what I could do.

My great unknowns still scare me.  However, I am learning that my great unknowns hold some of the best experiences of my life.  They are just waiting there, waiting for me to have the courage to reach out and live them.

The last year has been pretty comfortable for me.  That isn’t too say that it wasn’t hard, simply that I felt the most settled I have ever felt in life.  But I can’t stay here.  I was not made to stay here.  2016 is gone, and 2017 is likely to look much different.  2017 involves me quitting my job, putting a couple more stamps on my passport, and starting law school.  I would be lying if I didn’t admit I was scared.  That is my great unknown, and it is daunting.  I am not going to run from that fear.  I am going to embrace it, and pull myself closer to being the person I want to be.

Whatever your 2017 holds, whatever your great unknown is,  I hope you embrace it.  I hope you learn that you are strong, capable, and brave.  I hope you have moments in which you find yourself pulling closer to the person you know yourself to be.  I hope you learn that your limits are far wider than you ever thought they could be.

“What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over.”

“We can’t, we MUST not loose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.”

– The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

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Photo Credit: Lori Rensink

Life in the Slow Lane

I have always been fast.  Ever since I could walk, I started running and I didn’t stop.  It’s just in my blood.  I want to go, I want to move.  I never saw this a problem until recently.  Life has turned into a blur.  I can barely separate the days out from the last year.  Christmas has come and gone months ago.  Now spring is here begging for my attention.

How did this happen without my notice?  I thought this was just something that happened when you get older.  When you no longer have a school calendar to break up your time, everything kind of runs together.  I started to get nervous.  I am only 24.  Am I going to blink and wake up 50?  Life was moving too fast, and I was letting it.   Where am I in such a rush to get?  Certainly not my death, so where?  Where am I going that is going to be so much better than where I am?

Something was wrong, something needed to change.

I woke up, another Monday morning, another week laid out in front of me.  All mornings are tough, but Monday mornings are notoriously tough.  I woke up this morning thinking of all the things I would have to survive this week before the sweet beautiful weekend arrived once again.  You are probably reading this thinking, “I feel ya sista” without a second thought as to how backwards this way of thinking is.   Since when did life become something we need to survive?

It is hard to just be.  There is so much uncertainty that surrounds us.  We begin to notice all the things we tried so hard to hide with our busy schedules.  We notice how lost we feel.  We notice how hard life has been.  When we stop we give ourselves a chance to listen to the small guiding voice.

We get gentle.

We take a moment to breathe.

To process.

To hit pause on a life that never seems to stop moving.

I went on a hike a couple of days ago.  It was beautiful.  Spring was emerging.  Green grass breaking through cold melting snow.  I was eager to blaze the trails and get to my destination.  But I didn’t.  I went slow.  I took my time.  I soaked in the nature and let it effect me in the way that only nature can.  Winter melting into spring, just as the seasons of my life are melting into each other.  New life coming from what was once barren and ugly.

I took a moment to listen to what I had been to busy to hear.

My journey has taken me far and wide.  The last year alone has been filed with devastating disappointment and overwhelming joy.  I have broken and I have rebuilt.  I became both malleable and resilient.  And slowly I started to turn into the person I never thought I would be brave enough to be.  How could I not be grateful of a journey that has brought me so far and taught me so much?

I have been so focused on where I am going that I have completely lost sight of where I am right now.  I have being living my life like the destination is the point.  It’s not.  It’s the journey.   It’s about finding the person we never believed we would be brave enough to be.

Life isn’t just about the big moments that take our breath away.  It is also about the small moments, the forgotten moments.  It is about taking our time to get where we are going.  It is about life that is sweet and slow, not a life that is rushed through.  It’s about taking the time to ponder where we have been and where we are going.  It’s about being fully present in the moments we are given. It is about a life lived in the slow lane.

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The Fear of Falling Failure

“You just need to push off and swing to the other side.”

The Just implied that it was easy.  A piece of cake.  What the experienced rock climbers, safely planted on the ground, were really telling me was that I need to let go. Obviously.  Just let go.

