“this one’s for believing, if only for its sake”

Gratitude changes everything.

One time, specifically the time of winter of 2013, I was walking on a snowy sidewalk in Greenville, North Carolina. I was newly engaged and walking hand in hand with my fiancé. We were headed to look at an apartment. I was living in sunny southwest Florida. I wanted a change and we were sick of being apart. We had been dating about 6 or 7 months, engaged for maybe 2. The plan was to wait until my spring classes had ended and move to North Carolina sometime in early summer. I had discussed this plan with Kurt and my family multiple times and felt comfortable with my/our decision. I remember when I told my dad that I would be moving in a few months, 13 hours away. The first thing he said was, “what if it doesn’t work out?”. My response was, “then it doesn’t work out and I figure out my next step if that happens”. Simple in my mind.

I know people were questioning my decision but it didn’t bother me much.

So, freezing and bundled up, we walked to the closest apartment complex we could find. We went on a tour of the model apartment. It was dingy. Worn out. Cheap. I didn’t care one bit. After the tour we went back to the leasing office where they told me I could move-in in less than 2 weeks. What did I do? I signed the papers then and there. I wasn’t scared. I was sure. On the walk home I called my parents to tell them I was moving and I was moving months’ sooner than expected. I flew home, packed, and waited the longest two weeks ever.

When the moving truck pulled up and I saw Kurt, things were different. I now lived in North Carolina. I moved hours away from what was my home for 19 years. I was so excited and then I was scared. Getting there was easy. Watching my mom and my brother drive away after dropping me off completely crushed me. Saying ‘bye’ the first time they left was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I cried every day for a while. Everything was new and it was cold all the time. The trees were bare which was so depressing. I was scared to leave my apartment. I got a crappy job, enrolled in community college, and struggled for a long time. Things got better, then got worse, then got better again. I was lonely a lot of the time. I had no friends for a long time. I took my classes online so I felt trapped all the time. I failed really hard. I beat myself up. I cried some more. Life wasn’t always bad though. We moved to the cutest little apartment and I got a better job. We got our first dog, Zoey. Then we had a really tough year. A season ending injury occurred right before Kurt’s first starting season, three of our grandparents passed away, then we were in a life altering car accident. Things got kind of hard throughout that year.

That year taught me a lot though. Life can be hard AND good. I’m not sure if things started getting better because our outlook changed or if our outlook changed and then things got better. We planned our wedding, Kurt graduated college, we moved to another state, got another dog, got married. Life is so good. I’m grateful and my heart is almost always full and happy these days. It’s been a struggle to get here. The bad times make the good times better though.

The point I was getting at two paragraphs ago was this, if you need a change, make a change. If you’re scared, at least try. If you never try, you never know. Not knowing is scarier than failing, at least to me. It can (and probably will) be hard. Keep going. Keep looking ahead. Remember to embrace the struggle, it is shaping you as a person. Most of all, be grateful for it all.

Gratitude changes everything.


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