The Rollercoaster

So I’m sitting here staring at this blank post asking myself…where do I even begin?

The last time I wrote anything on this blog was in January. Like, early January. Resolutions time. And now here we are, more than halfway through the year, with the onslaught of all things pumpkin spice and fall-like just around the corner.

I could write for days about the past seven/eightish months. For days. But you don’t have days to read. Maybe if you’re really special I can just give you my journal and you can read it for the full rundown.

However, in summary:

The majority of the past seven months was spent in Chicago. I had a fabulous apartment with an incredible balcony, which I think I previewed here a long way back. I had every intention of decorating it and doing all kinds of cooking. Once the weather got nice, I was going to buy a cute little bistro table for aforementioned balcony and host fabulous little sunset cocktail parties. I had every dream of living large. I loved the people I was with. My new assignment was off to a good start. Everything was flashy and exciting and new. I truly felt like I was on the brink of something giant and incredible.

This is one of my favorite photos from the balcony. And I took a LOT of photos on the balcony!

This is one of my favorite photos from the balcony. And I took a LOT of photos on the balcony!

Because that’s the way it had always been, right? Relatively smooth transitions from one phase of life to another. Just gently growing up and enjoying a pretty scenic ride.

Spoiler alert: that’s not what happened. Work took a turn towards the challenging, and it consumed most of my time and energy for months. It kept me up at night and in a state of panic for the better part of every day. I think at the worst of it, I went a solid month without getting seven consecutive hours of sleep. Yeah. And I don’t even have a scary job like having to save lives or anything!

On top of that, a couple of things in my personal life simply didn’t turn out as I had imagined. I had caught a glimpse of what I thought was going to be a purely fun and brilliant year…and let me tell you, come April, I was freaking ready to get out of 2015.

A shot of the Atlantic while on vacation, taken in a moment of reflection on the past six months and planning for the next.

A shot of the Atlantic while on vacation, taken in a moment of reflection on the past six months and planning for the next.

The thing is, I had simply never come up against a real rough patch, an extended period of time where things just weren’t going right. Because things weren’t going the way I wanted or the way I had envisioned, I figured it was all just wrong. So I caved in to the anxiety and the fear and holed myself up in a shell for a little while.

As the result of exhaustive encouragement (really, exhaustive. It must have been exhausting to talk with me during this point in time.) I finally started pushing through. I put my head down and decided I would just have to try my hardest, hold on to the little things, and ride it out.

It paid off. Come July, there was a light at the end of that tunnel. Things began to click again. Sure, maybe they clicked in an entirely different configuration than I had thought would happen. But they clicked nonetheless!

Once I got out of my own head a little bit, I realized that this was just a period of serious growth and change unlike anything I’d experienced in a very long time (if ever). And it’s a little terrifying being able to see that growth and change happening, and not knowing what’s on the other side of it.

This is where you need your people. My people are the best people. My people took calls and text messages at all hours of the day and night. They sent me inspirational quotes. They were ready with coffee and tea and wine and couches and Kleenex. They said sweet things when I needed sweet things and told me to suck it up when I needed to be told to suck it up! For that, for giving me what I needed and not just what I wanted, I will be forever grateful.

Seen somewhere along the Dearborn Parkway, Chicago.

Seen somewhere along the Dearborn Parkway, Chicago.

The other thing I realized, especially through talking with other friends who were in their first year out of college, is that this is just the reality of being 23. It’s a weird freaking year, people. Unless you’ve all miraculously stayed in the same area, you no longer have your built-in circle of friends with whom to get dinner and brunch and constantly kibbitz about life. You have to start all over without the ease of classes and clubs and dorms to connect you with new people. Instead you have your workplace, in which you navigate the very fine and sometimes blurred line between your professional and personal life. There’s also the simultaneously fun and awful invention called the dating app, which is either ruining our relationship skills or is helping us all to explore and hone in on what we want better than ever before. Or maybe both. (Yes, I’ve started reading Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. TOO REAL.)

Taken with really good friends on a quick weekend to Denver.

Taken with really good friends on a quick weekend to Denver.

By the time July rolled around, I was ready to get back into the game. And then, I was told I was being reassigned to a client outside of Columbus, OH. Yup! Another move! I’ve been here for just over a month, with a few trips in between, and you know, it’s been a good time so far. As much as I miss Chicago, I’m learning to trust that God gives you practice in exactly what you need. For me, apparently that’s been being able to strike out on my own, find a way to make my own life, and cut a path wherever I am.

The year has been a rollercoaster. And I’ve never liked rollercoasters- being upside down and thrown around like that? No thank you! But maybe, just maybe, I’m learning to enjoy the ride. If there’s no getting off, you might as well have fun, right?

Caught outside my hotel window. Always a nice reminder.

Caught outside my hotel window. Always a nice reminder.

More soon. Probably. Hopefully.

With love,

Gaby

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