6 months have rolled by of my Bay life and as I wake up this morning in Atlanta, I’m charged with some emotional thinking. 6 months ago I took a leap and moved for a fresh start, and today— I find myself looking for a ‘fresh start’ all over again. oy vey. What happened?
My plan was to just make it to July.
If I could make it from Jan-July, I’d be okay.
In July I would get some downtime, and most importantly, I’d be bringing my four-legged best friend, Ruby, to the bay. I’d take advantage of my job’s 11 month appointment and take the month of July away from work and as time to re-group and reshape priorities.
In July I would get to see my nephews again, at 4 months, and take a dream road trip with my dad across the country. A memory we both would take to our graves.
In July I’d get to pick my mom up safely from the airport and have downtime to leisurely (and proudly) show both of my parents what I’ve been mastering on the West Coast all on my lonesome.
In July I would attack health goals, debts, and personal business goals full-steam ahead and re-calibrate for another Stanford academic year.
In July I’d see some friends, do lots of CorePowerYoga in all the difference cities we’d be driving through, and I’d come back to work a skinny slaying baddie….rightttt.
If I’ve learned anything during this full transition into #adulting it’s that plans change. And by God they did…quickly…abruptly… circumstances calling me to make selfless, thoughtful, logical, and very emotionally exhausting decisions.
No parents in the bay.
More weight gained.
No insta baddie post.
No Ruby in California.
July has been everything I needed…not necessarily what I wanted. My time with my nephews reminded me how quickly those little nuggets are going to grow. It reminded me that time truly doesn’t stand still and life waits on no one. It was great spending time with my brother. We haven’t spent that much time together in years… I see him and I always see this guy that somehow managed to get it all right. The career, the life partner, the kids (who gets identical twin boys!!), the house– everything really. He’s just always been so strong in all the ways I feel weak. Time with him reminded me that the same strength lives inside of me– I just haven’t been pushed into having to use it. Living close to home comes with it’s benefits. Hands on (free) dog-sitter, impromptu grocery store runs with mom, and surprise weekend/weekday visits from my two favorite people (my parents). The ability to go home when life smacks you right between the eyes…luxuries I hadn’t thought twice about until I sold all my belongs and moved across the country.
The bay doesn’t offer those comforts. It offers everything being triple the cost that I’m use to, lots of traffic, thousands of people I don’t know, lots of homelessness and poverty, and tons of alone time.
In the same breathe, the bay offers this dreamer–me–the clean slate of becoming everything I dream of being.
July didn’t fulfill the dream of driving across the country with my dad because my spirit wasn’t settled with everything I was attempting to put in motion. In my mind, I had convinced myself that Ruby coming to the bay was the ultimate sign of “Cierra is growing up”. Bringing her would mean that I didn’t, for the third time in my life, hand over my responsibilities for my parents to manage. Let’s look at history: At 3, I asked for Goldie, and at 13, I asked for Chloe. At 23 I didn’t have to ask anyone about getting Ruby… I was an “adult” and able to make my own decisions. In all 3 instances– my dreams became my parent’s responsibilities— all snuggled by their unconditional love for me.
Ruby’s probably the best part of my time in Nashville and as difficult as it’s been to be a dog-mom through all my own life transitions– Ruby has saved me from myself on more than one occasion. Opting for Ruby to continue her life in Ohio has been this constant guilt battle for me. Feeling like I’m failing her and myself by not stepping up and pushing through, and at the same time, knowing deep down, that trying to take care of both of us could end up being the worse decision I could make. Dramatic maybe, but absolutely how I’m feeling.
I’ll remember this July as a time in my life where I made some tough decisions. A time where I put others before myself. A time where I could recognize the still small voice reminding me that it is well–despite the tears, the heartache, and the tough decision– it is well in my soul and I will be okay. Ruby will be okay….and that I still have lots of work to do (and that I’m still in my 20s, still learning, and still a permissible hot ass mess).
The stillness of July has been grounding. Humbling. When I take a look around me, I see that all the decisions I’ve made while walking by faith and not sight have led me to exactly where I needed to be. Having a relationship with my sister. Living across the country and navigating life on my own…choosing Ruby’s best interest over mine– a house where long commutes and traffic don’t impact her quality of life and mine. The good ol scale silently reminding me that it’s not going to budge until I work through some of the baggage I’m carrying with it.
July has been a time of some serious summer cleaning. I know the more I learn to let go, the more I begin to fall in love with everything I’m becoming. The more I’ll understand the complicated truths of life– that no one is out here having it all. Every piece of life comes with some type of sacrifice.
I wish I could say that I’m 100% confident with all the decisions and realizations of July; what I can say is my mission is to continue to make the next best decision and keep moving forward.
Feel the fear and do it anyway? I’m living with the fear and reality of my decisions right now. The do it anyway is tied to having the courage to trust myself– my decisions, and move forward…
I was able to pop in my church, One Church, during my quick visit in Ohio. My pastor, Greg Ford, was preaching about The Faith Gamble. This idea that we are constantly in a space where were asking God to help clarify or send us some type of sign that we’re doing something right. Greg talked through the importance of recognizing when we have to give something up, in order to walk into our next blessing, our next season. He talked through how in these moments—our flesh thinks we’re crazy and yet our spirit is thriving.
All of that is everything this past 6 months has been. Me giving up everything that make me comfortable for the chance of walking into a life I’m honored to live.
I’m giving up everything I know…feeling all the fear…and doing it anyway.
“I want to take the hand I have right now, and play it to my best ability”- Greg Ford