Guys, it’s been a crazy week to say the very least. If you ever follow along on my insta stories, you may have caught a glimpse of some of the chaos, but if not, let me fill you in. My sister and I just moved in to our new apartment in Austin last Friday. Moving always seems to bring a bit of drama in one form or another, and although it’s SO exciting to finally be moved in, there was a ton of stress that went along with it. We just happened to be moving only days after the worst hurricane to ever hit Texas, and since Austin is only a short drive from Houston, the city is also experiencing the tail-end of what everyone in Houston is going through. There has been a gas shortage, and this began literally the day we moved in – all the gas stations ran out of gas on the same day. On top of that, the night before the move, our car got broken in to, our back window was shattered, and all of my sister’s electronics were stolen, including her MacBook. Since we were moving in the next day, my sister had packed up her car the night before with all of her stuff, including her bag of electronics (go figure). (In reality, we had to remember that while Hurricane Harvey brought difficulties with our move, for others, it destroyed their livelihood. And although we lost a laptop, others lost everything they owned. It was definitely a reality check to look back on our move and be reminded that those in Houston are suffering much greater losses, and my heart goes out to them). In the midst of all this, not to mention all the normal stresses that go along with moving in general, my sister and I were starting to question if making the move to Austin was what we were REALLY meant to do. The question I couldn’t help but ask in light of all the craziness was, “are we REALLY meant to be in this city, 16 hours from home, away from our family and friends?”
I wanted to share with you all two common themes that have consumed my life for the past couple of months – reflection, and looking towards the future. In order to fully understand how these two themes resonate so strongly for me right now, let me back up to why I decided to make the move down to Austin. I moved to Chicago straight out of college. I picked Chicago because there were lots of opportunities for a young professional, most of my friends were moving there, and it was close enough to home. I didn’t make the decision intentionally. I just thought, “hey, I’ll be with all my friends, and still be able to drive home on the weekends if I need to.” In summary, I wasn’t ever THAT excited to move there – I didn’t feel inspired to do it (which I think is SO important in deciding on where to live), and lastly, it was FREEZING. Like, I can’t tell you how miserable I was 5 months out of the year because of the weather.
I always knew I wanted to live somewhere warm – that had been my dream ever since I spent every spring break down at my grandparent’s house on the beach. My favorite childhood memories are at that house, and ever since then, I knew my destiny was someplace southwest. Fast forward to my third (and last) year in Chicago. I was pretty miserable. I hated my job, I was feeling totally uninspired, and I knew my future wasn’t in the same place I was at the moment. My sister had always wanted to move down to Austin after school, so one day it just hit me that that was where I was supposed to be too. So we packed our bags and went for it – and it’s been the best decision I’ve made since graduation.
As I reflect back on all the life moments that have occurred to bring me to this place, it’s pretty incredible. More growth has occurred for me over the past year, than at any other time in my life. Much of my time spent in Chicago was treated like an extension of college – I wasn’t quite ready to grow up yet or leave that college mentality and lifestyle behind. Don’t get me wrong, I had a ton of fun, but I was also getting in to trouble, and put my energy and time in to things I shouldn’t have. It wasn’t until my last year there that I really found my way. I set my sights back on God and reading my Bible (something I had fallen away from for a while). Once I dedicated my time back to this, everything SERIOUSLY fell into place. My priorities changed, and I started to desire different things. Weekends became so much more than sleeping all day and drinking all night. I was MOTIVATED again. For the first time in years, I felt inspired. I had been praying for a while for God to show me where I should be and what I should do – and HE answered! I was led to Austin, and from there, everything else fell in to place. Right after we decided to move was around the time that I figured out what I truly wanted to do moving forward, and that was this blog you see here. It’s been my motivating factor in everything I do moving forward.
Today is my birthday, and it’s so crazy to reflect back on this past year, and where I was 12 months ago. Life looked so different for me back then, and the growth I’ve experienced over this past year is unlike anything I could have ever imagined. I can now reflect back on my time spent in Chicago and be so grateful for it. Without those 3 years spent there, I would have never grown the way I have, learned the way I have, and made friendships that I will cherish forever. But now, look towards the future with pure excitement. Don’t get me wrong – my life isn’t all of a sudden perfect. I still have SO much more to do and learn in order to achieve my goals with my blog, and being in a new city, hardly knowing anyone will definitely take some getting used to, but I have such a great feeling about my future. I can’t say I felt this way a year ago. So for that, I say cheers to the future, but never forget to reflect on the people and places that helped you get to HERE.
PS. Here’s one of my favorite bohemian-inspired looks – the kaftan. The one I’m wearing from Jen’s Pirate Booty is $200, but I found one almost EXACTLY alike for only $30! Shop below.
Photos by Laura Von Photography