Last week was Jake's two year anniversary at his job, and I almost missed my chance to really reflect on what this means for us. Last year I wrote a post on our one-year, and reading it back, I can hear the fatigue in my voice. (You can read it here)
Our first year was hard. But year two was good.
And I think year three will be the best.
We are transitioning into a new season. Gosh, saying that phrase "new season" feels nostalgic to me. When I was 22-25ish, I was obsessed with the concept of seasons of the soul. I listened to every podcast sermon I could find on it, and wrote about it quite often in my journal and blog. I think I was searching for meaning for the hard things, clinging to hope that winter turns to spring, and choosing to celebrate my personal summers without guilt and fear, knowing that yes this will change but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it while it's here.
When we moved, I put the season obsession behind me, because the road felt long and change would not happen fast enough. Moving was accompanied by loss and isolation. It was a hard, lonely winter. Even though I knew it was not true, I feared my life would never be as good as what I left.
But it gets better. The seeds we've planted in Colorado are finally rooted, established and blossoming into SOMETHING. I'm not sure what, but there is something here, and I'm so glad we stuck it out to see the fruit.
Ironically... over the most recent holiday, we contemplated leaving. The discussion came up innocently and organically. We left town for two weeks, which I feared would be too long to be away from our safe small apartment and our little life. But it was the BEST. We spent week one in "Dache family style" - running around from place to place and activity to activity. I ate and drank too much and gave myself a headache from how loud I found my voice getting. But I loved the buzzy energy. Then we went to upstate New York and spent a week "Roberts family style" - quiet, restful, peaceful. I was so grateful for both. It felt so reflective of who we were as a couple, trying to blend the two.
While we were in New York, feeling so much like ourselves and so far from our daily routine in Colorado, we got introspective. Why do we live so far away? What about all the opportunities on the east coast? What do we do about Colorado real estate being so expensive? Are we really learning and growing at our jobs? What are our goals?
And as we attempted to answer those questions we looked at each other and said..... we could move. We could be ready to get back east. To be driving distance to family, to see our favorite humans' babies grow up, to start a family ourselves. "Hmmmmm" I probably said a million times, maybe it's time.
But then we got back here. We got back home.
And with fresh eyes, I was able to see how all the work we've been putting in the last two years is finally paying off. The effort we put into the little things. I know my way around without needing a GPS. I have some favorite walking trails and websites that reveal where the free yoga is around town, and I even have friends to ask to come with me. I have goals at my job set for this year - a certain amount of weddings I want to book, a feeling of accomplishment I'm chasing. And then there is this CASA journey that I'm just starting on, which needs a two-year commitment, something I've been dreaming about doing for YEARS. Something that has brought so much purpose into my life already. We are just seeing our planted seeds take root and flourish.
When we moved here, I honestly expected it would last about two years. To me, that seemed long enough to have some grand adventures, then go back without missing too much. But it took two years to get good! It reminds me of college, how the first year sucked horribly, year two was so-so, and the last two were AMAZING. So we're signing on for more. Quite literally, signed a 13 month lease that not even death can terminate ;)
So this post was less a recap of our second year in Colorado, but more a commitment to year three. We are excited and hopeful that our new apartment will bring some new energy with the change of scenery, even if we are just moving across the street. But we are gaining some more space, specifically for a dining room table AND a guest room, so I can't wait to have more people over this next year both our local friends and our favorite humans who live far away.
This past week, I read this verse in my quiet time and it's been sticking with me as I contemplate our time in Colorado. The prophet Jeremiah said this to the Israelites who were in captivity. And instead of encouraging them to hold out for returning back home, he said this:
"But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare."
If you're reading this, you've probably been a big part of this journey the last few years, so I just want to say thank you. And I welcome a coffee date, phone date or happy hour to chat together about how this year has been for YOU. How are you embracing change? How are you seeing the seeds you've planted take root? What season are you in? What are your goals in it? Do you feel like God brought you here to stay, or do you think this is a temporary spot?
Faraway friends, please consider booking a plane ticket to come process this with me in person, I'll take you on my favorite walking trails.
Cheers to year three!