It was my first time rock climbing.  I felt a twinge of fear as I looked at what I was about to climb, but I silenced it.   I have always been good at climbing.  My family likes to tell me about how when I could barely even walk I would love to climb up the step stool we kept in the kitchen.  I would climb up, fall down, dust myself off, and climb back up.  I don’t remember this at all, either from being too young or from hitting my head each time I fell.  My point is that  I have always loved climbing things, as a child and yes still as an adult.  So my excitement about rock climbing quickly squashed any nerves or fear I had.

That is until on my first run up.  I managed the first half like a natural, and then I got stuck.

“You just need to push off and swing to the other side.”

Yeah okay, sure, easy peasy, I’ll get right to that.

I tried to use my unnatural long limbs to reach to the other side, so I wouldn’t actually have to let go and swing over.  I had half let go, but I was also half still holding on for dear life.  What sane person wouldn’t when they are that far above ground?  At that height you forget that you are being supported by a rope that will catch you.  At that height all knowledge that you are safe feels like a lie trying to trick you, and suddenly there is no way you are letting go.

Undeterred, I tried a second time on the second rig.  Once again I was climbing quickly and easily.  Look at me go.

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Then I fell.

I don’t remember how it happened.  I just remember one minute I was reaching, the next minute I was falling, the next minute I was caught, and then I was fine.  After that falling didn’t seem so scary anymore.  I took more risks, and yes fell many more times.  But each time I was fine.  The more I fell, the less I was afraid of falling.

My next attempt back on the other rig, I got stuck in the same place.  And you know what I did without even hesitating?  You guessed it, I let go and pushed myself to the other side.  Not only did I survive, but I realized that letting go was ridiculously fun.

Letting go can be scary.  Until it isn’t  Although that is easy to say in rock climbing (relatively) it is a lot harder when you are talking about something more personal and permanent.  Especially since in life it often seems like their isn’t a rope to catch us when we reach too far.  So we convince ourselves that our dreams our merely meant to be pretty pictures put on our shelf of someday.  Thought about and admired but not something we ever dare lived.

I have been a dreamer ever since I can remember.  I use think that when I grew up and finally started living my dreams it would be like running through a field of daisies as I easily glided into happily ever after.  Not even a little bit.  It is more like being stuck 50 feet in the air the first time I decide to rock climb.

Terrifying.

Life is a beautiful story of falling and picking ourselves up again.  Those who do great things are not the ones who never failed, but the ones who refuse to let their failure stop them.  Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to just let go.  To fall so we can catch ourselves, so we can once again believe in ourselves.  So that the next time we find ourselves having to swing to the other side, we won’t hesitate, we won’t let our fear hold us, we will just swing, and for one split second feel free from our fear.

Fading Summer and Falling Leaves

I have been suffering from temporary writers block these last couple of weeks.  I have tried multiple times to write new pieces but have sputtered and died after about 150 words.  I have had a lot of ideas of topics I want to write about, but then I sit fingers ready at the keyboard and nothing.

All of my creative juices have been thrown into trying to write my personal statement for my law school application.  I foolishly thought this would be the easiest part of my application.   I mean I have a blog, writing prose about my life experiences is kind of what I do.  I had mentally checked this off my to do list before I even started.  Foolish and naive I was.  I am learning there are no easy parts to apply to law school.  I made a meme to reiterate my point . . .

meme law schoolIf I am going to do this, I am going to do it right.  Which means months of studying for the lsats (I know disgusting).  It means hours spent writing and rewriting my personal statement.  It means researching law schools so I know what my options are. It means asking for help when I have no idea what I am doing.

I keep thinking that I have plenty of time, it is only August September October (tomorrow?!?). I am still in shock about August being over that I can barely comprehend how September started and ended without my notice.  I was told that life moves faster as you get older, I just never thought it would be this fast.

Which is why now I must begin the painful process of saying goodbye to another summer.

Summer was fantastic, but it was a blur.  I traveled, I laughed, I cried, and I watched my brother get married.  Some days I was so busy going places that I forgot what it was like to be home.  Summer flew by way too fast, and suddenly before I knew it, fall was creeping in.  The crispness in the air, the crispness of leaves that have just fallen to the ground.

I absolutely adore fall.  I use to never like fall, because it stood for the end of summer freedom.  It reminds me that dreadful winter is just around the corner.  Fall was just that season that brought the end of summer and the beginning of winter (and school). Fall meant letting going of the promise for adventure that summer holds, and buckling down for the long, never-ending, barren cold of winters in South Dakota.  Fall is a last chance to enjoy being outside before the snow and cold traps us in for months.

