SUMMER UPDATES

July 17, 2018

It’s been a second since I’ve posted! Life has been crazy for me lately, and I’ve been trying to take the time to process everything that I’ve been feeling/experiencing. Gotta love those summer classes that have been keeping me away, too! Luckily, I have a little bit of free time for the next couple of days, so Cooper and I are currently at Starbucks enjoying some quality time together (aka: I’m forcing him to keep me company while I write, but he’s enjoying the carrots I’m feeding him).

This summer has been interesting, to say the least. A couple months ago, I wasn’t looking forward to summer at all because I was scared that I would feel lonely and have too much time for my thoughts to wander. School was becoming overwhelming, but it kept me more distracted than I thought I would be at home. I was worried that coming back home would ultimately make me feel worse because I wouldn’t be surrounded by the people who had been helping me through what I was dealing with every day anymore, and I wouldn’t have the routine that I had grown so used to. Even though being at school was hard and I wanted to come home, the thought of any type of transition seemed overwhelming for me at the time.

Luckily, this summer has been way different than I imagined it would be (that’s usually how life goes, isn’t it?). I’ve kept busy, but not in a way that makes it feel like I’m forcing myself to stay distracted. Work has definitely taken up a lot of my time, and I’ve absolutely loved it. I decided to nanny this summer, and it’s been one of the best decisions! The kids I watch always keep me laughing, and being around them has been such a good reminder for me to look at life the way they do — with excitement and wonder rather than fear. There are so many little things in life to find joy in, and being around such young, curious spirits has really given me an entirely new outlook. (Also, kids are crazy so it’s kinda hard to focus on anything else besides chasing them around all day… so that helps, too.) I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I felt the desire to watch kids this summer — I think the Lord put it on my heart because he knew it would be much needed during this season.

I’ve also met so many new people recently, which has been something very new and exciting for me. The thought of meeting new people has always made me really nervous, because for the majority of my life I thought that I was “too introverted” to be outgoing. I think I’ve used that view of myself as a crutch for such a long time, because once I actually started meeting new people I realized that I was able to do it all along and I just thought I couldn’t. I didn’t even realize the limitations I was putting on myself for most of my life, and I truly believe that the season I’ve been walking through has shown me that I am capable of way more than I thought I was. I used to assume that my quietness would repel people, and when I first started meeting new people this summer I was genuinely surprised that they took an interest in me. As silly as it sounds, I really had convinced myself that I was not desirable because I was too quiet, and no one would ever want to take the time to really get to know me. Something I’ve learned lately? ^^^ That thought is completely wrong. The mentality that I’d had for so long caused me to settle for a lot of relationships that either weren’t healthy or just didn’t benefit me — and this summer I’ve been taking control over who I want to spend time with and who I want to get to know, and it’s been so liberating and has boosted my confidence in ways I didn’t even know it would.

Along with branching out and meeting new people, I’ve made it a point to surround myself with the uplifting people I’ve already had in my life, and it’s been so good for me in this season. Lately I’ve felt like I actually have people I can turn to — the kind of people I can text at a random hour to get ice cream with me, the kind of people who text me late at night to tell me that we’re going out, the kind of people who I can talk to about anything and who genuinely care to listen. It’s been so nice to have people who care about me. I think for a long time I had myself convinced that no one cared or had a desire to truly know me, and I’ve been shown time and time again this summer that it’s just not true. The Lord has been reminding me over the past couple months that I am cared for and wanted, regardless of what my pain and anxiety try to convince me to feel.

Despite how good this summer has been (contrary to how I thought it would be), there are still a lot of days where my heart just hurts. And I know that in reality, it’s good to embrace those days when they come, because those days and those feelings are normal and healthy. But lately I’ve been trying to avoid them, to be honest. When I get into a routine of constantly having plans and spending time with people, I get scared to have a day where I don’t have plans. I worry that once I have time to sit with my thoughts they will go right back to the things that hurt to think about, and when I’m busy I’m able to get into a habit of avoiding those things. I’ve avoided journaling. I’ve avoided driving in silence. I’ve avoided writing here. I’ve avoided a lot of things that I used to embrace because I’m scared of moving in the opposite direction (even though I know, realistically, that’s not happening).

I think right now I’m in a place where I need to work towards finding a balance between moving forward and still taking time to reflect and really feel. Months ago, all I did was focus on what I was going through because it was new and it was all I really could focus on. I think at the time, that’s what I needed to do. Lately, though, sometimes the thought of embracing whatever lingering feelings I have brings a lot of anxiety, because I don’t want to keep remembering certain things and I feel such an urgency to just be happy again. It honestly sucks knowing that I’m still affected by something I thought I would be past by now, and I think I try to sweep some emotions under the rug because of that. I’m trying very hard to remind myself that healing takes time, and we don’t get to choose how much time it takes.

I get frustrated that I still have hard days, but I can look back and recognize that those days are less common than they were originally, and they’ll continue to be less common as I continue to grow. Pain doesn’t last forever, only for a season, and there are always lessons to be learned through our pain. I can say that with 100% confidence, because I know for a fact that I am not the same as I was a few months ago. I’ve felt the Lord refining me lately and shaping me into the person he wants me to become — into the person he had planned for me to become from the very beginning. I know that the pain I’ve experienced is a part of my story, even if it’s something I never wanted or expected to experience.

I know that whatever you may be going through is a part of your story, too. No matter how painful, stressful, or confusing it may be. Even if it’s completely unexpected. Even if it feels so wrong. I promise that I know all of these feelings so well. I know that God has a plan for you just like he has one for me, and he’s not going to leave you in your hurt. Hopefully this is able to speak to someone who is in a similar place. You’re not alone — I’m right there with you.

Also, thank you so much to all of the people who have reached out to me and let me know how my posts have been encouraging to you. Hearing from others gives me hope that the Lord truly is using my situation for good. If what I’m going through allows me to connect with and uplift others who are going through similar experiences, then I know that my pain had purpose.

Also, for anyone who wants an update on Coop, he is having a wonderful summer. 🙂 He’ll be 5 months old in a week, and he’s already over halfway to being full grown! He loves strawberries and carrots, playing with the cats, and roaming around the house. He does his best to push my buttons about 60% of the time, but he’s cute so he can get away with it. So far, bunny parenting has been a 10/10 experience. I’d highly recommend.

Hopefully once I get into more of a routine I’ll be able to be a little more active here, but in the meantime, this little summer update is all I got!

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