The Memories.

Four years ago, I was sitting at a bar in a Mexican restaurant drinking margaritas. (No – this story isn’t going where you think it’s going.) I was actually on my second margarita, so I was past the point of gushing about work, friends, and the love life, and almost to the point of pontificating our purpose here  on earth – I know you know what I am talking about.

Somehow my friend and I managed to get on the topic of family when it hit me that I had forgotten a monumental day in my life. I didn’t say anything about “the day” but shifted the conversation to a question I had: How are we supposed to keep track of all of our memories?

I did then and I still do wonder how we are supposed to make new memories and still have room for the old. It’s bad enough that as we age, we place more time between ourselves and the memory, but stashing new memories while trying to preserve the old? How are we supposed to remember all of the things that mold us? More importantly, how are we supposed to know what is important to remember what isn’t?

And why? Why do we have to juggle the good, the bad, and the ugly in our Roladex of a brain alongside everything else we keep up with on a daily basis? Why are we expected to? Who decided that this is how it’s supposed to be?

Yes, these are all questions spawned from the margarita sermonizing. At least for that day. This day. April 24th is the day my dad died. I’ve written about him before on this blog, mostly selfishly as it’s provided a simple level of healing for me, but also because it was a defining time, a mile marker in my life. But it’s a mile marker I’m ashamed to say I don’t always remember, or maybe not the way other people would. I feel guilty even typing it, but I often talk about it…him.. because I feel that I am supposed to at least remember the date. That I am supposed to remember him a certain way.

Last year, on this very blog I wrote that I don’t remember much about when he died or the circumstances that surrounded his death. I believe my words were something to the effect that “it was a blur.”  That’s a lie – not because I intended to write a lie, but because I chose to tell myself that I don’t remember it when I do. I know exactly what was going on – what I was wearing, the face of the nurse, the color of the room, the placement of the window, where everyone sat, the pattern of the beeping machines, the stiff air. I can tell you every domino effect that came of that day as well, in order, as if I’m narrating a documentary.

But I’ve spent so much time reminding myself that I don’t have time for a bad memory and to focus on the good. I’ve denied myself the ability to think about it and even shamed myself for “forgetting” because I felt like I’m already supposed to be “over it” or move on with my life. That’s what we human do, right? When something is over, we move on.

What a stupid way to see things. Not because we should walk around gloom and doom or with our eyes set on the black hole, but because the black hole is always succeeded by light.

We remember what we did wrong when we fell off the bike and we don’t do it again. We know why a job didn’t work out, so we don’t place ourselves in that situation anymore. We know why we lost someone in a relationship, so we adjust our behavior. It hurts to think about the pain of the touching the hot stove, but you’re not out there touching hot stoves are you? That is not a bad thing. Shining the light on the bad every now and again ensures that we have a light guiding us in the future.

Sometimes we decide when that line shines and other times we do not. Despite our best efforts, we cannot forget the things that mold us. It is an invisible mark that will never fully fade. It may not be at the forefront of our daily walk, but the memories are there. We may not be able to pull them out when “we are supposed to” but they are still there. We can and do remember everything, just not always on our own timing. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be. Maybe it’s an indication that our mind can override our feelings. Or maybe it’s a reminder that we are not in control. But, then again, we don’t need margaritas to remind us of that.

“Memories are the architecture of our identity.”

A grateful heart. 

A few weeks ago, I was driving by East Georgia Regional Hospital in Statesboro and I had the thought, “I wonder who I would call if something happened down here?”

The thought came to me because in Atlanta, I had my mom as well as the people who helped raised me. Flat tire, car accident, hospital run, I had a list. Here, of course I have my friends, but it’s a situation in which I’ve never been before. Who is my emergency contact?
Monday evening I had the opportunity to figure it out in real time. 

I somehow managed to get myself in a situation where I passed out in the parking lot after a city council meeting. At City Hall. In Claxton. 

If you know anything about me and my job, you know that I have an interesting relationship with Claxton. The kind where some people like you and they’ll say so, some people don’t like you and they’ll say so, and many who don’t say much at all. 

I quickly learned that it doesn’t matter which types of people are around when something bad happens, kind people will be kind, a concept that is sadly new to me.

The short of the story is that I woke up on the pavement. I was crying and couldn’t talk but I was coherent enough that my first thought was, “Oh my gosh – I’m laying on the ground in a dress in a parking lot.”

