Over the past month as I’ve told friends, family, and acquaintances that we’re moving to Texas, almost everyone asks, “why?” And my answer has always been three things – my husband got a new job, we have family there, and Texas is cheaper.
All three of those things are absolutely true but they’re just the surface reasons that we’re moving. There’s a bigger, deeper reason, as well. Before I get into it, let me tell you about a book I read this week.
Because on almost every page, I felt like Shauna was telling my story.
A story that can be summed up in these five quotes from Present Over Perfect.
“I used to throw candy, right in the middle of it all. I used to throw candy no matter what. I used to be warm and whimsical. I used to believe in the power of silliness and memory-making and laughter.”
“I learned a long time ago that if I hustle fast enough, the emptiness will never catch up with me.”
“I knew with all certainty that what I longed for was my own table, my own home, my city, and my people.”
“It’s easy to be liked by strangers. It’s very hard to be loved and connected to the people in your home when you’re always bringing them your most exhausted self and resenting the fact that the scraps that you’re giving them aren’t cutting it.”
“When you’ve created a life that doesn’t leave space for talking about life-changing decisions, you’re doing it wrong.”
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve started saying something to someone or started thinking about something in my own head and the first words that came out were, “I used to be…” this or that. I used to be a runner. I used to be fun. I used to be outgoing. I used to be kind. I used to be all of the things that I want to be again.
Somehow in the past ten years since I got married and moved to Washington DC, I lost that person I used to be. As Shauna puts it in her book, I stopped being able to see the stars through the city lights and noise all around me.
The second half of Present over Perfect brings the second half of Shauna’s story. The half that I want my life to look like. The half where she’s re-learning how to play, discovering that heart is more important than hustle, and that being present over perfect isn’t about working more or less, it’s about showing up imperfectly and knowing that we’re still worth loving.
And my favorite quote from the book?
“I’m retracing the steps I’ve taken across the last several years to find the woman I used to be – she’s definitely nowhere near perfect, but I like her better, and I’m determined to find her again.”
That my friends is an extremely articulate version of the real reason we’re moving to Texas.
My husband didn’t just find a new job. And I didn’t just all the sudden decide that we wanted to live near family. This has been in the process for 18 months, ever since I realized that I loved my life but didn’t particularly like myself. And that I couldn’t figure a way out of the life I was leading without a major change. Or three.
Texas is a major change but as my husband has pointed out more than once, moving to Texas isn’t just magically going to fix everything. As Shauna drives home in the first few chapters of her book, we have to remake our lives from the inside out.
Texas is my catalyst. I’ve only been here a few days so far, but I can feel it. I can feel it as I aimlessly stare at the awe-inspiring sunsets, uninterrupted by buildings and apartment complexes. I can feel it as I walk through our new home and see my son playing in an actual backyard. And I can feel it as I sit and imagine what our new typical week looks like having a husband home in the evenings, on the weekends, and every other Friday.
So many prayers have been answered along the way to get us here, prayers I didn’t even know were being said.
And now it’s my turn to be grateful for those answered prayers and to start saying yes to the things I’ve been saying no to for too long. It’s time to find myself, my home, and my people. Find them somewhere I never thought possible, deep in the heart of Texas.