This is going to be the most confusing post ever. But I'm posting it more for my benefit than anything else. So... whateves ;)
That word sums up my feelings about coming back to Jackson.
As I'm writing this, my eyes are stinging from the tears about to spill out.
A hundred times a day, I look around me and think, "How did we get here? Is this really my life? Am I having a play date in March at the beach?"
Life is great. Amazing. And so, so beautiful down here. But... its not Jackson. Hold on- don't shake your head in disbelief. I am living proof, as a one time Jacksonian- the grass is not always greener on the other side.
With that said, would I ever move back to Jackson? No. Heck to the no. But not because of reasons you'd think. A year ago, I'd say "I am getting out of this black hole! I can't wait to start over!" And in reality, that's what I miss so dearly about Jackson. The whole "not-starting-over" thing.
What we left behind, and what we gave up to move here... its mind blowing. And the pessimistic side of me cannot help but to ask every single day, "was it worth it?"
Most days, I say yes. But there are times when I want Jackson like an old, cozy blanket.
I can't say enough good things about my friends down here; God has surely put these ladies in my life for a reason. They are some of the most positive, generous, sweet women I've ever met. And I am so thankful they've taken me into their "groups." But it doesn't make missing my Michigan friends and family any less.
And then there's the house. I miss my house. We get letters from the bank and attorneys and courts, etc. almost weekly. Every letter is like a little dig. I don't want to know anything about "our" house. I want to picture it like it looked a year ago. Still full. Full of us, and all our stuff. The bird. Haha- the dang bird! We've now dug ourselves into a 3 year credit hole... basically, it means our credit will not rebound from the foreclosure for 3 years. Was it worth that??? Should we have stayed and tried to sell our house? Should Ryan have turned down the Jacksonville job in June and held out for something else? I don't know.
I have this flood of memories hit me every night as I'm trying to fall asleep. They're super random; but oh-so-sweet: Nightly trips to Coldstone when I was pregnant with Henry. Nightly trips to Maggie Moos when I was preggo with Maeve. (I like ice cream a lot:) That first nice day of spring. Ryan and I walking the kids around the neighborhood. Breaking ground on our house- I have a picture of that day. Just Maeve and I grocery shopping at Meijers. And a million more.
I don't have memories like that about here... about life in St. Augustine. Of course I have the incredible memories of Stella's birth, but I feel like life down here (so far) has been about Ryan and I trying to dig our way out of the mess we left behind (that has now followed us) and trying to start a new one (new LIFE- not new mess!). But what happens when you loved your old life??? No. I did NOT love the weather. And NO... Jackson is not where I wanted to raise my kids. But I loved our LIFE there. Does that make sense?
Onward and upward is on constant repeat in my head. There is no going back. There is no starting over. There isn't the option of selling our house, or waiting for a different job. We took the leap. This is it. The loss of control I feel/have felt over the past year is indescribable. Maybe that's why I haven't blogged a whole lot. I can't find the words to write?
Who knows... but these are gnawing thoughts that I have and it feels good to get them out.
I guess.... my whole point with this is... if I could go back and talk to the "old" me- the "me" a year ago from now-I'd say, "Ashley. You are 27 years old. A year or two of trying to sell the house may seem like a million years, but its not. A year or two of Ryan getting some good accounting experience under his belt in Michigan may seem pointless, but its not. A year or two of being away from mom and dad may seem endless, but its not."
There are so many things I MIGHT have done differently. And the endless repeat of these scenarios and thoughts are weighing me down.
This is a bit of a tough season in our life right now. But I have faith that we'll get through this, and be better for it on the other side.
That's all... the end... goodnight :)