Hello to all of you still following! I’ve been on several hiatuses this past year, none I’ve actually planned on. Life happens, and I’ve learned to roll with it. haha I’ve mentioned before how there’s been a lot of change in my life recently, which is the culprit of my inconsistency. I’ve wanted to blog, but I didn’t have the time (or emotional capacity) to dedicate to writing a post worth reading. I still am not quite to 100% yet, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel!
I’ve learned so many things in the past year. How to move to an entirely different region of the US, squish seven people into three bedrooms for months on end (still going strong), eat peal ‘n eat shrimp, love people who are drastically different than myself, understand MS accents, gain and lose friendships, winding backroad drives, healing from trauma, and so much more. I didn’t actually want to learn any of it, but I also didn’t have a choice–life goes as life wants to. Am I thankful for the wisdom gained? Absolutely. Was it easy? Absolutely…not.
- LEARN TO BE FLUID
One of the biggest things I had to learn was to be fluid. In the midst of a major life change, such as a cross-country move, there will be a seemingly endless amount of unpredictable change. Just when you think the sand beneath you is solid, it’ll shift; you have to keep up or you’ll fall flat. Phrases like “Go with the flow!”, “Roll with it!”, and “One day at a time!” will take on a whole new meaning.
- ACCEPT DIFFERENCES
This has been something I was pretty familiar with before moving (post here), but I had never been faced with such overwhelming differences. Absolutely everything was different about the people and culture. Different isn’t wrong is a good thing to remember when being faced with so much contrast to yourself. It’s easy to want to go in and make everyone adapt to your way…but changing the entire south is an impossible feat. (hence the confederate flags still hanging next to the Trump 2020 ones)
- OVERCOME THE PRESSURE TO CONFORM; STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF
When I moved to Mississippi, for the first time in my life, I was the outsider. Everyone else was Southern, and I…was not. Nor did I want to be. (I still don’t) There was an intense pressure to conform, something I’d never really experienced. I’ve always been confident in who I was, but I’d also never been faced with so many voices telling me what I should be. It’s easy for people to think different is wrong (see above ;), and we were definitely different. We were told so many times that it wasn’t just our lack of accent–even the way we carried ourselves marked us as outsiders. There’s been no end to people asking where we’re actually from, because we are so un-Southern. (I plan on writing a post in this vein of thought, so keep an eye out for that) The journey of re-gaining confidence in who I am was unexpected, but I am thankful for it!
- LOVE PEOPLE EVEN WHEN YOU’RE A MESS
This is pretty self-explanatory. Life changes bring different levels of trauma, and when you’re still in the healing stages? It can be so very hard to reach out and love (the action) the people around you. Whether it’s your long-time friendships you’re struggling to maintain or all the new faces you see everyday, learning to extend grace and love and give of your hurting self is an essential lesson. Of course, you on your own do not have what it takes! This is when you have to prioritize your time with God, in order to gain the grace and love before you can give it. Thank God for God, amiright? ha
- FIND JOY IN THE LITTLE THINGS
When the big things in your life aren’t very happy, all you really have are the little things. Like the clouds, the stars, the coffee cup in your hand, the family-inside-jokes, the coziest hoodie, and every other tiny, amazing thing. In these times of life, it really is the little things that count.
- MINIMALIZING YOUR FRIENDSHIPS
There are times in your life where you’ll lose friendships that weren’t meant to be forever. It’s easy to try to hold tight to everything normal when everything is changing. But sometimes that’s the perfect time to let go. Of course, not every friendship is meant to be given up. You have to really do some evaluation and see which friendships are worth keeping. There isn’t an easy answer to this. It takes a lot of prayer and consideration to know which to fight for and which are better to let go. Do remember that the amount of friends you have doesn’t exemplify your worth. Keep your circle small and close! If you are wise about it all, they’ll be some of your best support for potentially the rest of your life. Prioritize who matters!
These are just a few highlights of the things I’ve learned. I hope you glean from what I’ve written or say “yes! I’ve been there, done that.” I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or pieces of wisdom. 😁