Mr. Harold, the fire chief, knelt down beside me. I know he was talking a good bit, but I’m not sure what about. He isn’t someone I know well, but I see him at least twice a month at council meetings so he was familiar enough and his familiar voice made everything much better. 

Despite my adamant resistance, they put me in an ambulance and took me to the hospital. They tricked me for sure. First they said they were just calling EMS to “come check everything out,” then they said we were just going to “take a look” in the back of the ambulance, then all of a sudden we were going for a ride to Evans Memorial and the paramedic is telling me when to expect potholes. 

I won’t lie – I was pretty scared. Scared because I wanted someone to call my mom (Yes, I’m 28 but who doesn’t want their mom when fit hits the shan???) and I didn’t know her number, scared because I didn’t know anything about where I was going, and scared because I didn’t know what was happening. I envisioned myself sitting in a hospital room with no one I know knowing I was there. 

Wrong, again. 

More people than I could have imagined showed up to the hospital to make sure I was okay or had someone with me or if they could call someone for me. People who had already left the meeting came back because news travels lightning fast around here. “Jessica, the mayor is here to see you….” You would have thought the queen was in the emergency room with the way people were flashing in and out of my room. I think everyone who visited now knows my height, weight, and that I take thyroid medicine twice a day. 

Joking and sarcasm aside, I saw a side of people I have never seen in my adult life. Of course, for some of these people, it is their job, but in some form or fashion, over the last year, I’ve made many of their jobs difficult or uncomfortable. 

You never would have known it. It makes me very emotional to think about how vulnerable and scared I was and some of those who came to my aid were at some point an enemy, by my declaration or theirs. Not because I did anything wrong or they did anything wrong, just a product of the circumstances 

But today I have a very grateful heart. I’m thankful my thought that I had no one to reach for in the event of a problem was wrong. I’m grateful that they know I’m not as bad as they thought and I know the same about them. 

I’m most grateful for their hearts and that in a job that is controversial and contentious, I have the opportunity to see the humanity of the people around me…even if the view is from the pavement of the city hall parking lot. 

And yes, I’m fine.

The Needs.

I had a conversation with someone the other day about “the need” versus “the want,” and in this specific conversation, we were discussing the jobs we hold over the course of a lifetime.

The ones we need and the ones we want.

When you’re little, you’re idealistic as can be. Your parents tell you you can be anything you want to be, you believe them, and you’re told that you can have anything you want if you work for it.


For me, I was sure I was going to be a Mission Control Specialist for NASA. I was so sure that I built model rockets in my spare time, wrote letters to John Glenn, and was elated when I got a telescope for Christmas. [Not to worry – I played sports, too.] Outer space was what I wanted and I was told what I “needed” to get there. That was until my Dad told me he signed me up to go to Mars in 2020. I was devastated and nearly hysterical because, at the ripe age of 9, I knew we didn’t have the means to get back to Earth and I would be stuck on Mars forever.

So, my “want” changed to a teacher, at some point – a doctor, then a lawyer, then a political-something. There may have been a few points in time where I thought maybe ‘trophy wife’ was going to be the best option. But I never made it to declaring one of those professions as who I am.  I needed to work to pay my bills or ‘get experience’ through internships, whatever that ended up meaning. By the time I got to the “want” era of my life, I no longer knew what I wanted.

Hold that thought.

In addition to these professional wants and needs, we plan our personal lives – at least if you’re female you do. We plan college, marriage, kids, the works! All these things we’re sure we “want” and we know exactly how we want them and when. And then life happens and we realize that we barely ever get what we want and when we do – it likely isn’t at the time we planned. What’s the saying?  If you want to make God laugh, plan.

Or maybe we’re unable to make a cohesive plan because we are wrong about what we want.

I would have made a terrible Mission Control Specialist. First of all, I am terrible at math. And I have no sense of direction. I would be an even worse teacher. I would have all those little kids indoctrinated in the best of ways, prepared for the next revolution, and ready to #EndTheFed. In all seriousness though, I came into writing simply because it was a hobby.  It was a voice I needed and a necessary outlet. Slowly it evolved into something I enjoyed doing, wanted to be doing, and eventually needed to be doing.

