Wow. It's been an entire year since we moved from New York City. 365 days.
It's insane how much of an impact that singular year had on me more than any before that. I don't remember my time in Cary that I lived for one year. I don't remember my time in Raleigh that I lived for one year. I've moved every single year of my life since I went to college 9 years ago, and this is the first summer that I will not be moving. Oh. Happy. Day. We have a house that we are in for a long time until we want to build one day.
How am I in this phase of life? "The settling down phase!" It makes me feel so old, and how I blinked my eyes and here I am. Tanner and I are so thankful for New York. New York will chew you up and spit you out and honestly, that's kind of what it did to us. The year was a whirlwind, but it was one of the most influential years of my life and the lessons that we learned while we were there were things that shaped our marriage and who we are.
Ironically enough, it has everything to do with faith. We learned how to live out the gospel because of the people in our lives. I'm 100% certain that our year in NYC was because of the people that we were able to be in contact with and become our best friends for life. They taught me so much. They taught me about happiness and what it meant to laugh from the soul. They taught me about true friendship and being there when no one else would be. They prayed over us in hard weeks, and they were joyous with us in the good. (begin sobbing now)
New York is another planet and living there feels so crazy sometimes. No one can really understand unless you actually live there, but it's this constant up and down emotion. You get stuck on a train for an hour because something went wrong mid ride and you want to scream. You walk miles to get to a destination. You do your laundry in community rooms, and it's stolen sometimes. If you leave anything anywhere, you can kiss it goodbye. People don't care about you. They care about their destination. Do not say sorry if you bump into someone. They won't say sorry to you. People aren't mean like everyone makes it out to be. They just have a purpose and a destination and wasting time with every person you bump into is just too much energy. You become so little. You realize that you are so little, and that your worries are so small.
You find your friends in the crazy and they become your lifeline. You don't have family so they become family. You get asked every other second where you are from because of your accent (oh okay, that's just me). In a sea of millions and millions of people on a tiny little island, you do life with them every single day. The highs are so very high. You feel as if you could just like open up your arms, breathe in the fresh <dirty> spring air in Central Park and never ever leave. You get on a roof top bar with friends and it's like the heavens open up their glory reigning down the purest of life's moments.
Then, you wonder when you'll leave. You question it. You come close to it, but then you change your mind right back because you know you can't leave yet. It's a love/hate relationship. Mine mostly love to be honest. I didn't want to leave so soon. I wasn't done with NYC. Sometimes, I feel as if I'm still not done, but I know that sometimes God has a way of saying "this is where I need you and your family" and you listen to that. I knew it was what was best for us. And it was.
We are so happy in Shelby. New York City to Shelby is quite the change. It's one extreme to the other. It's a million restaurants down to about 2 that you frequent most. It's knowing no one when you go out to knowing everybody when you go out. I loved New York but I also love Shelby. I love the trees, and I love the people. I love the excitement for town development, and I love my car in my driveway. I love getting groceries easily and doing laundry when I please at my own house. I love not worrying about how much rent is and if we are going to be able to make the payment along with student loans. I love being able to have time for other things because I'm not spending it all walking everywhere. I love the new church family we have and the new friends that have become family in that and Young Life. I love being close to family...it is so so wonderful. I love that when my grandmother is sick, I'm here. I love that I can hug Jackson and that he knows who "Aunt Tay Tay and Uncle Nanner" are. I love seeing my husband happy. His job situation was so rough, and I've never seen him like that before. I love getting to see my husband because he's not at work for once. Unfortunately sometimes, job situations can make or break a city and that's what happened. He applied to a million different ones, but that just wasn't happening. However, if that hadn't happened he wouldn't have the job he has now which brings him so much joy. It's so cool to see God's path for his life and how that's fulfilled when He is such a great listener in that.
Every single year of my life, I change. I mature, and I grow up. That has most definitely been the case this year. (Side note: I really don't enjoy Timehop. I find it embarrassing to look at the things I've posted-yikes. hahaha!) As someone with a "platform and following", I find it hard to change. I find the transitions to be really rough. You feel as if no one likes the new you. You feel like you say offensive things that you can't take back when you never meant them in that way. You feel that no one will ever let you live down the person you used to be even though you are no longer that person anymore. You start to wonder if you really are a horrible person. This is actually something that I never experienced until this year because people don't want you to change. That's not allowed. You have to stay the same person because that's who they have followed, and that's what they expect from you. You keep quiet about the emotions that go along with that. And believe me, I know "I shouldn't care and can do whatever I want" and believe me I can reasonably talk myself through those things, but in the quiet moments, it doesn't take away my emotions.
But New York taught me that no matter what, you dust yourself off and you stand back up. You have to do you in all circumstances and love yourself in that. Lastly, I will say that because of Tanner's job situation and some things with me, we felt a little robbed of our year there in that we didn't get to experience what we went to experience. It was gone in a flash and a lot of money spent for Tanner to just work all the time. I only say that because I so deeply wish we could have had a little more time there, but that just wasn't God's plan and that's okay.
I just want New York City to know that I miss it. ALOT!
I feel like I'm always giving advice in my blogs which is almost silly because who am I to tell you how to do this life when I still hardly have this thing figured out, but if I have one little tidbit to share today, it's just that if you have somewhere you want to go, follow it with all of your heart. It could end up being the most life changing experience you will ever have. You will get to a point in life where those things are no longer possible and if you have an opportunity thrown at you, you need to run after it. You'll never ever regret trying.