Starting over? Maybe that's a bit harsh... More like scaling back BIG time... That's what the last month few months or so have settled down to. I'm in one of those, "this is kinda big place for me in my life" moments and I know it... they're big, they're transitional "post college" times that I'm not handling as well as I had hoped I would. But that's just it, it was a hope... When reality hasn't matched it I'm learning to be a whole lot less harsh on myself. So this is all kinda vague but details seems so strange to give.... It's not all so gloomy though. I promise.
The first kinda major change came with my trip to Texas. Things for Bryan and I went from hard but working on it, to a bit more than we could manage even together. I'd be the first to admit I was a little overwhelmed by trying to be supportive to him through his transition, the future, leaving work, trying to help my family through their rough times, and what the heck God was doing in the midst of it all. But I thought I could handle it, that we could handle it. I lost site of a few important things, like keeping God first, sometimes. That frustration and disappointment has probably been one of the biggest things I've been working on since returning home. And I know it'll stick with me. But hey, don't get me wrong, I actually really enjoyed Texas for the most part. The people were nice, the food good, the economy booming, and I felt so very welcomed. Bryan would joke that I fit in there better than than he does. Bryan's mom and dad were such a blessing to me and I'll never forget their immense kindness toward me. I feel like I could never really repay them for it. Wish I had been a better guest. But I tried. I was overwhelmed but I tried.
During my time there they even let me come to the high school to help out with the Jr. Air Force ROTC drill teams. Bryan's dad founded the program at the high school and both him, and Bryan's mom, teach drill there. Bryan, having been on the team and commander of that program in high school, wanted to get involved again and they all let me help out a little each afternoon. Awesome kids, tough as nails, but awesome. It was a really inspiring thing to watch those kids and witness a program that fosters champions. We started to get familiar with each other as the weeks past and honestly I miss them. Besides practices, Texas was pretty low key... eat good food, go on dates, maybe go for a run, work on my resume, watch football (which I never do), play with Bryan's new puppy, and even read. Bryan's mom took me out for a fun girls' day for my birthday and I even got to see an outdoor movie at a park in downtown Houston as an anniversary surprise. But things transition.... Bryan and I realized we were probably a bit over our heads, no longer putting God at the center of our relationship as much as we would have liked, and worried about our personal relationship with Him as well. My motivation was less then inspiring and this weird middle ground, between moving there and visiting, formed. Ultimately Bryan became discouraged. Without much more detail into the matter I'll say that, after a very hard decision and probably one of the roughest days of my life, I was on a plane back to California unsure of the future and if/when I'd ever see Bryan again.
But through the pain comes hope. With the discomfort of being home comes encouragement from people that have missed having me around. With the uncertainty comes little blessings ever day that remind me that this is where God wants me right now. My family has needed me, and God knew that I would need them now, probably more than ever. My relationship with my mom is growing, especially after having to move out of the house I grew up in and my mom has lived in for 35+ years... it was rough. But God provided! Wow, how he provided! With the fire, remodel, plans of my brother moving in, my mom prayed and prayed for a place of her own that she could call home. And get this, the next day someone offered to give us their house! Right now I'm sitting in a cozy, remodeled (yet still a little old fashioned) mobil home, that has enough space for my mom, myself and our pack of small dogs. Not everything is sun shine and roses, family drama/frustration can be draining, and I'm now stuck with this almost constant slight feeling in my stomach that something else is going to go wrong.... but honestly my relationship with God has never been better. I realized he's my only hope, he's the only thing that will change me and keep me from falling back into my exhausting cycles. Time to break the cycle!.... Woo!... Fake it, 'till you make it... right? ;)
Now my days are made up of unpacking boxes/storage, sharing a car with my mom, looking for work, spending more time with God, enjoying all that the Christmas season has to offer, and working on healing. I have a feeling that once I get more emotionally and spiritually on track the rest will fall more into place. As bad as I just want to get out and take on the word, to make up for past mistakes, and do better in areas where I feel I'm lacking, God has definitely been telling me to WAIT. It's just that... it hurts my pride a little... you know? As much as I want to be taking care of myself already, I'm just not there yet, especially now that I have matters of the heart on top of it all.
So the future... wish I had an a better, well maybe more long term, answer for what that will look like... but I don't. I'm still looking for work here because God's really but it on my heart to slow down and start getting my s*** together financially, and hopefully by next month I'll have word back from this awesome dude ranch in Idaho about a summer I applied for there. My friend and I applied together and have high hopes for the summer. Now it's next fall that is a bit more tricky. If I get that job in Idaho over the summer I'll be able to pay off some debt and have a financial platform to move somewhere. Seattle? Natalie Goodwin and I have a plan B together :) Or Austin? Because I enjoyed TX so much and I've felt for awhile that God could be calling me there. My aim for this next year is to take more responsibility for myself, work, work, work, than use that as a lunch pad. Go back to school? Go back to Chile? Go back to Africa? As much as I'd love to be a full time missionary, I know that I don't yet have a foundation on which to do it. So. Future? Bright. Present?..... Getting there. Where to start? Now.