I consider myself lucky that that I didn’t end up with one of those other professions as mine – not because they aren’t respectable jobs…they all are. But simply for the fact that my needs trumped my wants and kept me in a holding pattern until I was ready to make the right decisions. The need to focus on supporting myself by doing a job I didn’t want to or powering through “just one more semester” of school kept me undistracted by my wants.

I don’t judge people who marry their high school sweetheart and commit to the job they professed to possess at age 10. I think it’s incredible to know who you are when you want to and when you need to make life decisions – and even better when you get to the end of your life and realize all the choices you made were correct.

I am not one of those people.

I don’t believe that ‘life happens to us,’ but I also don’t believe ‘we happen to life.’ We are all constantly battling the predestined plan for our lives, our own free will, and the circumstances we can’t control. Not to mention how all three of those clash together. This somehow translates into some earthly belief that needs are in one category and wants are in another.

But we have to be able to recognize the times in our life that “the need”can potentially become “the want.” Or maybe that it already is.

The Window.

They say that real maturity  is achieved when your mirrors turn into windows.

The quote is one of journalist Sydney J. Harris and implies that when we look into mirrors, we only see ourselves and the things in our immediate surroundings, but when we finally decide to see the world through a window, the view is endless. The original intent of the quote was addressing education, but when you think about it, life is really just one big classroom full of daily lessons.

It’s deep, I know.

Much deeper than many of the other directional quotes out there about windows and mirrors, like: “If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull the shade down,” or “You can be the candle that is the light or the mirror that merely reflects it,” and, my personal favorite and tad more lighthearted, Lil Jon’s “Get Low.”

Instead, choosing windows over mirrors is something that shouldn’t just be a quote, but a goal for all of us. So many of us are immature, undeveloped, or mildly primitive and it’s slowly killing us. Allow me to explain.

I recently took a small break from Facebook. I was fed up with the way people were talking to each other, the way in which topics were being presented, and the incessant whining by people who aren’t getting their way. The excuses, the protests, the protests of the protests, the tears, the cheers, the “my faith is better than yours,” and the attacks on people who practice any faith. The divisiveness, the racists, the ageists, the sexists, the capitalists – I was over it. I’m still over it.

We’ve allowed ourselves to evolve into this society of bubbles and classifications. We keep ourselves in these safe zones next to people similar to us. Politically, spiritually, generally – we have decided that what we see in the mirror is the correct way of life, that is the end-all be-all, and probably ‘the way it’s always been done.’ Then we become enraged and offended when someone calls a group of us all huddled together…a group. It’s totally insane.

While it’s human nature to seek others who are like us, I think we’ve taken it to the extreme. We enjoy people who share our same faith, or lack thereof. We want to talk about politics and economics and education and relationships and sports with people who share our values.

But it’s important to ask why you want to be – or stay- in the bubble…why you want to see your reflection instead of the outside? Is it because it is safe and comfortable? Or is it because you don’t want to consider that you could be wrong or uninformed and someone else could humble you and teach you?

We’ve decided in our bubbles that everyone on the outside of the bubble is the “default mirror-mirror-on-the-wallwrong.” How we know this isn’t clear, it’s just assumed. Somehow opinions, beliefs and values have shifted into the categories of “right and wrong” instead of “similar and different.”

We’ve decided that consideration and understanding of ‘another option’ is unacceptable whereas it used to be a way to acquire knowledge. It used to be how we made friends and strengthened families.

We’ve decided that if someone asks a question about our opinions, beliefs and values that it’s safe to assume that someone is against us. There is no innocent inquiry anymore. It’s an all out brawl to make sure everyone knows we are right and why.

But it is absolutely, unquestionably, conclusively killing us. We’re cutting out friends, cutting off co-workers, and telling family members to keep their distance. We take a step back or just stop returning calls because someone doesn’t agree. We are choosing to do that.

Divisiveness is not innate, it is learned. It is a choice. We choose to divide and I have nowindow.png idea why. I don’t know why we see what is different about a person in front of us instead of what is the same. I don’t know why we use what is different about someone as a tool, an excuse, to alienate them.

The only explanation is that we all want to look in the mirror instead of out the window. Because that is what feels good.

This world is full of mirrors right now. The mirrors, in an attempt to affirm what we know and feel, have only become fences to keep others out.

The window is the better option. The window lets the light in. You can still be who you are, maintain your convictions and uphold your values while looking out a window. You don’t have to change who you are to do it. You just stand there and look…and listen.

Besides, if you have a mirror in front of you, no one has the ability to see in to learn from you either.

