Dear friends. As I have received a few emails recently requesting an "update" on myself - I thought I might unearth the retired "monthly tid bit from moi" and do just that. Except this time our favorite little newsletter will be broadcast only via blog so those who take interest can enjoy and those who don't may have one less "deletable message" in their inbox.
As this is my ground and my ground only, I will feel free as always to share as much as possible about what is going on with my little world.
A few posts ago I quoted Meg Ryan's character Kathleen Kelly from the movie "You've got Mail". "Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, not small but circumbscribed...."
I think that moving a way has a lot to do with that feeling for me. I guess I grew up in this place where I knew lots of people, I was surrounded by family and friends. Everything was familiar and comfortable and somehow I felt like I was an important part of that little ecosystem and I felt like my life was....well, bigger - I don't mean fuller I just mean that I felt like I was such a big part of it.
And moving away, knowing no one and being in this place thousands of miles from that comfort zone...makes you feel small. Suddenly nothing you do matters or affects anyone there in the slightest. There was no parade when you rode into town, no plane flying a banner saying, "WELCOME LESLIE TO OUR STATE". I mean seriously, no one knows and no one cares. And you feel small, you feel alone and you wonder why in the world you chose this. And then the most shocking fact (you gotta giggle at this one) life at home carries on without you. Families have parties and dinners, friends get together, people get married, friends have babies and you aren't there. "There" as in where you have always been.
But you adjust and you spread your little wings and try to settle in. And with each new day, the strange things turn into the norm and you move through the different phases of homesickness.
I'll give you the number one cure for homesickness though, kiddos - (remember this is quality advice): Take a trip home.
It will be great, you'll just love it and miss it all but then suddenly when you get back on the plane that will take you back to your "new home", you just left your mom bawling in the terminal, you wipe a tear away....look out the window at the Oklahoma landscape that will always be "home" and then.....
somehow it is all okay because you realize those important things like - people here miss you, but they can get by without you because we all have our own lives to live and the other is that home is with the one you love. And if he's there...then that is home.
And I guess that takes us to the reason I am here. And I love him more everyday. Not to say that we didn't and arent still struggling with every breath to deal with all that crap that 2 stubborn opinionated youngest children deal with when they are all they've got to lean on and they've only known each other for 8 months. And now it's almost two years.
And we have been through a lot. And we struggle with new things everyday. But, after the fight or disagreement is over - i have to be in his arms and i have to know that...i'm not the easiest most low maintanence woman on earth (wink wink) and he's not always prince charming, but i am completely over the moon for him.
Okay- here are some hard core facts:
My job is going well. I had a really encouraging yearly review and am beginning to get my own jobs. I can actually drive around the area I live in and see things I have designed or things I selected for different buildings.
I have also realized how richly blessed I have been with the company I am with. I am comfortable here, never threatend, appreciated and I get along with everyone. I am the only girl that gets invited to the BBQ place that the architects frequent several times a week - and occasionally I do give in and go. Although I have to say that my lunch hour is sacred to me and I like to spend it with a nice PB & J and the bookclub's latest pick.
I work for and with very nice down to earth people and although I have a lot of dreams and places that I want to go with my career - I know that I am getting my beginner's experience in the best place I can imagine.
As for finances..donations are accepted and appreciated. (hee hee...no seriously..my address is..)
I have to say that the last 4 or 5 months have completely changed our lives down here. We had been attending a church since last November and finally got around to getting into what our church calls a "lifegroup" - which is kind of our new fangled version of a Wednesday prayer meeting. It is a group of people within the church that get together once a week and fellowship and have a bible study. It is a very large church so these people in your lifegroup are kind of your core group at church ( i.e. they are who we have lunch with after church and who we sit by and stand around talking to after service - this is a big deal after months of getting out of your seat after church and walking to your car and never speaking to another soul ) I guess you could say that our lifegroup "completed" us. Everything fell into place from that first night we all hung out - (BTW- this is all documented a few posts ago).
