Into the Garden ,  now available in the  shop .

Since I last blogged (almost two years ago!!) lots has happened. I initially stepped away from the blog for a while to focus on finishing my degree, and raising my two kids. I just didn't have the time to keep up with blogging. But I'm starting again, and wanted to talk about something personal that happened since moving onto the next step of my life...

When I first graduated college, I felt like I had just finished running a marathon; exhausted, reeling, doubting that I had really just done that. For weeks afterward, I was double checking myself, making sure I didn't have a paper due, or a test I hadn't studied for. Steve was offered a job about a week after we graduated, and we spent the next few weeks packing, organizing, and getting ready to move 
across the country and start a new life, which kept me plenty busy. Getting to Huntsville was a stressful ordeal, and Steve jumped into a full-time job just two days after we signed our lease. All of a sudden, I found myself home alone with the kids for the majority of the day with a mountain of boxes to get through. I was feeling restless and quite honestly, useless most of the time. (I was also about one month pregnant). I felt that Steve had this big new important job, and I just sat around. Yes, I maintained the house for the most part, and  sometimes went to the pool with the kids, but coming from constantly challenging myself intellectually and personally to sitting around at home all day just made me sort of feel like my life had lost a lot of its purpose.

Then, one night, we found an ant infestation in the kids room as we were getting them ready for bed. Ants in their beds, their toys, their books their clothes. We were moved into a furnished apartment on site, while management cleaned up and took care of the ants. Then one week later, another ant infestation in the living room, and silver fish popping up all over the hall. After our apartment got another good douse of pesticides, a few days later, as Steve and I were settling into bed, I found another silver fish. On. My. Pillow. Needless to say, that was the last straw, and just four weeks after we had moved in, we were moving out. One morning, after dropping Steve off at work, so I could run about 14,587 errands, I put on a movie for the kids, jumped in the shower, and lost it. The stress of the past few weeks, combined with the now impending move, my seemingly purposeless life, and my hormones going completely haywire, got to me while I poured a nickel-sized amount of shampoo into my hands at about 8:30 AM on a Thursday.

I felt like we were never going to make it. That we would never be the family we wanted to be, that I was going to have to go work retail at nights and on weekends, and Steve, the kids, and I would live isolated, lonely, and purposeless lives. I was second guessing our move, and really wishing we could just go back to the way things were. Worst of all, I was feeling totally guilty about having those feelings. And then, I remembered the poem "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver that I read my freshman year of college and has stuck with me over the years:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

It was a beautiful reminder that the world goes on around us whether we realize it or not, and that  it was okay for me to miss the life I had, and it was okay for me to want something else, as long as I knew I would get there eventually. We are all good enough, and sometimes just being good enough is good enough for now. We'll find our purpose, and things will work out, as long as we keep trying. (Right??) So here's to moving on, looking outside ourselves, and living better lives.

It's good to be back :)

flower art by ashley woodson bailey

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