A Word Sets the Tone

Blooming. Blossoming. 

Similar, right?

When I set out to choose my word for 2017 way back in January, I had no hesitation in my choice: Bloom. 

And while it feels odd to be talking about my choice of word for 2017 in almost-July, I want to. 

Why? And Why bloom?

Well, as I wrote about my experience moving, when it was time to choose a word I felt like I was wilting. Change is hard. And in response to change you can do two things: dig your feet in and resist, or set deep roots and thrive.

I'm sure you know which one was me. And it's funny, because in the past I've worked hard at blooming. At thriving. This move was a struggle. We had three days to find a house over one weekend in July. We had a handful of days to sell our old house (it sold 24 hours after we listed it). There was packing. Moving. Finding a new daycare. Finding a new church. Making new friends. 

It was exhausting. And I was digging my feet in. The decision to move was hard enough that every choice I made thereafter was fraught. Was it correct? What if I made the wrong choice? What if enchiladas for dinner was totally incorrect and we should have had tacos instead? 

In retrospect, I probably should have been talking to someone. Even my husband. I was sad and lonely and scared and wasn't doing much to bloom. Everything felt SO different and to my husband and others it felt very much the same. But also, a little different.

My thinking and feelings on everything began to change when my mom visited in November. She stayed for almost a week, and that week I ended up working from home. Oscar fell sick the day she arrived, so it was unplanned, and all happened right before I took a long weekend devoted to exploring my new area. We did a lot of talking during my days split between caring for Oscar and keeping up with work, and from those discussions I came to a new sense: it's okay for things to be different. And it's okay for them to be the same. What I do with those feelings is really up to me.

So, we explored. Mom's theory was I couldn't decide if I liked it or not (after many texts where I told her I didn't), unless I knew where things were. I couldn't bloom unless I tried to lay down roots. 

Those roots just happened to fall along the tollways. 

We found yarn, smoked cinnamon, and pie north of home in a town that feels very midwestern to me. Downtown we found more pie, donuts, sewing and books. In my own neighborhood we found art supplies and a friend. 

All in just a few days' time.

When she went home I felt renewed somehow. Lighter. I had finally driven a sky-high overpass (those are far less intimidating now than they were nine months ago), navigated unfamiliar areas and secured my Texas driver's license (very important). 

So when it came time to decide what my word and theme for 2017 would be, my word was such a no-brainer to me: bloom. I wanted to learn more about my city. I still do. I wanted to lay down strong roots and find community here. We will be here for a while, and if I dig my feet in, I might never find joy where I am, and what fun is there in that? 

My choice to bloom where I am planted has led to so many wonderful things since I made that decision. I'm actively working toward making writing my job, stealing time between moments to write, compose, craft. I'm making friends, decorating my house, and laying down roots that stretch in all directions from my home to the tollways and beyond. 

God brought me to Texas kicking and screaming, and when I realized that this is where I am supposed to be right now, well, that is when I began to bloom.