The New Normal

I’ve got a thousand incredible things happening to me now. Yet…the past few months I’ve been feeling uncomfortable, as if I’m shedding an old skin that doesn’t quite fit. “New patterns, new patterns”, I keep repeating to myself, “This is good! This is healthy! If you’re feeling anxious, it’s because you’re on the verge of change!”

This past Christmas, my younger brother said to me sadly, “It doesn’t even feel like the holidays. Is it always going to be like this now?” You know what he means. While the kids have all grown up and moved away, the traditions have diminished and faded out with them. New traditions with new family begins to emerge, but it takes a while for these new things to feel like old traditions.

On the eve of my 30th birthday, I sobbed into my pillow. This might not seem surprising, as it’s extremely common for women to “turn 29” multiple times, but I was actually really excited for what was to come in my thirties. Yet, I couldn’t help but mourn the loss of my twenties and all of the things I wished I had accomplished during that decade. And then – once that was over – I felt fierce.

I recently met an incredible man who is all of the things I’ve ever asked for – witty, handsome, intelligent, romantic, adventurous AND committed, thoughtful, hardworking, respectful, handy, emotionally intelligent, masculine, introspective, amusing, responsible (except for earlier this week when all of my banana pudding that I accidentally left in his fridge mysteriously vanished…lol), good listener, practical, easy going, close with his family, wants to get married, wants to have children, and insanely laugh-until-you-cry funny. Meeting him has got me all kinds of excited for what could be.  He makes me feel calm about moving forward, not scared or nervous. I trust him. I knowww – this is kind of a big deal for me *squeal* If this is really what I’ve been waiting for, it’s time to kiss goodbye every man of my past and any other that could be a man of my future.  If this is really what I’ve been waiting for, it’s time to slow down the momentum of “Are we there yet?” and coast into “It’s happening now!” All this joy has just got me reflecting on where I am now and respecting what’s got me here.

Work has always been the one thing that has been consistent in my life. Whenever the rest of my life was incredibly amazing or incredibly unbearable, my job has kept me sane. Since our company is growing, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to take on more exciting projects. With that comes new challenges, some of which aren’t as as easily hurtled as I would have hoped. I know that getting out of your comfort zone means that you’ll make mistakes, and be stressed out, and be critical of yourself. And I am all of those things. But, I’m trying to be nicer to myself while I’m learning, more constructively critical of myself while I’m improving, excited while I’m experiencing the opportunity to learn, and grateful while having a knowledgable team surrounding me. But, yeah, its uncomfortable while I’m figuring out how I fit in here.

When I moved into my beautiful Southern home, I had 2 neighbors with apartments in the same house. One had been here for several years and we bonded over our creative fields and the removal of rogue lizards in my apartment. The other moved in a week after me, and we met when I invited him into my bedroom…to dispose of a cockroach at 1am. These were the first people that shared my space when I moved in to this new town, and they both moved out this week. I don’t know them well enough to keep in touch, but I knew them well enough to feel a sort of emptiness when they left.

My family just experienced the loss of a loved one, so that has been weighing heavy on my heart. The feeling I have knowing that people I love are hurting is…hollow. I just talked to my cousin today and she said it would “take a while before everyone is comfortable with the new normal.” And I couldn’t have said it better.

That’s exactly what this feeling is – getting comfortable with the new normal. It’s big, and exciting, and sad, and scary, and fun, and uncertain, and exhilarating, and reflective, and melancholy, and new, and all of those things. Yet, we have to embrace it, but not too tightly, because as soon as we get used to our new skin, we’ll shed it again.