|One Abby short of a perfect family picture. As you can see, we're not miserable :)|
Hate is such a strong word. I don't really believe it's accurate, but I do have strong feelings that I can't seem to express in any other way. It's not exactly SC that I hate or even Florence to be more specific. I absolutely love the weather, food, and southern culture, but...
I do miss my friends and family in MN and certainly lament being in SC but not close enough to my "old" friends in Greenville (especially when we get to see them occasionally and remember how much we LOVE them), and I'm honestly trying to find the good here, but...
I think it's the fond memories that have me handcuffed to my past in a way that I don't feel like I'm moving forward. And maybe it's not so much the change as it is the struggle to make this our home that so aggravates me. I make efforts and when they don't work out. I'm having a harder time picking myself up and trying again... and again and again.
If you would've asked me anytime before this year how I feel about change, I'd flash a guilty smile and say I really think I like it (as if it was a bad thing). I wonder if our circumstances have molded us into people who thrive on the new, or maybe because things are always changing and we often have little control. So we've had to adapt?
This time it really is different. It's a different brand of change. Change before was new friends, a different role, or remodeling the house. This change is wrapping my heart tightly around the five people I adore most in this life and jumping into a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms can be beautiful, scary, and miserable all at the same time. If they pass quickly and the thunder and lightening stay at a seemingly safe distance, it can be a fun ride; but if you're in a tent and the walls are getting soaked, the wind blows the anchors loose, or if the rain continues for days on end...
not so fun.
I feel water logged as we approach the end of our first year in this new place...
I'm starting to have a visceral response when someone asks me how I'm adjusting to life in SC. My hands start to sweat and my eyes begin to water...
Do I always focus on the positive or is it OK to be honest?
I assess my audience in an effort to respond accordingly...
Is this someone who is silently waiting for an actual response or already moving on to something else and hoping not to engage?
Will she freak out if I say I'm losing my mind?
Or will I be berated by a lecture on Biblical truths if I admit I'm struggling?
Hmmmm... the moment has passed and I wish I had the opportunity to put the fake smile aside and come up with a better response than "It's growing on me".
It is the truth.
It's the most positive, generic answer I can conjure up at this time, and frankly it allows someone the choice to dig in or pass over. They can return my awkward grin as an invitation to pry or quickly change the subject before they get more than they bargained for.
Why is this soooo difficult? Do I really hate it here so much? Is it truly "here" or the circumstances that are defining it? It's not like MN was the promised land. I could live the rest of my life without another MN winter; however, I do miss my friends and family. It's the people... my people I'm trying to build up here... yet not replace the ones I had. How does that work?
This road isn't easy and most days I'm utterly exhausted. Spending most of my time caring or facilitating care takes its toll. I need other women to have meaningful conversations with when they aren't paid to be here. I need a tribe, but most villages I visit are already full. I know they're out there but finding the time and energy to seek them out, as well as sift through those who will reciprocate or pursue me in my limited space and mess... uggg!
Maybe people think they need to be equipped to take care of Abby to be our friends? Almost a year has gone by and the only people who know me are a few really great, busy gals who would love to get together more if we could squeak out the time and the therapists who are paid to come to my house each week!
I went to the store in my sweat pants with no make-up this past week... and it wasn't' even Walmart!!!!
that might not seem like much to you, but if you know me... it's a new low
It's not SC that I hate, but....
I'm missing the family/friend physical and emotional safety net of people who don't have a choice of being in my life (we've already "vetted" each other and it's permanent)
The "first dates" of friendship that take so much time and energy, but feel like interviews for a weird game of "The Love Connection" or hoping I'll get picked for their team. I've always been more of a captain, so this "pick me" status is killing me! I feel so insecure... It's just not me. I'm not so great at selling myself. I've always just had friends and been the one to invite new ones in. I don't know how to play this role.
I'm seriously LOVING my big church with its big open diverse arms, yet bordering on desperation in needing more of a big family to take us in... and just not really sure what to do about it.
I hate needing so much.
I hate being so small.
I hate this place that magnifies our needs and diminishes my abilities.
I don't like to be in a place, anyplace, that showcases my deficits.
I'm a wife and a mom.
Still loving those roles but mourning the roles I left behind and wondering where I fit in here? Knowing I can't do much more than wife/mom as I haven't even gotten "mother of four... two with special needs" down to a comfortable place yet...
Can I just be content and fulfilled in that? Is HE stripping away my other roles to make me into something new? It feels less, but could it be more... Just different?
Not sure who I am here in SC, but holding on to
Hope that He's not finished with me yet
He's not surprised by where I am
The best is truly yet to come
If it ain't good then HE ain't done...
(All take-aways from church lately... simple truths)