So this year I have much to be thankful for. God has blessed my life down here so richly with friends once more. Sometimes I feel like I have won some kind of friendship jackpot. In every stage of my life God has provided this amazing friend or group of friends and I just feel so lucky sometimes. And although some of them I dont speak to anymore or not regularly - they made a huge difference and impact on my life and I carry a piece of that with me wherever I go. When I was in high school and "the girls" and our friendship just fell into place I knew that this would be my core group forever - through the long haul. But, I did not know that as time and space game between us - that God would keep providing new friendships and relationships. I should have known! I guess I underestimated him, that is one of my many faults I'm afraid.
And at this point in life I have gone suddenly from zero friends down here to 8 other couples, which is 8 gals with stories to tell and shopping to do. I have people to call when I've had a bad day and just need to talk. We have people to go camping with or call and meet for dinner. Kyle has guys to fish and golf with..I could go on and on... I don't think a week has gone by that we havent gotten together atleast one or two times outside of our thursday lifegroup meeting.
so I am extremely grateful for that blessing
On the topic of faith - I know that a huge thing that I have to share with you all is a major life change in me. I feel as if God has been calling me on the phone, leaving messages for over a year and I have been ignoring the call or putting him on hold or never returning his call. And then slowly we started having short talks and they turned into good long talks. I feel like the prodigal son(or daughter) and I finally looked in the mirror and said "this is not you, leslie". God has been breaking me, and it doesn't always feel good but I feel like I am back at home. I feel like I woke up in this big swimming pool of all my sins and bad decisions and I am just getting over to the edge now and he is waiting on the edge with a big beach towel for me to give it all up and come and let him cover me with all of his love. He is working in my life in everyway. And as I am struggling, I am praying and working on those things I still haven't completely turned over to him. It's hard to just stop worrying and stressing and ignoring and let that peace just take over. If you are reading this and you don't know what I am talking about, I pray that God will come into your heart and take over. I guess I thought he had given up on me and the whole time he was waiting there..just waiting for me to answer the phone.
As some of you know, Kyle grew up in the Catholic Church, however he loves our lifegroup and our non-denominational church family. He is comfortable there and he really loves the services. We have an amazing pastor! I know that God is working hard in his life as well. Our individual relationships with God and our relationship together are a big point of prayer for me, especially as our relationship get more and more serious.....and we know the kind of commitment that we eventually want to make when God is ready for us to.
We are leaving on a cruise this afternoon with Kyle's parents for 5 days and we are soooo excited! None of us have been on a cruise so this is really exciting! Our one stop is Cozumel, Mexico and the rest of the time is spent on the ship. The ship's name is "Inspiration".
The friday after we get back I fly home for my cousin's wedding. I haven't been home since Pam's wedding in April so I am extremely excited to see my family and friends. And although it is only a quick weekend trip, I think it will be enough to keep me until Christmastime when I get a whole week at home! I also love a good mushy wedding so I am excited to get my little cousin all married off - (since apparently getting married at 19 was on her list of things she just has to do! )
As far as other things go in my little life. I have about 8 months or so till I can apply for my licensing test for design. So exciting!
Eventually I want to work with a strictly interiors firm or for myself so getting my license is a huge step in making that dream come true. At the moment I getting ready to help some friends give their house a little facelift and me a little more residential experience.
And my other dream is still there ( or both of them) . I still want to be a writer and I hope to really pursue that dream intensely (so hard to find time!) . I did however get another poem published this month so..I guess it's just baby steps. The other part of that is living in New York. I am still working on that one with my counterpart - I know that he fell in love with the city when we were there and he wants to go back and visit but isn't sold on living there. I don't think I will ever give that dream up. Someday...sooner than later I hope.
Well, I suppose I should get back to work and stop typing away over here. To all my friends - come visit!!! I miss you all and thank you for what your friendship has meant to me. I love hearing from everyone so keep blogging!!
lots of love