However now that fall is no longer coupled with the dread of going back to school, I can actually enjoy it.  Oh I am still sad to see summer go, and I still am dreading winter, but fall is absolutely the most gorgeous time of the year.

I love wrapping the chilly air out with scarfs and boots.

I love the taste of an apple that has spent all summer soaking up the sun.

I absolutely love pumpkin everything.

I love Halloween and Thanksgiving.

But most importantly I love the colors that get paint-brushed across the trees.

Fall 4 PC Terri Gostola

Photo Credit: Terri Gostola

I love listening to this song in the fall. It gives me nostalgia for another summer that I must let go of.  It is also a beautiful song if you want to listen to it.

Photo Credit: Terri Gostola

 Summer Again by The Afters:

I’m watching the green give into gold
As summer becomes October’s cold
Gravity begs
For one final kiss
She drops it to him, as she gives in

Traces of light, linger around
As laces of white fall to the ground
The softest of sounds for the heaviest things
And the pain that it brings

As she falls I try to catch her
For one last touch of warmth from summer
As one thing leaves to becomes another again
I remember when

Don’t remember the day, she started to fade
The ground felt a chill as she gave it away
A whisper – a sigh, for the time that she passed
But this winter won’t last

As she falls I try to catch her
For one last touch of warmth from summer
As one thing leaves to becomes another again
I remember when
Oh to be with summer again

The days were warm and we wore them like skin
Now I feel the effects of October again

As she falls I try to catch her
For one last touch of warmth from summer
As one thing leaves to becomes another again
I remember when
Oh to be with summer again

I’m watching the green give in to gold
As summer becomes Octobers cold

So to help myself accept that summer is over and to make sure I take time to enjoy fall, I decided to make a fall bucket list.

My Fall Bucket List 2015:

  1. Go to a corn maze
  2. Go to a haunted house
  3. Go to a pumpkin patch
  4. Carve a pumpkin
  5. Go to an apple orchard
  6. Make fall goodies
  7. Host a friends thanksgiving
  8. Run on my favorite trails at least once a week
  9. Watch a scary movie
  10. Decorate for Halloween
  11. Make a Halloween Costume
  12. Give out candy to trick-or-treaters
  13. Make homemade apple cider
  14. Tailgate a football game
  15. Spend time outside doing nothing but enjoying fall

Fall PC Chris Asche

Photo Credit: Chris Asche

**** I would love to hear your thoughts, please leave your comments in the section below.  What items do you have on your fall bucket list?  Are you just as sad as I am to see summer go? Also any advice on banishing writers block would be appreciated. 

I Don’t Hate Mornings (or you), I Just Need Coffee

Mornings are rough.  If you are like me (the cursed half of humanity that was born to hate mornings), getting out of bed will be the hardest thing you have to do all day.  That is until you stumble into work clutching your coffee like the lifeline it is, trying to shake the fogginess from your brain, and praying no one bothers you for the next hour.

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Don’t talk to me.  Don’t need anything from me.  Do you see the cup of gold in my hand?  Good.  Now wait until it is gone before you approach me.  I try to hold back the death glare when you ignore the above request.  But it is hard, really hard, so I am sorry.

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It isn’t that I hate mornings.  I actually quite love them when I don’t have to do any productive.  Sitting on my porch with a cup of gold in my head on a crisp fall morning, that is something that might get me out of bed.

What I hate is the assumption that every jumps out of bed ready to tackle the world the moment their first alarm goes off.  Lets be real, I said first because I have several and I always hit snooze.  Waking up for me is a 30 minute process in which I am trying to figure out which alarm clock I have to snooze this time.

Now I am fully aware that researchers say hitting snooze only makes it harder for you to wake up later, but I am willing to bet that researcher was also a morning person. You see morning people just don’t understand.  What do you mean you aren’t happy and perky to be awake?  What do you mean you don’t ooze confetti and rainbows the minute you step out of bed?  Why are you crabby, don’t you know it is a beautiful day.  

