The Balance

This post is going to be a bit of a downer … but I promise the next will be much happier.

Generally speaking, Jimmy & I are happy. It’s funny when people ask if we love living in Portland. The easy answer is, “Yes!” … here’s the more complicated answer:

Last year, around this time, we put a For Sale sign in our front yard. We traded a summer with family & friends to focus on the house to prep it for several open houses and showings. We sold almost everything we owned (some things that meant a lot) to follow this dream. We moved in with my mom after our house sold, because we lost so much money on the sale, we needed time to recover. Then, in November, we finally made it to Portland.

Once we moved, all of our energy went into figuring out our financial situation (an on-going conversation), learning a new city, focusing on our marriage, and trying to stay balanced.

There are so many days that I just don’t feel like talking to anyone, or getting out of bed. There are times when I know we have to watch our spending because a client is late with a payment. There are times when I wonder why we ever pulled up our roots to move away from our families. There are times when I’m so riddled with guilt for not spending enough time with friends. There are days when I think people are just being bullies … and there are days when it’s been raining for 5 straight days, and I just pray for a little sunshine to lighten my mood.

I suffer from extreme anxiety at times. It’s easy to laugh it off when talking to people about it, but it’s a serious issue. If my phone rings in the middle of the day, and I’m not expecting a call, it takes everything I have to pick it up (most of the time, I don’t). I’m a social person, it’s just hard when things don’t go as planned. Call it controlling or whatever, but it’s almost crippling at times to deal with. On those days, I wish we were still in Indiana … when being so social wasn’t as big of an issue.

Living away from everything we know can be extremely isolating and a little bit scary. Sure, it’s a really good excuse to meet new people & have new experiences, but the sadness about not having our parents around is still there.

We do have friends here. Amazing friends. This is where the balance is hardest: Jimmy works 4-5 days a week. So, that leaves me with 3 days to enjoy my time with him. When he’s working, I’m working at home … we try to be as efficient as possible with the time we spend apart that way we can really relax and have fun when we’re together. So, when I have 3 days a week to enjoy my time off, my first priority is my husband. Plain and simple. He means the most to me, so it’s a pretty easy choice to make.

Someone close to us recently suggested that we’re putting up a front of happiness. Whether it’s on our blog or social media in general, I assure you it’s not a front. We are happy. When we go to explore what Oregon has to offer, we are ecstatic. I still get giddy every time we can see Mt. Hood from our neighborhood, and I absolutely love that our jobs give us the flexibility to enjoy these things. So, we are happy. It’s just that we both made a conscious decision a long time ago that we wouldn’t burden our friends & family with the things that really get to us … the things that humble us, and the things that really bring us down at times. Sure, people might say that’s what friends are for, but really, I think that’s what a solid marriage is for.

I want to have fun with friends & family … not worry about the everyday stresses that haunt all of us. So, if you’ve been reading our blog and think things seem too good, I assure you that this is just a peek into our lives. These are the good moments we choose to share. These are the moments that make us so happy in the path we’ve chosen. It is a very delicate balance between feeling totally insecure with the life you live, and feeling confident that the choices you’re making will end up being the right ones. Right now, we’re in that gray area between the two … hoping that one day, it will all be worth any heartache we have right now.

Last week, when my character was questioned, it hurt. It hurt more than most things have hurt. As an adult, I like to think I’ve turned out okay. In life, we are only given a certain amount of people to love & know. We are lucky in that we get the chance to know anyone at all … so even with the flaws I have, I would hope the good outweighs the bad. It’s about accepting people for who they are … if the good parts are better than the not-so-good parts, then things should work out. When friendship becomes a structure built on resentment & self-consciousness, it’s destined to wither. It’s a hard place to be … questioning who you are, just to be certain the people you care about still accept you for who you are.

Like I said, this post is a total downer. It’s just something that weighed very heavily on my heart over the weekend … Anyone who knows me knows I love to sleep … like 10-12 hours. So, when I couldn’t sleep at all this weekend, I figured I needed to get this weight off of my shoulders & move on. If you read it this far, you deserve a pat on the back. And, on to happier things in 3 … 2 … 1 …


9 responses to “The Balance

  1. OK, Time for Dad to step in…. You two are the bravest people I know!!! You are following your dreams and anyone who would fault you for doing that are not the kind of people that you want to be around! You both have great heads on your shoulders and are doing things the best way you know.

    Love You Both
    Keep your chins up, not that you have double chins or anything like that.

  2. Even though we are family and some might say that is why I’m saying this, you are truely two of the best people I know. Never have I questioned your love for one another, quite frankly I’m jealous of it. For someone to think it is a “front”, well then they just don’t know you very well. Never regret following your dream. We are family no matter how many miles are between us.

    Much love,

  3. Miss Ravyn,

    I’m with dad! He said ‘{you} are doing things the best way you know’. I always say that I have no regrets in life. Not that I haven’t made any mistakes, but I accept that I did the best I could with the information, ideas, and maturity that I had at the time. So, I choose not to regret the choices that ended up as growing pains. You were bold in moving to Portland, and you can be proud of yourselves to know that you are not afraid to take those risks or make bold moves in life.

    Secondly, I’ve been following this blog for 6 months at least and I think this is my favorite post of all. I never thought that you were ‘fronting happiness’. I always just understood, like you said, that you were sharing the positives and keeping the struggles private. But, even with that understanding, it is wonderful to see a little piece of the balance. This post is a testament to anyone who may question your character of how brave, real, and wonderful you are! :)

  4. You deserve a hug for posting this. While I haven’t met you in person, I appreciate your optimistic outlook and enjoy the enthusiasm of your posts. We all struggle on our path sometimes, but not everyone has a positive outlook along the way. I wish more people did! It’s great that you’re following your dream.

    And your dad is awesome. :)

  5. Yep, what your Dad said! Life if full of peaks and valleys . . .We never learn about our true selves when we are riding the peaks, it’s in the valleys that we realize who we really are and it’s then when we learn the most. You are stronger and braver than you wil ever know. I am so proud of you and Jim for living your dream . . . that takes a lot of guts . . . .stay strong and hug each other ALOT . . . and when all else fails call your Momma :-)
    Love you!

  6. Hey! My gal and I moved to a faraway cit last Fall and have been getting through a sea of struggles since, so, first of all, thanks for making us feel like there’s someone else out there who doesn’t have it all figured out. Power to you guys. You inspire me.

  7. Don’t get discouraged. When my wife and I moved 1500 miles away from our families, it was one of the hardest things we ever did. The first year almost killed us emotionally and financially, but we got through it. We became closer as husband and wife, and developed friendships that are stronger than any we had in our hometowns. I guarantee you that you will look back on these times with nothing but happy memories. For some reason all the bad stuff doesn’t stick around for long. Your just left with all the good memories of the amazing adventure you guys set out on.

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