This weekend I have come to terms with something, and I want to share it all with you in the hopes that it might just help my readers. If one person can benefit from this, then my work here is done.
As you all know, my family just moved. This was a "want to move" move instead of a "need to move" one, meaning that we simply chose to look for a new house and wasn't due to job relocation or anything like that. There wasn't anything "wrong" with where we were, we simply knew that the day was going to come when we would want some more space and decided to go ahead and find something better suited to us sooner rather than later. As someone who moved across the country a lot as a kid, I know how hard it can be as you get older. My family relocated the summer before I started high school, which was incredibly tough. At 7 and 9, I know that a move now will be easier on them now then it would be if we had waited a few years.
In a nutshell, I absolutely love where we have moved to. I won't say my new house is perfect, because nothing was going to be perfect, but it meets our needs in a way our old house didn't. We will turn it into our perfect home. The neighbors I have met seem really nice, the houses on my street are beautiful and seemingly well-maintained, and it is so nice to be much closer to the places I spend so much of my time. Just last week I had forgotten I had a VBS planning meeting until the calendar reminder popped up on my phone, and all I could think was, "Praise God I now live 5 minutes from the church instead of 20!" Yes, those little 15 minutes of driving time over here make a huge difference, because its a drive I make almost every day to all of the places near my new home where we spend so much of our lives. I am getting hours of my life back simply by my drive back and forth being much shorter.
I am enjoying really feeling tied into the community of people I spend so much time with already. In getting to know my new neighbors, and discovering that we have mutual friends because their kids all go to school together, it has giving me an amazing feeling of belongingness. Yes, I'm fairly certain that isn't actually a word, and a little red squiggly line is telling me so, but I don't care. It conveys exactly what I mean. I feel like I am where I belong, and it makes me so happy.
However, I have found myself trying to downplay my enthusiasm out of fear of hurting anyone's feelings. I always wonder what others are thinking as I am telling them about our new home and surroundings. In all of my excitement over the new, I keep worrying that others think I am comparing to the old, and will then get upset with me over that.
I am not. Read that again. I. Am. Not.
When I say that I love my new house, I find myself worrying that someone will think, "You know, her old house wasn't that bad." I adored my old house. My husband and I said on multiple occasions that we wished we could have made it work for us, but we simply knew that to try to do that would have required renovations and additions that wouldn't have made sense. When I say that the new neighborhood is fantastic, that is not a criticism of my old neighborhood. We loved that community. My now-former neighbors are now simply friends who I intend to maintain their friendship. Just as I had to make more of an effort to see the friends that we now live closer to, I will make the effort for them. Yes, my kids will go to a new school, but their old school had NOTHING to do with that decision. I am actually a little sad to leave the principal over there, because he is nothing short of amazing.
This weekend, we went to the Spring Fair at the school my boys will attend in the fall (they are finishing the school year at their current school), a huge carnival they put on every year as a massive fundraiser. I have had people tell me for weeks, "You HAVE to come to the Spring Fair!", and we were really excited about it. Inflatables, rides, games, silent and live auctions, plus a wide variety of food created an incredible event that raised thousands of dollars for the school. As I looked around, I was overwhelmed by the community support surrounding this one elementary school and the money people were willing to spend at the fair to support it, and my heart swelled with gratitude at the thought that those dollars would benefit my children next school year. It was wonderful to walk around and see so many people we already knew, knowing that my kids were going to enter a new school where they already had friends there to help with that transition. In all of my moves as a kid, I never had that.
My boys, as well as my husband and I, are incredibly excited for my kids to go to this school this August, and yet once again I found myself not taking pictures of them and their best friends (that they will soon get to go to school with) and posting them, fearing that they would upset my friends and fellow parents from their current school. Would they wonder if I am thrilled about the new school, or thrilled that I was soon leaving the old?
If you have read up to this point and find yourself understanding exactly what I am talking about, listen to me;
Stop it. Stop it right now. You and I , all of us, need to stop apologizing for being happy.
Later in the evening after the Fair, I decided that I am done. Done with apologizing for my excitement. Done with fearing that others will misconstrue my feelings. Done with worrying what others think, and focusing on all of the wonderful things surrounding my family.
I have decided that I am done stifling my joy.
Be happy, everyone, and make no apologies for your enthusiasm. If someone from my "old stomping grounds" doesn't understand the love I hold for them, then they don't understand me. At the end of the day there is nothing I can do about that, and I am done holding in my emotions for people that don't know me well enough to have that kind of influence over me.
My love to you all.
You can always find me on Facebook and Twitter. I love hearing from you!