|Dress: Ruche, Bangles: Kate Spade, Nails: Jamberry|
I was born and raised in a small desert town in Arizona.
The kind of town with occasional tumbleweeds and excessive winter visitors. A big sky and a small population. Bright stars and dull shopping.
Despite of or maybe because of its flaws, I loved growing up there. I was a desert girl through and through. I had seen snakes and been stung by a scorpion, the desert was in my blood.
I lived in the same house for 18 years with my parents and my 3 brothers. I had my own room. I was a packrat, and I was proud. Sentimental to a fault, as they say.
After I graduated high school I broke the mold and went all the way to California for college.
Obviously you geography lovers (I do not count myself among that breed) will know that California is right next door to Arizona, but for me it was a lifetime away from home. I still considered Arizona my true home, of course, and returned there every summer, every holiday, and every 3-day weekend. I felt like I "moved" often, dorm to home to apartment to home.
But it wasn't until I turned 22, got married, and moved across the country to Virginia that I truly understood the concept of moving. It was awful. Absolutely terrible! I won't lie to you. Moving is the worst. It also can be the best thing in the world, but I didn't realize that until maybe yesterday.
When people say "nobody likes change" they're not lying. And there's a really good reason for that. People don't like change because they're terrible at it. It literally hurts sometimes. I think we were created to find comfort in things, whether it be people or places or things. We were created to love and have fellowship and be. Big changes throw us for a loop because we're really good at being invested in our lives. It's a flaw of being a selfish being, probably, this inability to easily accept the big shake-ups of life.
I'm probably speaking only to myself right now, but bear with me because I think I just need to talk this out.
I hate moving because it's hard. I hate it because it's exhausting, it's sad, it's frustrating. It costs money and time. It's lonely and overwhelming. It rips you away from things you love and leaves you vulnerable to disappointment and regret.
I love moving because it's hard. I love it because it demands hard work, loyalty, and togetherness. It opens new possibilities and inspires innovation. It rids you of clutter and excess (it lightens a packratty heart) and rouses reflection. It brings you closer to a future unknown, opening up your world to new ideas, new people, and new loves. It shakes you up and makes you look again, look closer, remember better, try harder.
Here is what I learned from that one time we lived in Virginia for 3 years.
I learned that there are kindred spirits everywhere. There are probably millions of people that I could and would be best friends with if I ever had the blessed opportunity to meet them. It makes me want to revive the age of pen pals. It's an absolute thrill to think about all of the strange destinies that led us to Lynchburg, to some of the best friends we will ever have in our lives.
I learned that you get what you give. Do you know how many unhappy couples and families we met while we were in law school? Far too many. It was our choice to love our city, and commit even further to each other by investing time and energy into our home, our marriage, and our friends (and our cats). We made so many incredible memories. Ignore the tears falling down my cheeks right now that you can't even see - I miss law school, that's how much fun it was. I wish it could have been longer.
I learned that I actually could live somewhere else. My bubble is a little bit bigger now. I thought I would die being away from Arizona, but shockingly enough, I lived. We made a home somewhere new. One that will live in my heart forever.
I learned how to be a better friend, daughter, wife. I was allowed to experience true love and loyalty from our long-distance loved ones.
I learned that Fall is breathtaking, snow days are exhilarating, learning is never-ending, good friends are edifying, and first homes are lasting.
And moving is the worst.