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The worst type of morning person you can find is the overly optimistic kind.  You encounter one of those and you run fast and you run hard. No one is that happy to get out of bed.  No one.  I don’t want to hear about how much you love mornings while I am still miserably half asleep.  I promise you it won’t make me like mornings, it will just make me glare at you until you stop talking.  Please don’t take it personally, its not you its me.  Well its a little bit you, but I will get over it.

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If you are the half of humanity that is lucky enough to enjoy being productive during the hours that society dictates, please be gentle with us.  Please don’t tell us we look crabby, we know, we can feel it.

Yours truly,

– The grumpy cat that ate the morning bird because its chirping was too obnoxious.

Memoirs of a Paralegel – How I Survived my First (Almost) Year in a Law Firm

Heels, coffee, pencil skits, more coffee.

I use to think I handled stress well, then I worked in a law office.  Where I am constantly fixing others problems, and constantly being needed.

A blonde paralegal running around in my red heels and pencil skirts from copier to computer to, wait I think I need more coffee, to “Lori can you fix this?”  Yes.  “Lori can you make sure this gets done today?”  Yes. “Lori the printer is broken.” I’m on it.  “Lori do you know how to fix my computer?”  Yes, move over.  “Lori this client is upset can you talk to them?”  Yes, just let me get more coffee.  “Lori here is a 1,000 pages of medical records for you to read through.”  Umm yes okay I am going to need a lot more coffee.

I have been working in a law office for just over 9 months now.  Some times I forget just how under qualified I am for my job as a Paralegal until people ask me, “Oh so do did you go to school for that.”  No I did not.  Apparently though you can.

About a month ago. I was in the elevator with a guy who works in a different law office in the same building.  He was nice enough, and I had seen him around often.  He introduced himself and started talking to me, “You know I interviewed for you job too.”  Well this is awkward.  “So where did you work before this?”

Actually awkward did not even begin to describe what I was feeling. Telling him that I worked in a coffee shop didn’t seem like a good answer.  Telling the guy who had wanted my job that I was in no way qualified for it also didn’t seem like a good response.  Why is this elevator moving so slowly?  Someone please help, get me out.

I finally just responded by telling him that I recently graduated college.  Thankfully that is when the elevator door finally opened on my floor.  I fled.

I showed up on my first day more nervous than I have been in a long time.  I tugged at my suit jacket feeling like a little girl playing dress up, wearing clothes I stole from my mother’s closet that very obviously didn’t fit me.

I sat in my office, my own very office.  The phone rang, I panicked.  Why on earth does it have so many buttons?  What good is graduating at the top of your class if you can’t even figure out a freaking phone? 

My boss would ask me every day, “Miss Rensink how did day 1 go?”  “Miss Rensink how did day 2 go?”   Every day I would answer with a thin smile, “A little bit better than yesterday.”  He would see my deer-in-the-headlight look and just nod and smile, “Every day will get easier.”

And you know what, it did.  Oh it would also get really hard.  There were many moments were I simply didn’t think I could do it as I forced back the frustrated tears.  There were moments when crawling under my desk to hide sounded like a good idea, whether it was from exhaustion, because my brain felt fried, or because I simply did not want to have to talk to any more people.  I haven’t yet, but some days I look down there and just think it looks nice.  Safe.

But I didn’t.  I just goggled all of the legal jargon so I would know what my boss meant when he told me to draft a Summons and Complaint.   Some days I would just tell my very patient boss that I had no idea what he was talking about.  And I learned.  I was learning so much that I never thought I could keep up, but I did.

Then one day the pencil skirts and heels felt like they belonged to me.  I stopped feeling like I was playing dress up.  One day I realized that I actually might know what I was doing.  More than that, I might actually be good at it.

One day I stopped feeling like I was drowning.  Oh I would still have my moments of feeling overwhelmed when I was surrounded by towers of papers, but I stopped believing that I couldn’t do this.

Maybe it is just part of my nature.  I have never backed down from a challenge in my life, and I don’t intend to start anytime soon.  The only way to find out what I am capable of is to run hard and run fast to the edge of the cliff.

I haven’t fallen off yet.  Don’t get me wrong, there have definitely been times when I would find myself dangling off the edge for a minute.  But I would quick pull myself back up.

