Thursday, July 18, 2013

one year.

i remember the days when a year felt like an eternity. i remember turning 15 and thinking that a driver's license was still an eternity away. on the last day of my junior year in high school graduation was still light years away.

however, i have found this crazy phenomenon as an adult. time seems to bend and warp into seconds and eons at the same time. one year ago today i went to my storage unit, picked up my life and made the 63 mile trek to my new home. when i think of that day in particular it seems like it was only yesterday. BUT when i think about the person i was on july 18, 2012 and the person i am today, i swear it has been years since the day i signed the line and crammed way too much stuff into my tiny little apartment by the river.

the first six months were hard. they were REALLY hard. i found myself living alone for the first time in my life. it was weird on the best days and so very painful on the worst. looking back on that time now, it seemed i was living through a great storm, alone.

so many dark clouds.

BUT, so many silver linings.

both the clouds and the light behind them came in the form of self exploration. all that time by myself made me think. and it made me think A LOT. i really, really love fall and i think facing that season with the realization that life was different and not yet comfortable was like a smack in the face. being courageous, transplanting myself and simply being didn't come with a magic happy potion. i will spare you all the depressing details. all i can tell you is that somewhere around the six month mark the clouds broke.

i read a lot.
i talked to my Creator a lot.
i talked to my friends a lot.
i talked to my counselor a lot.
i cried a lot.
i reached out a lot.
i listened to music a lot.
i found some courage, a lot.

you see i've always felt the pressure of who someone else thought i should be. the pressure started way back. back when i couldn't control it, but i allowed it to remain too long. there were religious pressures,  familial pressures, friend pressures, even society pressures. some of the pressure i felt was legitimate but some of it was self imposed. sometimes i was the cause of the pain, i made assumptions about who i thought others wanted or needed me to be. but the funny thing about pressure when you're so isolated, in a new place, with new opportunities is...

your own pressure is all that matters when no one else is around. 

i was a carbonated carla. my lid remained secure but the pressure was too high. HOWEVER i had to figure out which pressures were keeping me crisp and making me a better human and i had to separate those from the ones that were simply shaken up by others. because those, those nasty little boogers are the ones that can cause you to blow.

so here i am, exactly one year into this new journey. i still get shaken up. but in the last year i have been forced to look at my relationships with faith, with church, with friends, with family, with love and with my Creator.

a sweet friend recently used the phrase "religion free but hope abundant." the longer i thought about the phrase, the more i realized that's exactly how i would want to describe myself because that is how i would describe Jesus. my faith has taken me to many different churches and several denominations. and i have found that religion is flawed but Jesus is not. i have been more sure of that this year than ever before.

one day last winter i got really brave, i faced my fears, i said some words and then it happened...the clouds broke and hope abundant came shining through.

i am in love with this city and...

i am more carla today than i have ever been.