Proverbs 12:1 – “To accept correction is wise, to reject it is stupid.”

The Forks in the Road.

If you’re a believer in Christ, you may believe that everything that’s supposed to happen in your life has already been determined. Who you’ll be, where you’ll go, why you’ll love – all of the circumstances that exist in order to mold you were predestined before you ever came to be. I suppose, in a sense, some non-believers believe in coincidences and things that are determined outside of their control, but that isn’t the same thing. There are different marks on the spectrum of this belief of predestination, most of which align with different denominations of Christianity, but in most faithful circles, there is a belief that God has a plan for each of us.

But something I’ve always wondered is how we’re to know we’re following the path that God has laid out for us. How much latitude are we given with regard to earthly deviation before He considers us to have completely derailed? More importantly, how are we supposed to know when we’re resisting?

The last question has always been one of my biggest concerns when I come to a fork in the road. When it’s time to make a decision that will drastically change the course of my life or my person, how am I supposed to know when I’m listening to what I know I want to do versus what I know I should do.

I’m sure you’ve been there, too. The point at which you’re praying as hard as you can, asking – sometimes begging – for direction, but at the end of the day, you’re dividing your faith between God and yourself and hoping you’re making the right decision. Sometimes this analysis comes after you’ve made the decision, and that’s okay because most times, barring the fact that you’ve killed someone, you can usually redirect the ship and change the course.

I’ll give you a for instance: Moving to South Georgia seemed like a great idea when I made the decision. The fork in the road was either to stay in Atlanta and choose a life most would enjoy, with someone who would love me, and who wanted to marry me…or..move to a new town, follow through with my career choices, and build something of myself as an individual. There wasn’t a day during the decision making process, the transition, and a good few months after the move that I didn’t wonder if I had made the wrong decision, if I was resisting, if I was deviating from what was supposed to be “my path.”

In the scheme of life, these were fairly small forks. Yes, one fork led me over 200 miles away, but the repercussions, while they helped mold me, were not harmful. Much like changing jobs, going back to school while starting a family, or starting a business that goes belly up – all of these things offer us an easy chance to bounce back.

A more serious situation that I recently dealt with myself had to do with my Dad. I’ve made it no secret that my relationship with him was tumultuous. I choose to share that fact because I know not all families are perfect and ‘sharing is caring’ in the sense that our experiences can help others make the same – or different – decisions in similar situations. This isn’t always a bad thing.

Back to the point. My Dad and I had a less than perfect relationship and the in the two years (21 months to be exact) leading up to his death, it was nonexistent. Depending on who you ask in my family, you’ll receive a range of answers as to whose “fault” it was that he and I weren’t talking. I was 12 when we stopped talking and 14 when he died, so I’ll let you make your own deductions about that aspect. To summarize without writing a book, my parents were divorced, I wanted to stay in Georgia with my Mom, and my dad, having raised four boys, and I had immense communication problems.struggled to articulate that he wanted more time with me in any other way than anger.

The summer before I turned 13, I spent some time with him in Texas. He worked a lot and Idirt-road-fork was away from my Mom and my friends. I told him that I missed them and I was lonely at his house, which didn’t go over well. He took me to the airport the next morning and that was the last time I saw him. For some time, we exchanged a series of letters (all of which he typed on a typewriter, in 2003, God bless him) about our relationship. He expressed that he believed I made poor choices and I told him I just wanted him to be my Dad. When we came to the fork in the road, he chose to distance himself until I was the daughter he wanted me to be and I chose to back off because it wasn’t the type of relationship I wanted. It was a lot for a 12-year-old, as I’m sure it was tough for a 55-year-old.

While I was unpacking some lingering boxes a few nights ago, I came across a large ziploc bag full of letters, post cards, and birthday cards from my dad. I held the bag in my hands for several minutes trying to decide whether or not I should open them, knowing good and well it had been at least 10 years since I read them last. Certainly I’m a much different person now.

I ultimately decided to read them, beginning with the post cards and birthday cards, all of
which were soft, sweet, and loving. Before the end of the first one, I was in tears, wondering if I had painted something in my head at the naive age of 12, if I’d made a huge mistake in distancing myself from him. I read on to the birthday cards and post cards from his travels where he referred to me as “Pretty Daughter Jessica,” and reminded me to listen to my mom and “always do my best.” Had I been so wrong about him? Had I chosen the wrong fork?

