Moving Back to Move Forward

In 2015, my year without booze, I easily found inspiration for topics to write about. A year that began as a simple idea (to go one year without drinking any alcohol), led to an unfolding of realizations about myself, my relationships, my work, and every aspect of my life.

But really, I wrote blog posts because I needed a distraction.

I needed a way to deal with the struggle I faced every day to go without my usual coping mechanism. So I wrote. Writing each post became therapeutic. A release for my thoughts and fears and frustrations. I reassured myself by working through these feelings, which began to become hopeful and excited. Friends told me that my posts inspired them to make changes in their lives as well.

Toasting to my year without booze!

Toasting to my year without booze!

Now I’m moving into another phase of my life, and I’m hoping to pick my blog back up where I left off. I hope to use this medium to work out my thoughts and feelings and to make sense of them.

When I moved to Portland, Oregon just a couple of short years ago, I didn’t know what the choice would mean or how it would affect me. I knew it would be great - no matter what - and that’s why I chose to do it. And I’m so, so happy that I did!

Living in Portland I have learned so much.

Living with my sister Amber has been the absolute best part. We’ve supported each other, laughed ourselves to tears, and shared so many meals together (which I cooked, of course), and it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. I’m happy every day that we decided to take this leap together.

Our company, The Bike Dress, has come such a long way. We still have a ways to go, but it’s getting there. We’ve both learned a lot about ourselves, and taught each other some important lessons. Amber has helped me to learn the value of holding my feels back a bit, and I’ve helped her learn that it’s okay to barf those feels out sometimes. (It’s all about balance with those feels.)

#Sistercode.

#Sistercode.

If I hadn’t moved to Portland I may not have been strong enough to detach myself from a romantic relationship that wasn’t right for me. But the distance was healing, and I began to trust again. And that opened me up to something really beautiful with an amazing man, who just happened to be right under my nose for a very long time.

Yeah, I know. We’re so cute you wanna barf. <3

Yeah, I know. We’re so cute you wanna barf. <3

What I’m trying to say is that I see my move to Portland as a huge success.

A beautiful, wonderful success during which I made connections and friendships that I know will last the rest of my life.

I love my Portland family, and trust me when I say that I will be back.

Get ready for a bombardment of photos…

Even Keel gang - I love you guys!

Even Keel gang - I love you guys!

Two of the funnest most fabulous people on the planet.

Two of the funnest most fabulous people on the planet.

Blurry girls doing some wine tasting in the Willamette valley.

Blurry girls doing some wine tasting in the Willamette valley.

These kickball kids crack me up so much and I love them for that!

These kickball kids crack me up so much and I love them for that!

A beautiful wedding for two beautiful peeps.

A beautiful wedding for two beautiful peeps.

These two. Just these two.

These two. Just these two.

I have never felt more inspired than the Saturdays I’ve spent with this amazing group of women!

I have never felt more inspired than the Saturdays I’ve spent with this amazing group of women!

Damn, Pickathon was fun. (And Betsy, I MISS YOU!)

Damn, Pickathon was fun. (And Betsy, I MISS YOU!)

Now, I’m ready to move forward by heading back. Back to Colorado!

I am excited about this for many reasons. I am thrilled to be rejoined with my Denver family, my friends, my sweet Jake. And now I’m excited to face a new challenge that I’ve struggled with for a big part of my life: debt.

I’ve had my ups and downs with money, as we all have.

Recently, I have been thinking of money in comparison to waves, sometimes it’s up, sometimes it’s down, but it will constantly be in flux and I just have to accept that. Although I still believe there is some truth to that, my money-wave has been fluctuating below the line of breaking even for much too long.

I turn 38 years old in March.

As I inch closer to 40, I’m getting all kinds of existential. I’m having those “what does it all mean?” thoughts, and reflecting a lot on my past while at the same time feeling the weight of my future.

No, life ain’t all about money.

But I want to feel secure with it, and feel free of the burden. Yes, I want to live happily, and spend the money I have earned by ordering all the food when I go out to eat (my friend Katie’s favorite part about dining out with me), taking trips, buying concert tickets, and buying a pretty sweater when it strikes my fancy.

However, I also want to be able to pay my bills without feeling stretched.

I want to be able to have money set aside for if my car breaks down.

I want to open an unexpected medical bill and not burst into tears.

I do not want to feel dread as the end of each month approaches, and rent is due again.

I want to be able to afford to live in an apartment that doesn’t have squirrels living in its storage space.

I want to be able to treat a friend to dinner on their birthday.

I do not want to feel anxiety over every dollar I spend.

I want to feel comfortable.

So I am heading back to Colorado to live with my parents for a little while. They have graciously welcomed me back into their home to jump-start my progress, and I couldn’t be more grateful. It will take time, and a change in habits to make this stick, but I feel ready. And so thankful that I have such a great support group.

Living with the folks again at 38 isn’t going to be easy for me.

And this is why I’ve picked up blogging again. I figure, this will be a hoot, right? A nearly-40-year-old woman moving back in with the folks? Why not use it as an opportunity to write?

Well, golly, that’s just what I’m gonna do.