It makes me think about the things we believe ourselves to capable of.  The mind games we play with ourselves to believe that we are not enough to do a certain thing or to be a certain type of person.  Yes, maybe right now you aren’t enough, but that doesn’t mean that you could never be enough.  If you are unqualified, then jump in the water and become qualified.  You may find yourself in 9 months wondering why you ever doubted your abilities in the first place. 

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Photo Credit: Lori Rensink

**** I was recently talking to a good friend who I asked to give me feedback on my blog.  He told me, “Its good but I am left feeling like I want to know more about you.”  Huh I guess I didn’t realize people would care about that stuff.  So I decided to write a series of memoirs about my life experiences, because I some how find myself doing things like catching chickens in Africa or running to stop a fight among inmates.  Speaking of which . . . 

Up next is Memoirs of a Prison Intern where I flash back to my days working in a penitentiary. 

Thank you for reading,  and please feel free to comment below.  If there are any stories you have that you would like to share, or any stories from my life you would like to read about please let me know.

Cherished Blogfest

Our van pulled up to the marketplace in Livingstone, Zambia.  The air was hot and sticky.   The air was always hot and sticky.  It was the type of heat that makes you forget what it is like to be cold.

Within a few short days, the Zambians we had partnered with already felt like brothers.  They promised to help us navigate the market place, but there were much more of us than them.

With big eyes and Kwacha (Zambian Currency) in hand, I took my first steps towards the market place.

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Photo Credit: Michael Liedtke

They barter everything in the market place.  I would eventually barter my hair tie for a nice hand carved wood bottle opener for my brother.  Bartering is kind of intimidating to me in itself.  I am not a demanding, forceful person.  I could never work in sales.

So here I was trying to barter for my first time.   Of course it would be with a foreign currency.  Not that it really mattered since I had no idea how much any of this stuff would be worth in American money.  Add to that the fact that my white skin screams I have money and no idea what I am doing.  I was basically a moving target for disaster.

The marketplace vendors were indeed happy to see a van full of mzungas (white people) pull up.   I wandered off on my own.  True to their word, my Zambian brothers came to help me.  They helped the marketplace vendors take me more seriously, but besides that they were mostly there for moral support.

If I played confidant, maybe the vendors wouldn’t catch on that I had no idea what I was doing.  One thing I did have going for me, is that I can read people really well.  I could tell which vendors were trying to take advantage of me.

The first thing on my list was a chitenge (a chitenge is a long colorful piece of fabric that the women wrap around themselves as skirts).

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Photo Credit: Michael Liedtke

I know that I paid too much for it, but I also knew that I didn’t care.  The woman was nice and I had talked down the price enough.  Plus she needed the money more than me, and it felt greedy to pay any less.

I had bought my first chitenga.  Oh I would buy others.  In fact I cherish everything I bought in Zambia.   But my first chitenga would always be special to me.  It reminded me of a girl who was fearless, even when she had no idea what she was doing.  It reminded me of the girl who wasn’t afraid to jump in and get her hands dirty.

It reminded me of my last night in Africa.  When I stood barefoot in the orange African dirt looking up at the stars.  The wind was gently whipping my chitenga around my legs.  I scrunched my toes into the dirt and promised myself that this would not be the last time my feet touched African soil. 

**** Michael Liedtke is a professional photography that went to Zambia with me.  To see more of his amazing photos from Zambia, click here.

**** Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read my blog.  If you have a cherished object you would like me to read about, please put in the comments below.

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Lessons on Love

Ed Sheeran’s Afire Love is one of my favorite songs.  I can rarely listen to it and not get  a little teary eyed.

V. 1 Things were all good yesterday
And then the devil took your memory
And if you fell to your death today
I hope that heaven is your resting place
I heard the doctors put your chest in pain
But then that could have been the medicine
There you are lying in the bed again
Either way I’ll cry with the rest of them

V. 2 Things were all good yesterday
Then the devil took your breath away
Now we’re left here in the pain
Black suit black tie standing in the rain
And now my family is one again
Stapled together with the strangers and a friend
Came to my mind I should paint it with a pen
6 years old I remember when

I lost two grandparents to memory related diseases, so this song really hits home for me.  If you have never listened to the song I would recommend it.  You can listen to it here, just make sure you bring a box of tissues.

Family is a weird concept.  Family can mean the people we are born with, the people we are married to, our extended family, our immediate family, or friends who feel like family.  There many definitions, and angles, and possibilities, and people to what a family can be.  All of which leaves slightly overwhelmed and lost in what our family actually is.