I didn’t know. Then I got to the letters that led to the demise of our relationship. I was sobbing at this point, wondering how a father could distance himself from his daughter, how he could ignore his only girl. I wasn’t reading them as a 28-year-old, I was 12 all over again, back in my periwinkle room in my house reading the letters I waited by the mailbox for, hoping they would read something different. Even 28-year-old Jessica couldn’t help but wonder if I had made the wrong decision all those years ago, if I had done something different, would the outcome have been different? Would I have known him when he died? Or was this how it was all supposed to happen for me?

I still don’t know. To say that something like that didn’t mold me would be an outright lie. Hell, reading the letters again molded me some. But those 16 years ago, I chose a fork in the road. And so did he. That’s how I know that God’s plan for us doesn’t just involve us – no matter how hard we may try to make it that way.

Sometimes we choose the forks and sometimes we’re on the other side of one direction of the fork and the choices are made for us. Yes, the truth is that God has a plan and I still believe He knows who we’ll be any why – long before we do. What choices we make and how we decide upon them is also part of the process, which is why I believe we’re given a path that’s a mile wide, not a mile long. More importantly, how we handle the choices we make defines us.

Every experience changes us and helps determine how we will behave and cope with the next experience. A broken heart keeps you from loving recklessly the next time. A bankruptcy keeps you from spending frivolously on the uptake. A strained relationship makes you work harder on the ones you have. Unless you choose the fork in the road.

As for the Lord, He’s just hoping for the same end result for all of us, no matter how we get there.

The Obituary.

Have you ever thought about how your obituary will read? How your friends will remember you, what your family will say? Aside from the usual feel-good comments, what will they really say? How will your life be summarized and how many paragraphs will it take?

I figured that, amid all the horrifying political messes facing our country, this was one of those opportunities to search my soul for those pie-in-the-sky answers I’m constantly seeking. You know, the ones you think about when you’re sitting all alone, give a few minutes to, but never address with a full consideration.

So, seriously, what will it say? That you met your annual goals at work for 20 consecutive years? Thatimg_4030 you were stable enough to purchase a new car every two years? That you kept a beautiful yard in front of your show home? That you had the most Facebook followers of any outspoken pundit in the entire region?

I’m not old enough to spend too much time reading the obituary section of the newspaper, but I’ve seen enough of them in my 28 years to know none of the mentioned the things above. Yet, here we are, all just existing and competing and racing.

But racing for what? The finish line? In this game of life, what is the finish line and what happens when we get there?

This morning I had the opportunity to speak with someone that most people would consider one of my competitors. In a conversation that started in a way that I would only describe as “touchy,” I was taken aback when this person told me that while they don’t always agree with me, they respected what I do. More importantly, he said he knew my heart was in the right place.

That’s right. In a professional setting, someone mentioned my heart. Given my work and my political views, I would imagine there are a few dozen people out there who don’t believe I have one, but just like everyone else, I do. So, how did I manage to show my heart and my passion without even trying? How did I manage to set the race aside and use my humanity as my compass? Do I have an honesty about me or is he just giving me the benefit of the doubt? We all have the ability to share out hearts, not our desires, in everything we do.

Of course, as humans we fall short – intentionally and unintentionally. Intentionally when we lose sight of the perfection that is placed at our feet every day. We often bypass the blessing that every day is new. We forget that even the moments of turmoil and grief, we are able to grow and be used for a bigger purpose – that everything that happens “to” us molds us for the next day, for the next person we are to meet. We’re so busy discussing what’s happened to us that we’re not happening to life.

Unintentionally when we close our hearts to protect ourselves and often times when we don’t even realize we’ve done it. In everything we do, there is an end. With that, there is usually both a process and a purpose. We spend so much time on the process that we forget the purpose. It’s just human nature and we choose the easy route, the one that brings us out unscathed, unbruised, and unbattered.

“Oh my darling, it’s true. Beautiful things have dents and scratches too.”

The dents and scratches ARE the purpose. We aren’t supposed to end this life as undamaged porcelain. A mangled mess is the result of being human and offering an open heart in everything we do. In choosing not to show our hearts, we miss opportunities for this world to shape us and prepare us to help ourselves, and, in turn, others. We compartmentalize and weigh accomplishments by tangible “things,” but what it is we take with us when we go?

