Sometimes the worst part of something is all the worry I feel before it happens. More often than not, I over worried and it's not as bad as I thought. By the time I realize everything will be okay, I've already filled a room with tears and gotten a few extra pounds from emotional eating.
Before I moved here, I thought my world would completely fall apart. I thought nothing existed outside the amazing hills and greenery that was Arkansas. I had many emotional fits leading up to it just KNOWING that I would constantly miss my old life. But I knew deep down, that if I didn't leave…that would be much worse. I knew I had to go because life without Brian would be the bleakest life of all.
Too bad for me then, I had no idea the move would be one of the happiest things that ever happened to me. I listen to stories of people who have moved before me and how horror filled it can be and I think for sure even worse will happen to me. I can be so dramatic and pessimistic sometimes. Luckily half the time I throw a fit that even Hollywood would be proud of, Brian just laughs. Anyone else would run in the opposite direction, but sometimes I'll have a random dramatic moment and Brian will just start laughing from the pit of his belly. Or he'll do the opposite and pretend to take me seriously and hug me when I'm being ridiculous and takes the cue that I am SUPER serious this time. He knows which is which and is pretty good about that. He is what I need in so many ways. He reminds me not to take life so seriously. Maybe I do get kinda over the top sometimes, but luckily Brian never does. Dad always said I'm like a roller coaster and I need someone who will just stand there and laugh at it instead of taking the ride with me. That's exactly what I found. :)
The city is now moving from one big mesh of confusing streets to actually making sense. I'm finding that I love the flat land and how open it is…it makes me feel like I can breathe. It makes me feel like running into a field and opening my arms wide and turning in circles like an old House on the Prairie episode. It's an acquired taste, but once acquired you never want to leave. It's an incredible place for so many reasons, but the FOOD. AHHH…the food is SO good. (And I'm not just talking about my cooking….it really has gone up in quality since we last spoke)
The restaurants here are endless. Anything you could possibly want is in your reach and not only that…it's the best kind of food you've ever had. You think you've had great Mexican? Not until you've come here do you even have a shot at knowing what great Mexican is! You think you've had great pizza?!?! You are mistaken unless you've eaten at Hideaway pizza!! I DREAM of their ranch dressing at night. Sometimes Brian takes me on a rescue 911 pizza run…and I really feel like I can't live without it in that moment.
The people here are SUPER nice. It's a Christian/country culture that just makes you feel good inside. I live in a place that has a country feel, but I'm so close to a big city. It's the perfect combination.
I don't have a hoppin social life at all. In fact…I'm pretty much alone during the day other than being with the two kids I babysit here and there, but it doesn't bother me. I have my best friend at the end of the day and time to do things I didn't before which is nothing to complain about. When you've gone from a life of utter chaos and constant work, to a slow one like this…the refreshment can't be described in words. I know my life will not always be like this and when we work the hardest is when we are doing some of our most important things we will ever do. I welcome that. But sometimes..getting more free moments and having time to get closer to God before the next phase of hard work is just what we need. And right now…this is my time.
I've joined a BSF bible study here recently and it has been great. The moment I walked up for the first time, so many women ran up to me and hugged me and made me feel at home. The warmth and inner happiness they gave me is something I will never forget and honestly never had to need before. Going in as a stranger was NOT awkward at all…how can that even happen?! I thought I'd just sit alone during the talk, but women from my small group surrounded me and wouldn't have that. They made me feel so welcome and like they wanted me there more than anything. In that moment, the reminder of the ministry of friendliness and bringing in someone you may not know spoke louder to me than it ever had before. I needed that so bad, and those women were there to give me that. Never let anyone make fun of you for being "too friendly"…because those overly friendly women have given me so much comfort.
I've always had tons of people I know and my friendships have lasted years. I rarely met anyone in my old town that I didn't have a connection to in some way. I had a reputation because of my family or what people heard about me. It was easy to connect to people because it's almost like they already knew me before they really did. "OH!!! ABBY! Ya, I know YOU! I LOVE your family! Your grandpa delivered my baby! OH YA, I've known your mom for YEARS! My kid knows someone in your class and they said you are *Insert whatever comment here*"
It's kinda strange having to build from the ground up. Nobody has heard any rumor of me or know where I fit in because I have no connections. That has been an interesting thing. I always wonder what people's perception of me is because with that little of information, it can't be exactly right. It's only bits and pieces of a puzzle that can only be half correct.
I do miss being the Abby from back home sometimes because I don't feel like that anymore. I always defined myself by my work or school and it was neat having the bubbly teacher persona that people seemed to love. Now that is gone and I'm having to figure out who I am without a job defining me. Without people constantly giving me feedback which is something I got used to. Who am I when that fades away? Who am I without teaching? What do I love to do? What is important to me when I don't have something obvious to focus on? Who am I when I'm not forced to do something? What do I do when given total freedom? What do I choose to do? Who am I going to be? I know I'm not who I will be in five years…because I'm learning new things everyday. Things I never had the opportunity to learn before now.
It's a fun new thing trying to figure all this out. And it reminds me that change isn't always bad and that worrying is usually the worst of the battle. God is there with us wherever we go and gives us the mindset and power to do whatever it is we need to do at the time. And more often than not…things that we never thought would be good for us (like moving)…turn out to be what's best after all.