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Stability At Its Most Hectic

Yesterday marked one whole year since I moved to Conway. This is a much, much bigger deal than it sounds like. I want to do a bit of timeline breakdown for you real quick…

February 2015 – May 2015 (3 months) I worked as a hostess at a restaurant in Texarkana.

May 2015 – August 2015 (3 months) I worked as a counselor at Sherwood Forest Camp in Missouri.

September 2015 – January 2016 (5 months) I went back to the restaurant in Texarkana.

February 2016 – May 2016 (3 months) I taught English in Switzerland.

May 2016 – August 2016 (3 months) I was a videographer at Heartland Presbyterian Center in Missouri.

October 2016 – January 2017 (3 months) I worked at Heifer International in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The past two years of my life have basically been run on 3 month timelines. This was never a plan. It never happened on purpose. It just happened. I chose places to live and took jobs that meant a lot to me, not places and jobs that I knew were longterm, stable options. It also took me two years that I lived to run away. I lived to be on the high of a new thing, place, people and take as much in as fast as I could and as soon as any form of monotony crept its way in, I ran away. I found another new thing, place, people. There is a whole lot of therapy that probably needed to go with how much I couldn’t stay in one place for long but, fortunately, that therapy ended up finding it’s way to me in different forms than a licensed guru and a couch. I still can’t decide if I recommend this direction or not given that I wouldn’t change a bit of it with how much I learned and the opportunities I have had.

In August of 2016 though, I moved into a little two bedroom apartment in Conway, Arkansas with my little brother. Never in a million years did I ever expect to be living with my 20 year old brother after we both went off to college. For the longest time, I would tell people I lived with my brother and the usual response was “Oh that’s got to be awful. How do you do it?!” But, honestly, it’s been the best. You move in with someone who already knows the food you like, already knows which stuff is yours and which is theirs, you can fight with them and it doesn’t actually cause any awkwardness because you spent 18 years doing it anyway, and you can share everything because you’ve done that for 18 years as well. Don’t get me wrong, we still get under each others skin hardcore. But I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we have never been closer than we are now.

Here’s the crazy part though, the part that is blowing my mind…

I have lived in the same exact place for twelve whole months.

I attended school both semesters back to back this past school year. That’s ten whole months going to the same school.

And I’ve had the job I have right now for a whole seven months.

I haven’t moved guys. I haven’t run away. I haven’t messed it up. I haven’t based my life around short term life choices.

I.  Feel.  Stable.

I don’t think I have been able to safely say that I felt true stability in my life since I left high school. I feel stable. I wake up in the same bed every morning and I have coffee and I don’t count down the days until I have to figure out my next move. I go to work every day and I have good days and bad days but I never sit on my lunch break looking at jobs in other cities because this one is on a time limit. I don’t stress over having no clue when I’ll see my family next because I’m not going anywhere this time.

To know that I am staying in the same place for a while is the most liberating feeling I have had in a long, long time.

Of course the girl that lived those two years and made those decisions (semi) confidently still slips in and asks if I should apply for that internship in Germany? Or if I should push off school another year for that dream job? Or if moving to another state is a better idea? Those things that are important to me but not stable at the moment. I don’t want to make it sound like that girl is too frivolous and I no longer take that girl seriously, because I do. All of those things are things I want to do…someday. When I finish being the responsible me I need to be, I’ll go back to that girl and “someday” will be a “today”. Until then, I cannot let go of what I learned those two years:

I learned that your coworkers can be your family and a job doesn’t have to just be a job. I learned that my strong and capable body can hike and canoe 20 something miles with 20 something middle schoolers and I can sleep under the stars and cook my meals by a river. I learned how incredibly important my family is to me. I learned that I do have God given talents and that it is my responsibility to share them in the ways I was made to. I learned that I can go places and do things I had never even imagined and I can surprise myself. I learned that you love so many people in so many places and it’s okay that maybe some of them aren’t around for me to love up close anymore; they still left an impact on me and I will continue to learn from that impact daily. I learned how much God truly loves me and how to completely unabashadely love Him back in the comfort and community of people that completely unabadshadely love Him too. I learned that God created my other half and that there are few adventures in my life that will top the adventure that is loving him. I learned that I can work and have a career that makes me feel fulfilled and overjoyed to clock in every day. And I’m still learning from all of my 4-11 year old teachers every single day.

While I hold on to those things, I’ll also make room for the things the stability is teaching me. The stability is teaching me how to have relationships and friendships that aren’t based on texts and Facetimes. The stability is teaching me how to care about my mind and my body. The stability is giving me time to read books for fun again. The stability is giving me the freedom to be able to pick up my camera and create again. The stability is feeding my newfound love for the kitchen.

This life I live will never be the same each year. I will continue to make rash, hectic decisions. I will continue to experience as much as I possibly can. But in the middle of whatever life stage I am at, I will remember my lessons learned and I will cherish my stability when I have it.

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