It feels good to be writing again. It means I’m not needed somewhere, by someone, and I can take a moment and breathe. To decompress.
It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks. I’m still not really sure any of it has hit me. That we’re not going “home” anytime soon. It feels crazy that just a few short months ago I first mentioned the idea to JP of selling our home in Chicago, and here we now, living across the country.
It all happened really fast. And feels a little bit like a blur.
So it’s hard now, as we’re beginning to settle in, to know what to share, or where to start. To be totally transparent, I feel a little raw. Maybe even exposed. Untethered for sure.
I’m someone who can (almost) always find grounding. Peace. Settled within, regardless of what’s going on around me. And this move is testing that. To feel this untethered is new for me.
And yet, in some strange way, familiar.
I’ve been here before. Felt this way before.
When I freshly became a mother. When we moved to New York and I was unexpectedly pregnant with our fourth. When we bought our hundred-year-old home back in Chicago and we first realized what a project it was. All of those moments had similar feelings. Unfamiliar. Unsettling. Unknown.
And while our move west feels oddly familiar to those moments, I have something new now.
A deeper faith and trust in my intuition. In my knowing. Trusting that I know how to take care of myself. Knowing that I have the tools and practices within to find my footing again. And faith that I (and we) will not only be ok but that we are going to THRIVE. I trust that this was the right next move for us, regardless of how it feels in this very moment.
In the meantime, I’m just practicing being comfortable in the uncomfortable. And while I’m down here, fumbling my way through, wanted to share what’s on my mind lately….
Not evaluating my feelings
Rather instead, just allowing them to be. Without judgment. Reaction. Or feeling a need to “rush and fix” anything.
All of us (me included) have so a million different thoughts and feelings that run through us each and every day, and it can be so easy to want to REACT to each and every one. Analyze it. Fix it. Make it go away. And it can honestly just make a mess of things.
Instead, in this season, I’m trying to let whatever feeling or thought I have come up, notice it, and then let it go without needing to react.
It’s been hard for me (to not overanalyze every feeling or thing that happens), but I know is critical right now. Until I feel more grounded and have more time to let the dust settle (and I mean real-time, 6 months, a year) then, maybe I can start making sense of my feelings.
But for now, I’m just letting them be and being ok with however I’m feeling at any given moment. Knowing that it’s all ok.
Becoming more aware of my choice to live sober
For those of you who may not know, I decided to live a life without alcohol back in January of 2021 (you can read more about my decision to live a life without alcohol here). It was a conscious choice that was a few years in the making.
While the first few months were definitely challenging, for the most part, I’ve settled into my sobriety and haven’t missed drinking for a minute. Haven’t even really given it any thought.
I don’t know that I’ve necessarily felt tempted to drink again, but I have felt acutely aware that MANY of these moments would have felt different with alcohol (and historically would have involved a glass or two of rose). And for a moment, I’ve found myself wanting that “escape” that alcohol used to give me.
Experiencing all of this sober has been challenging. And yet, I’m so damn grateful I’ve been sober. I KNOW this would have been a million times harder with alcohol.
But for the first time since I stopped drinking, I found myself wanting that escape. And that’s new. I’m not sure what that means. I think it’s probably really normal. Big life changes can want to bring old habits/feelings back to the surface.
For any of you who are sober, or sober curious, I’ll share what’s been helping me.
When I feel an urge coming on (could be for anything, any vice you want to reach for – wine, food, your phone), rather than try and fight it. Push it away. I welcome that feeling in. Like a wave. And just sit in it for 60 seconds. I close my eyes and breath. The more I release into the feelings, the quicker it leaves. Just like a wave. I can see/feel it coming. Ground in my breath, and let it wash over.
Every time, within that 60 seconds, it washes away. But it’s the opposite of what we naturally think. We naturally want to push things away. But like everything, the more we resist, the stronger it comes on. Sobriety is no different than anything in life. You have to surrender to what is.
Trusting that “hard” doesn’t equate “bad”
For a long time, I feared the idea of things being difficult, hard, or uncomfortable. Maybe I still do. As a young girl, I was taught to not ruffle any feathers. Be a “good girl”. And that really stuck with me.
I’ve had a lot of anxiety as an adult around being “good”. Not upsetting anyone. Making things perfect.
So when things feel “hard” or don’t go smoothly, I can feel a wave of anxiety rise in me.
Moving, and change of any kind, by nature is going to be messy. Is going to be hard. And I’m doing my best to separate that just becuase it’s hard, it doesn’t mean I’ve done anything wrong. I didn’t make a mistake. I’m ok
As a mom, there’s been an added layer too; seeing my kids struggle. To have tears. To miss friends. To not like their new rooms, or wish they had their furniture. And it’s been hard separating myself from that as well. Not wanting to “fix” things for them.
Hard and messy or unsettling times are not bad for us. In fact, they’re really healthy. It’s where all of our growth comes from. So while this season feels a little harder than maybe I had first anticipated, I also know that in many ways, this is really good for me.
Holding tight to my daily rituals, while being open to new ones
I’m a huge believer in daily rituals. If you’ve been following along with me for a while you know how much I love my morning routine, my meditation practice, my morning tea. These small, but intentional, rituals are what ground me and in many ways are my foundation.
Moving has shaken all of that up. And I’ve been struggling to find a rhythm that works here.
I’m realizing that I can’t hold tight to what I used to do, rather I have to create something new out here. I’m still working my way through how that’s going to look. But I know in my core that setting up these daily practices is what’s going to help me feel the most settled out here.
Before I do anything else (or take care of anyone else) I know this is what I need, and I trust I’ll find it.
There are so many other things on my mind right now and if you were sitting here with a cup of tea I’m sure we would talk for hours.
I know these things may seem specific to me, and our move. But I hope for any of you reading this right now, who is going through any sort of change in your life (as we all always are) that you’re not alone. That change, while so damn scary, is such a beautiful gift.
How lucky are we to be able to experience ourselves in a new way. In new jobs. New relationships. New places. It opens our world and our minds to new ways of living and new ways of being.
And at the very core of it, allows us to see ourselves deeper and clearer.
To push ourselves past our current edge, forcing us to grow into the people we are destined to become.
If we’re never uncomfortable, or things are never uneasy, we stay the same. And nothing in our world changes.
We need each other to grow, to change. It’s how we move forward as a collective. So while this season may feel hard, let this be your reminder that you, my friend, are a part of something much bigger. And that there is something even more beautiful on the other side of this that you can’t even begin to imagine. For all of us.
Sending you all so much love in this season of growth.