Been a Long Time Gone

XmT1g

Hi!

It’s been crickets around here for so long, I know.

The past few months I just haven’t been in a place where I’ve needed or wanted to write. In fact, I’ve grown rather disenchanted with the blog, it’s therapeutic value rapidly losing necessity as I grow and progress.

However! Writing will always, always, always have a place in my life, and eventually I want to continue blogging in some sort of form. I’ve just needed to figure out what form and direction that’s going to take in my future. I’m not any closer to knowing that, and I figure I won’t know until inspiration hits me randomly one day like it always does. But something that someone amazing told me earlier this week reminded me how valuable this place is, and sparked an urge to poke my head in here. So here I am.

I realize I’ve left a lot of loose ends dangling on various things, so let’s see how quickly I can wrap some of those things up and give an update!

Helping Yourself Heal. I started this blog series back in January and then it tapered off somewhere around March. A total fail on my part guys, I’m sorry. :( I just stopped feeling like the right person to give advice when I was feeling so lackluster about writing, you know? But I’d love to pick this back up soon if there is still interest! I’m stronger than ever and if there are any nuggets of wisdom I’ve unearthed over the past few months, I’d love to share them. So, please let me know if you’d like to see me continue this series.

Strands of Hope Project and Warriors documentary. It’s been a while since I’ve posted about the project and our progress. I know I alluded to some of the difficulties I was having with it last fall, and shortly after that post, some other changes occurred with other people involved in the project. This led to the whole thing being put on hold for a while, and honestly I felt (and still feel) like that was the exact right thing to do. In my opinion, the second that something starts feeling less passionate and becomes a cloudy question, the right thing to do for everyone involved is to be completely honest about that and take a step back until you know for certain how you much you are willing to commit to it. I am not too proud to admit failure, or confusion, or a false start. I’m not saying the project was or is any of those things right now, but the point is I don’t know what it is right now. So the best thing to do was to release it. If it’s meant to be, it will come back.

Counseling. Deciding to finally begin therapy last fall was a huge step for me. I was burnt out in more ways than one, and trying to be strong for everyone for so long had finally taken it’s toll on me. I knew I was at a turning point and I needed to take a major step. Turns out, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I’ve been going regularly since last September, and just having that safe place to purge, to confront things I’d bottled up, to admit to my faults and hopes and thoughts and failings out loud and force myself to acknowledge the patterns and cycles I’d fallen into, has made all the difference in the world. God certainly guided my path to the exact right person for me, and she has been absolutely instrumental in helping me see things differently and facilitate the major progress I’ve made since. I now feel stronger than I ever have in my entire life. I’ve become self-aware in ways I didn’t know I could, learned so much about how to be understanding and compassionate and forgiving with myself, and finally discovered a place where I am at peace with who I am, what I’ve been through, and where I am going. And in turn, the love and life I am capable of giving has grown exponentially. I am so excited about this new person I’ve found and the new places I am going. In the last month or two we’ve slowed way down, but I’ll probably continue for a while. Growth is a never-ending process.

School. I finally did it, ya’ll. I graduated!! After two straight years of school, semester after semester of intense 6-credit seminars with no breaks or summers off, I finally completed my last course this past March. And on March 30, my degree was conferred. I am now the proud owner of three awesome little letters – MBA. I’ll admit, I had a pretty bad case of senioritis toward the end and just didn’t care much anymore. It’s a wonder I ended up with a B in that last class, haha. The first month or so after I was finished I relished in the lack of homework and empty days. But now…well I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kinda miss it. I guess I love the end-goal of schooling, the continuous quest for knowledge, the ongoing series of tasks. I’m somewhat contemplating (somewhat) going back for yet another degree (I know I know!). But somewhere along the way I realized that while I have a natural ability for business, I don’t necessarily want to pursue it in a conventional way. I’m yearning for the arts, and I’d love to find a way to combine the two. Maybe a graphic design certificate is in my future…or art school. We’ll see!

Wedding Bells. Love is in the air! This past March I had the pleasure of helping my friend G orchestrate his marriage proposal to my best friend, A. It was such a special time and I’m so excited for both of them! Now I also have honor of being A’s maid of honor, so the past few months have already been filled with plenty of wine-fueled wedding planning evenings. Seriously, this is going to be the most awesome and unique wedding ever. Like really, ever. I also took their engagement photos recently in a fun-filled, hilarious photo shoot. Lots of fun times are ahead for this awesome couple and I feel so lucky to get to witness all of it!