How we carry ourselves, how we impact others, and what we do in times of tumult are the things people will talk about. Souls, not sales, are what’s engraved on tombstones. Character, not ego, leaves a legacy.

So, are you allowing the world to use you? Or are you using the world??

Are you the tenacious entrepreneur showing you seek to earn respect – not revenge –  through kindness and hard work? Are you the mother who lost a child and spends her time helping other parents who’ve suffered the same loss? Are you the father that’s helping mold an entire little league team into human beings who will console their saddened opponents after a loss? Are you the friend that opens up to people who have nothing to offer you in return, simply to share your experience in hopes of saving a soul? Are you the stranger that does a double take for the struggling person in passing?

We’re here to show others our compassion. We are nothing without personal relationships, and whether it’s seen minimally or massively, it all stems from our hearts.

Her heart was always in the right place.” That sounds much better than ‘hardworking, blonde, white female,’ doesn’t it?

“She was unbreakable. For though they looked at her with scorn, As their tongues pricked her with thorns, she smiled at them with mercy. They say you can’t break a heart that’s not hard. She was unbreakable.”

The Hard Way. 

As humans, we are characters of routine. We like our comfort zones and the safety of our nest. If we didn’t, most everyone would pack up and move to different cities and states more often than we do. But we don’t because we value our roots and the people around us. The sense of community is what builds us to be the people we are.

I am no different.

I’ve always been the type of person to choose quality over quantity when it comes to friends and most of my friendships have been those of longevity. I would rather have a few diamonds than a box full of rocks – the ones where life and busyness don’t get in the way. But your diamonds don’t come along when you pack up and move 200 miles away. When I fled the city and sought asylum in rural Georgia, I knew maybe 10 people. Probably 5 I could call if I needed something. Luckily, I wasn’t intimidated by this because I knew my job would provide for me to meet all kinds of people, often – but that didn’t quite go as planned either. 

South Georgia communities are small. The number of transplants are far exceeded by the number of people who have lived here their entire lives. The cliques are well established and making room for outsiders is almost unheard of. Outsiders are more than likely welcomed by other outsiders who are now considered insiders but have a memory fresh enough to recall the feeling of an outsider. It’s almost like former outsiders lobby for current outsiders to the insiders. 

Did you follow all that? Hopefully, because it gets more complicated. A simple outsider, someone who marries into a family or takes a beloved job in the community, is more likely to be welcomed than a complex outsider like myself.

It’s like middle school – the worst years of all our lives – all over again. 

I’m a complex outsider because not only am I not from around here, but I also have a job that makes some…cautious. 

I already talked about the people who are scared to speak to someone with a job like mine in public in a previous blog. I came to terms with that a long time ago and it doesn’t bother me much anymore. 

But imagine having to build friendships in reverse. Imagine your starting point is a place where someone doesn’t like you because of what they’ve heard about you. Or because they don’t like where you’re from, or your boss, or they spent too much time in the comment section on an article. They’re related to someone in a town you’ve written about or they just think you aren’t worthy of covering the issue, so they have a preconceived opinion of you before even speaking to you. Or they’re friends with a councilman who’s made it his prerogative to taint any public perception of you. 

I was run out of my last town, I’m sleeping with handfuls of people, I’m getting paid by an enemy to write about an issue, or, my personal favorite, I’m a spy. There are lots of reasons given, but they yield the same result: skepticism.

So do I weigh my personal life versus my professional life. Do I try to avoid certain towns so it’s easier to say no? Do I turn people away because I don’t want to stir the pot where I socialize? 

That’s not my personality. Externally, it would make me a bad friend. Internally, it would make me bad for myself. I would no longer carry the same weight of I worried about what people would think of me before I started looking into any given local government or elected official. 

Instead, I place people in two categories: the ones I can win over and the ones I cannot. I do my job and trust that the people I want to surround myself with will surface. I’ll keep writing, doing my job, and staying true to myself and the people who have the ability to see my character…will. 

After 13 months down here, that is starting to happen. Part of me really didn’t think it would take as long as it has, while the realist in me knew better. Like everything else in life, though, I am not in control of the time table. I’m not in control of much, actually, but none of us are and that’s another blog for another day. 

Anyone can pick up and move to a new town and find people with whom they can socialize. Anyone can build superficial relationships. But it takes time and effort to find a circle where you can rely on and trust, and I’m thankful I’m beginning to build my circle.