I’m another year older. And this time, I feel it. This year has been a whirlwind of changes. Change isn’t always bad though, it’s just…different.
One year ago, I put on a happy face for my birthday, but in reality, I was scared for the days that would follow. I was terrified for November to come. I was afraid of how my whole life was going to be flipped. I prayed. I relied on my family and friends. I tried to think logistically and not so much with my heart. And I did what needed to be done. I moved on.
And surprisingly, everything went okay. The world didn’t stop turning. I woke up in the morning, put on my lipstick, and attacked my day. Just like I said I was going to. I was stronger than I thought I could be. And I barely let myself look back…except for a few reflective blog posts, I guess.
I moved over an hour away to my “city-girl apartment” that I will always think of and smile. My 10 months of living downtown was such a throwback to my early twenties and such a blast! Of course I wouldn’t wish separation on anyone, but if possible, I would almost recommend every thirty-something gal to take a year back in time to pretend you’re Carrie. To remind yourself that you are still fun and spry and not living a dried up, mundane life. Sure, I was a bit careless and irresponsible, but I threw myself the little party that I needed to get through. And it was fabulous. 😉
my solo, single-gal apartment
How can you be sad when you wake up to this view, looking out in Downtown Greensboro?
And then one day, I felt like settling down. And I thought I’d look into houses where I could feel more…at home. I figured that my loft lease ran out in a few months, and I’d get a jump start at looking at what’s on the market. But you know, when I get an idea in my head, I can’t help but jump in head first. I started looking at houses on a Thursday. I looked at about 7 or 8 over the next few days. I fell in love with one on Tuesday, and I made an offer on Wednesday! Before I knew it, I was buying a house!
my sweet new home
Yay! I’m a homeowner. About to unlock MY house after closing on it!
And here I am today…relaxing in one of my favorite places to be…on my own little front porch, stretched out on my bench, sipping coffee on this cool morning, and typing out a much overdue blog post. Thinking about how blessed I am. And wondering who will be raking up the enormous amount of leaves in my yard. I don’t even own a rake. Seriously. I can’t even imagine me raking. How much is a leaf blower? I’ll figure it out.
I’m another year older. My life has not taken the route I had planned when I was 23; that’s for sure. I’ve experienced more heart break than I thought I would. I didn’t think people could be so cold, and I’m anything but cold. So, it’s hard for me to understand. But I did want my life to be an adventure, and it has certainly been that. And I expect many new adventures in the near future.
Everything in my life has changed in the last year. My home, my family, even my hair and my car! I changed jobs to find a fresh start. Now, I’m changing jobs again Monday! (A good thing…more on that later.) So many people that I loved were taken from me, many that I haven’t even spoken to once over the last year. And of course it still breaks my heart. But I can’t help but think how I have been so covered by grace throughout these changes: the grace of God, of my family and friends, of the universe who seemed to be looking out for me. Things couldn’t have worked out better, given the circumstances. I know I have someone looking out for me, because I could have curled up and withered away. But I was given strength to keep going, and I was shown favor in my endeavors. And I’m happy. I’m SO happy. I’m not bitter and scorned. I don’t struggle through each day; I laugh far more than I cry. My life is filled with joy and peace.
My good friend Yalitza bought me the most beautiful sign for my birthday to hang in my new home. It reads, “Grace changes everything.”
Can’t wait to hang this on my wall!
What an important reminder! I was instantly struck by the truth of it. There is hardly anything you can count on as inevitable in life, other than that everything can change when you least expect it. That’s basically what makes something living…it changes, everything changes. Relationships, people, surroundings, finances, love. But Grace changes everything. It covers and protects. It heals and surprises you. It keeps your chin up when you think you can’t make it through the day. It wraps you in its arms and warms you on the coldest nights. God’s grace can be felt every day. You can find it in the most unexpected places. And I’ve tried to show as much grace as possible in a year that was hard to be graceful. I may not have done it well some days, but His grace was still there for me, even when I slipped.
I’m one year older, but I think I’ve grown wiser recently. I hope I have fewer lessons to learn in the coming year, but whatever is thrown my way, I hope I can show the same grace I’ve been shown. By God and by the precious people in my life who have loved me, no matter what.