It has not been an easy few years for my family.  Although I don’t think any of us would claim it has been hard, it has defiantly not been easy.  Just when we thought that we made it, that we would be okay, our sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, and wife left.

Gone.

No goodbye.

No explanation.

Just gone.

How do you begin to explain to your wide eyed and way to young nieces and nephews that she just isn’t coming back?

Losing a family member is painful.  Having a family member intentionally leave you is worse.  A ghost appears, haunting you in the spaces that they use to fill.  Reminders of them are like knives that cuts through our hearts just when you think it has healed from the shattering.

We go through the stages of grief, sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards.

Stages of sadness;

Stages of anger;

Stages of confusion;

Sometimes all of these stages at once mixed with unrelenting demand for the answers we know we can never have.  

So how do we cope?  How do we move on so that we can begin to love again?  How are we suppose to open up our hearts again when they already feel so rubbed raw?

My family recently got together for my niece’s dedication.  We filled up two rows at church just like we always do when we are all together.  It is a beautiful thing.  I was in the back corner of our mob, and I just watched my family interact with each other.

The pastor was talking about marriage and building a foundation of love that will last.  The whole time I just watched the way that they loved each other.  I thought about the foundation may parent’s molded into our lives.  The type of foundation that was weathered, but still stood strong.

Family

It was then that I knew we would be okay.  Better than okay, because somehow through all of the anger, sadness, and confusion we had found each other.  We had learned what it means to be a family.   A family who had arms to welcome us home and shoulders to cry on.  A family that absorbed each other into our lives fluidly as we came and went.  A family that taught me about love, the real kind of lasting love.

They taught me that love is learning to rely on each other, like clinging to a tree when all of the ground is crumbling underneath your feet.

Love is fighting for someone when the other person isn’t strong enough to fight for themselves.

Love is open arms with open hearts, even if those hearts are still a little raw.

Love is family, no matter what definition that may be.

What Makes a Home

Growing up I was lucky that I never had to move as a child.  Perks of being the daughter of a farmer, moving isn’t normally in the cards.  This place will always be my true home and I am grateful that ever time I leave I know it isn’t goodbye forever.  I love the way the cherry trees bloom in the spring and the how the apples trees smell in the fall.  I love the anticipation of turning out our long gravel driveway and knowing that I am almost home. 

Home

Home 2

 However since I have been 18, I have moved twice every year.  I have become an expert at moving.  I have a very tried and true packing system.  I have also learned just how easily I become attached to the places I call home.

There is something heart wrenching about see the place that you use to call home, empty and unrecognizable from the place you came to love as your home. It is if all the memories you have there, all of the adventures, all of the growing, all of the nights you stayed up late trying to figure out what it meant to BE in this life, are just gone.  Washed away in the bare walls and the empty cupboards. It just gets me every time.  I walk through to say my final goodbyes and replay the best moments.  Then I see the empty rooms as erased memories and I just cry.  I am not sure if I am weird or normal for doing this, but I have always been a bit of sentimental sap about these things.

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All my Single Ladies

It is a rough time of year to be single.  Just when you think you made it through the holidays.  You know the whole not having anyone to bring home on Christmas, or kiss on New Years Eve, plus eating chocolate alone on Valentines day fiasco.  Just when you think you survived all of that, you are hit square in the forehead with wedding season.  Don’t get me wrong, I love wedding season.  I love watching my friends and family fall in love with their soulmates.  But every wedding is just another reminder that mine should be right around the corner.  Only its not.  Only I am no where near even being in a serious dating relationship no less a marriage.

The realization that I am no where close to marriage makes me wonder if I didn’t miss a step in life.   I know that in the grand scheme of things I am still very young, but as the days go on I feel like the reality of marriage becomes more unattainable not less.  While I was happily enjoying my freedom and exploring my youth, should I have been more focused on falling in love?  But that doesn’t seem right either because I wouldn’t trade those years for anything, even a wedding dress.  Those were my most formable and memorable years.  While everyone else was busy falling in love, I was busy discovering the world and how I fit into it.  But now at the still young age of 23, I feel like I missed this window of opportunity that I didn’t even know existed.

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