When Instagram Doesn’t Let You Say Everything You’re Feeling

It’s still only about 6:30pm on Wednesday as I’m writing this, so technically, I can still get it under the wire for a Wednesday publication date. WHEW. I wasn’t sure where to start with my post for this week, but I wanted to revisit some thoughts I started hashing out on instagram earlier this week. Sometimes, you need more than a caption to articulate the full breadth of what you’re thinking.

I’m in a weird season of life where things to be simultaneously moving very quickly and at once not at all. I feel busy, but then I also feel… bored? (The boredness, I’m certain, comes almost entirely from the fact that I am still struggling to find people here, so I have full on conversations with my cat.) I’m also grappling with a lot of anxiety about what the next few months of life will look like as we continue this transition to life on the West coast.

This past week has been an emotional one for me, in a way that I haven’t quite felt in years. The last time I can remember feeling this “whelmed” by life was maybe after finishing my undergrad, but coming to terms with the fact that my law school dreams weren’t going to come true in the way I’d pictured them. Over the course of about two months, I completely changed my life path: I went from planning my Fall matriculation as an 1L, to moving home, working two jobs, deciding not to shoulder another $120 thousand in student loans, and then moving again to work on a political campaign. 180 degrees from where I thought I’d be, but all the while I managed to stay positive and felt secure in my decisions.

But there’s nothing quite like moving across the country and completely upending your life to give you ample time for reflection. The last time I moved across the country, I was excited and hopeful and looking forward to the opportunities. This time? I tried to find that same sense of optimism. Before we left Virginia, we did a lot of talking about the ways in which our lives would change – the opportunity to learn and grow in a new workplace, the freedom to put our finances in a comfortable place, to build a new community. We talked about the challenges associated with those things, too, but we were confident that we could handle whatever arose.

What we didn’t talk about as much was how we would cope if things weren’t what we had prepared for. What if Clay’s new job wasn’t better than what was left behind? What if opportunities were extraordinarily difficult to come by? What if it just wasn’t at all what we had hoped and this big change felt like a colossal mistake?

Two months in to this adventure has us asking some of these questions and really leaning in to some of the fear and insecurities that were a bit easier to quiet before we left our comfortable bubble. In this moment, I’m experiencing an enormous amount of vulnerability. I feel a lot of fear about things that I can’t really articulate at the moment. There has been a lot of reflecting, along with lots of tears, frustrations, and fears that have been given space to be felt and (hopefully) learned from. I’m grateful to have a partner that values communication and deep thought about the things that challenge us and our relationship.

This move has been harder on me than I expected. I don’t admit to defeat or weakness easily, but it would be disingenuous of me to say anything other than the truth: I’m well outside my comfort zone and adjusting to this new place is more challenging than anticipated. I’m anxious about a lot of things. I’m scared about others.

But. But – after this weekend, though I’m still feeling scared and anxious, and emotionally exhausted – I feel better knowing that we’ve put words to our fears and concerns. We’ve given them names and now we can start to tackle them one by one. It will take time, it will mean being uncomfortable. It will also give us space to grow – like a lobster shedding its shell. Still feeling anxious and fearful, I’m working on releasing the tensions of the weekend and breathing in some resiliency. One step at a time.

You’ve heard my thoughts! Would love to hear yours here.