It has been one year since the day we left our little paradise on Larkspur Lane. In some ways that time feels like just yesterday and in other ways, I am in full realization that it has been a whole year. I have learned so much about myself in the last year. When I was running the other day I was thinking about some of the ways that i have changed and some of the things that I have learned. I have moved many times in my life, but nothing as significant as moving after 13 years of being in one place. This has been one of the hardest things I have done in my life so far and one of the most changing events for who I am.
I learned that a 4 hour drive is "next door" and an 8 hour drive is a blessing!
I have learned that driving your kids to school at 7am is bleak no matter where you live. But with 3/4 of our drive with an ocean front view of the waves and sand and birds...it somehow makes a normally relentless routine somewhat inspirational.
I learned that judging a book by its cover is an honest and calculated way to weed through a full library of books. Let's be honest...the title and small clip on the back of the book tell you so much about what you are going to read! And by the late 30's, you know what you like. But....it is always important when using this method of sorting to remember that if a book keeps showing up in front of you....you might want to say....the content does not seem like it would be all that much of a match to my tastes....but maybe it is here for a reason!
I learned that in the face of great change... a part of you is lost and a part of you is gained. And it is up to you to monitor and sculpt the gain that fills you. Because the space WILL fill up without your consent if you are not on top of it.
I have learned that when getting to know new people who have no history or basis for you what so ever.....it makes you listen to yourself talk more. Your words and how you present are ALL these new people know of you....you are not a friend of a friend...or someone who you know the family and our kids play and we are just meeting....you are truly NEW and therefore creating a full picture of yourself for this new person with everything that you say! Not that I would change what I say to fit the situation - I am who I am, but I have just been much more aware of ME and I listen to Me more than I used to!
I learned that I have taken for granted some huge parts of my life, and that sometimes it takes being ripped away from them to TRULY appreciate what you had. And with that said, I truly believe I am an appreciative person? And yet somehow...despite that...moving to the far south has STILL taught me this.
I learned that new friends are awesome, but there is ABSOLUTELY no replacing or even finding friends that know and love the WHOLE you. Not at this age! There is too much "you" to be learned by someone that is just coming to the show.
I have learned that there are many things that I absolutely LOVE about a small town!
I learned that it is admirable to give your WHOLE self to you children and your family...but it makes you fat and sucks out your energy. And it is very easy to go that direction without a support group to remind you that "you" are important too!! To that end....finding the YOU in life again....on your own....may just keep it in the top ten list for life? One can hope??
I have learned that I can love a child that did not come from my body, with as much passion as those that did! I always assumed it and felt confident in it...but now I KNOW for sure that it is true.
I learned that life is truly harder at every turn when you feel alone. Being along and feeling alone are two very different things. That distinction will be forever ingrained in my being after this move.
I learned that a safe place for your kids to ride a bike is far more important to me than living on the beach? Can you believe I said that??
I have learned that I don't mind humidity, dog size bugs and alligators if it means I don't have to have cold weather!
I have learned that sharing a life changing event with other folks will forever imprint them on your heart. I can pass/speak to the same person at the YMCA every day for a year and never make a connection, but I can spend two weeks with someone in China and think about them daily.
I learned that 4 kids is my perfect number.
I learned that the 4 walls you live in are just that...walls....it is the love that you have in those walls that matters. Never again will any ONE house be important to me! Only the people that come along with that location! :)
I have learned that the phrase "Distance changes things" is not always true.
And along those lines I have learned that Distance can actually grow relationships. When you take the "easy" out of a relationship and that bond continues to grow....it is then more special than it could have ever been prior.
I have learned that as life goes on..."time flies" in an understatement.
I have learned that true friends and family are ALWAYS in your heart and your mind. No matter how long it has been since you have given them a hug.
And I have learned that life has a path, and in the face of change and uncertainty, it is NECESSARY to have faith in life's path. It is necessary to work hard, press forward, do your best, love with your whole heart, look for your purpose....but all with an open heart. Because your next mission - the next way that you can make a difference.... is hard to see when so much uncertain fills your head and heart. It is like a clear moment on a rainy day. So easy to call it a "rainy day" and to miss that hour of sun that could have - would have - changed the way you saw that entire day!
My heart is larger having gone through this move. My whole being is less structured and more open to anything. My faith in my life's path has grown and my appreciation for all I have is at a high. This move has been good in so many ways. Hard...yes....but overall, a life changing event that will forever have created another part of who I am.