Monday, August 19, 2013

throwing it back: the city and my fear of settling

moving day
The day I moved to San Francisco—this picture is worth so many thousands of words.
It’s tough to even know where to begin.
 
The impact of this moment in time almost leaves me unable to breath—and to think I captured it with a single picture. Most of you already know the tale, but for those of you that don’t, I moved to the city of San Francisco, CA from Salt Lake City, UT early in 2012.
 
It had been months in the works—overall it was the solution to a problem of being extremely unsatisfied with my life and in desperate need to change. Change what? I wasn’t sure. Something. Anything. But mainly, me—not loving who I had allowed myself to become.
 
I wasn’t satisfied with the life I had created for myself. It was mediocre at best, and I couldn’t stand the thought of settling. Settling for life. A life that I knew could be more.
 
I was haunted by the idea of settling for a husband that wasn’t 100% meant for me, terrified of settling for a job that just got me through the days paying the bills, nauseated over the idea of settling with little-to-no adventure…all because I was afraid. Afraid of taking a risk, afraid of leaving the bubble, afraid of leaving my past and definitely afraid of failing.
 
After being in and out of relationships, suffocated by a little college bubble-town that I won’t name, and escaping a culture that as much as I loved, knew was harming me more than helping—so there I stood in front of a u-haul truck, hugging my family, freezing in the icy winter wind, and ready to go—knowing it was for good.
At this moment, I felt some new exhilarating spark within me.
 
An adjective—an emotion—that I had always blindly assumed I had in me but hadn’t felt in a long long time.
 
—bravery.
 
Bravery to let go of the parts of my life I didn’t want & didn’t need.
 
As many of us know, that’s a hard thing to do—much more difficult than it sounds. And to be honest with you, I’ve never been good at it. I’m stubborn & I don’t gracefully stumble—I fall heavy and damn hard at that. Always believing that I can make sense of any mess or fix any broken relationship. Unwilling to let go of something I was convinced should be mine.
 
And on this cold February day—I was letting go.
 
This whole change, move, quest—whatever-it-was—was all me. There was a lot of risk involved. All cards laid out on the table. No help from my parents—no money that I hadn’t earned myself and no plan I hadn’t made on my own. And I knew that I had no one but myself and my Father in Heaven to fall back on. There was only one option—to let go of the things keeping me stagnate and move forward.
 
Little did I know, that letting go would change my life forever.
 
I’ve talked to my husband about this moment in time—about the sudden spark of bravery I felt during that period of my life. I never once cried—not once—and I’m a crier people! I enjoy a solid teary meltdown from time to time, but from the moment I hopped into that moving van, no tears were shed. Scared out of my mind, but confident in that step forward.
 
--and I know that wasn’t all me. Because trust me—Kris alone is not that brave.
 
I know that a very loving Father in Heaven was watching me, knowing that this move was something I needed more than anything. Probably disappointed in some of the decisions I had made but caring SO much for my happiness that he filled me with courage, drive, and intense amounts of bravery.
 
Though underserving, I know that the He was by my side the entire way.
 
Weeks passed, I had never felt so alive, so beautiful or so able. I was welcomed by some of the most lovely, charming, and intelligent people I had ever known.
 
Suddenly, I felt like myself—the me that I always knew was there. The me that I used to know as a child, as I explored through the banks of the stream that ran by our house and along the yards of the chapel.
 
During those summer months, life was so full of mystery, imagination, and potential. It’s like I understood who I was—a fourth grade girl with crooked glasses, a deep passion for writing mystery novels, and endless dreams of my future adventures.
 
Somewhere along the way, I lost that girl and lost my way. And apparently that freezing cold, homeless over-run city of San Francisco was my ticket back.
 
And it was at this time of my life, somewhere in between breathing in that pacific air as I rode my bike over the golden gate bridge and eating one of the best Reuben Sandwiches I’ve ever had in my life —I became me again. 100% me. Seriously, you can read about the infatuation here.
 
and boom—enter @robc123.
 
That was God’s cue I guess. Kris is finally in a good place, I think it’s time.
 
We were an instagram couple from the start. Robert’s good friend gave him a ‘shout-out’ on one of my early instagram posts while in the city—awkwardly tagging his name in a comment left on one of my photos. And honestly, I didn’t know his friend all that well either, but thank heavens his social media game is consistently on point because it’s making ish happen (thanks muffin)
 
Soon after, we were introduced in person. A few weeks after that, we were on our first date…and the rest…you all know. If not, read about it here. And even if you already know, feel free to read it again. I may be biased, but it’s a pretty damn good story. Romantic as hell and hopeless from the get-go.
 
 Romantic as hell & hopeless from the get-go.
 
See. Right there. That’s what I always wanted. That’s what I had dreamed of as that little 4th grade girl playing adventure in those woods. Something magical.
 
Something that would sincerely take my breath away. A life with possibility and air to fill your aching lungs—and a relationship with no games, no hidden emotions, no side-giggs, and no settling. We were 110% crazy about each other from the beginning, and that love gets crazier by the day. Just like I had prayed and longed for.
 
I remember a moment, that day I hopped into that u-haul—I had this thought. That for the first time, in an extremely long time—I had a fresh start.
 
No ex-boyfriends to fall back on, no predicting what housing complex I could move into after my progression from King Henry, to Belmont, to Arlington, and absolutely no clue what was going to happen next. Out of my comfort zone and into the unknown.
 
Why? Because I had finally learned to let go.
 
And that—that right there—is what it takes to never settle. Because it’s when you can’t let go, that you end up stuck. And to all of y’all that ever entertain these thoughts. Thoughts of needing more and feeling like you’re allowing yourself to settle—DON’T.
 
Borrow some bravery like I did and head out on a new adventure. And not just a trip to SoCal or a steamy weekend to Lake Powell with the in-crowd. Something real. Something substantial. Something that may change you as a person—forever. It may be moving countries, states or zip codes.
 
It may be pushing for that new job that you want so badly but feel intimidated by. It may be mending relationships that have been left broken or wanting.
And it may not necessarily lead to your dream man/woman but it will lead you to a better place. A place where you can feel confident about your abilities and happy with who you are.
 
It just takes a little bit of bravery.
 
“One new perception, one fresh thought, one act of surrender, one change of heart, one leap of faith, can change your life forever.” Robert Holden
 
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