Q & A. Remember way back when I decided to run a Question and Answer feature? Well, I received several questions and never followed up with any answers! Again, FAIL. Womp womp. :( So, before I post that Q&A post, I thought I’d put the call out again. If you have any questions you’d like to have answered — any questions about anything, be it grief-related, life in general, parenting, random curiosities, or what I ate for breakfast — go here and ask away! All questions are anonymous, I won’t know who asked them, and I’ll post all answers up in a separate post soon. I’d really love to get some more questions to answer, so humor me please! It’s fun, play along. :)

The Hubs’ 30th Birthday. This past March marked what would have been The Hubs’ 30th birthday. It affected me in so many ways, ways I wasn’t really expecting. I thought I was in an okay place, then suddenly in the weeks prior to his birthday I found myself experiencing emotions I hadn’t before (namely, anger). Channeling these emotions into something good made a huge difference for me. In his honor, I organized an online fundraiser to benefit the EODWF, the organization I volunteer with that honors EOD warriors. We ended up raising over $3600 in The Hubs’ name — absolutely blew me away. It was amazing to see so many people remembering him, honoring him, and helping me give back to the organization that helped our family so much right after our loss. Knowing that we could directly help families who are now experiencing what we did made my heart feel a little better about  not getting to tease The Hubs’ about turning 30 before me. ;)

My 30th Birthday. Just 10 days later, I turned 30 myself. Wanna know something funny about me? I’ve only had a ‘proper’ birthday party twice in my life — when I turned 8 and had a Little Mermaid-themed shindig in my backyard with all my cousins, and when I turned 13 and my Mom allowed me to have a sleepover with a few friends from school. I haven’t needed or really wanted a party since then, at least not enough to plan one myself and never had anyone plan one for me. I always thought that once I reached 30, I would make up for ‘lost time’ and have a huge thing. But once it got here…I didn’t want to do anything. And my 30th turned out, well, pretty perfect. I spent the day alone while the kiddo was at school, talked to someone pretty special, went to a movie alone and enjoyed the quiet, and then enjoyed dinner and frozen yogurt with my sister, BIL, and kiddo. Although it may not have been what I would have pictured years ago, so many beautiful souls thought of me, I received some beautiful flowers from someone who means a lot to me, and I spent the day with my amazing kiddo. Who could ask for more?

Little Man is a Kindergartner! Can you believe it? This kid, this same little kid, this same one I freaked out about starting preschool, is now a big ole’ Kinder kid. In a way, it feels like he’s been my little sidekick forever. In other ways, it feels like I was just pregnant with him an experiencing all the trials and difficulties of his first few days. It’s so amazing to see him grow and blossom every day, and I feel so blessed to his Mommy and get to witness milestones like these. The next year is going to be filled with so much wonder, and I am so excited for him….and a little scared, haha. (But what Mama isn’t??)

TRAVELS! – My wanderlust is being satiated. Remember this post? Well, the whole thing has only gotten more and MORE beautiful since then. I have no words for it right now, really. It deserves it’s own post, which will come soon… because I am leaving in a WEEK. I am beyond stoked, for where I am going and what I am doing…but, now, mostly for who I am doing it with. Life can be absolutely amazing. God knows what you need and when you need it, and He only brings it to you in HIS time. I didn’t ask for it, but good Lord if I’ve not been blessed with something amazing. The next seven days are gonna be the longest ever…but then I hope it slows waaaaay down for two weeks. <3

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So, lots going on in the last few months, right? The common theme of all of this is synchronicity. Sometimes the answers are right in front of your face, but you’re not meant to see them until God has finished the necessary preparations. But when it is all finally revealed, you know right away what you’ve been missing all along and why you’ve been handed certain things. I feel so grateful every day for both the trials and gifts God had sent my way, and for the first time in SO long, I am absolutely and completely excited for the future. I just know it’s going to be so great. <3

I’ll be back soon with some more trip prep and babble, I can’t believe how close it is finally! Time can speed up over the next week, but then it needs to sloooow down to a crawl. I want to savor every minute of this.

It’s great to read an update. I hope you have an amazing trip-I’m excited to see how it changes you in great ways.

Erin

Thank you B! Your support and encouragement is wonderful, I appreciate you so much! This trip has already had such an amazing impact…and I’m only two days in! I’ll update you ;) Hugs!

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