“You’re Always On Your Phone!”
Has anyone heard this from another person? Or maybe you’ve even said it to yourself a time or two? Girl, Same.
I guess more the latter of the two in my case. I used to be totally attached to my phone and social networking because I felt the constant urge to be connected with my friends and just general popular culture– What if I miss seeing what someone wore to that event I care about because of reasons!? GASP.
Now that I am out of my high school/college years, I feel myself transitioning from my role as a “social teen/young adult” to “I don’t really give a crap about what others are wearing/doing/eating/etc” adult. I was finally on my way to becoming that person who has the go-to phrase: “If I wanted you to see what I was doing, I would have just invited you. Har Har Har.” However, somewhere in the middle of that transition, I was bumped off course by a big life event–moving 1000+ miles away from home.
I’ve always been the person to put work first– Especially in the last few years. There were few times when my days off coincided with family events, and when I was lucky enough to find that my amazing co-workers were able to cover a shift so I could attend, I was oftentimes so exhausted from the double I had to work to get the day off that I felt like the zombie person in the corner of the event or that I wasn’t even there at all. These few years jumpstarted the age of me scrolling through social media a little more often to see photos from what I was missing out on so that I wasn’t totally out of the loop with my family… And if you know my family you don’t need this explanation, but for those of you who don’t know… I have a huge family and we’re all super close (as in, ‘no secrets and everyone knows all your business at all times’ close) and I wouldn’t have any other way!
Cue the big move. I thought moving away from home would be an adventure because I’ve never lived anywhere but there. And it was! I can’t say it hasn’t been a challenge, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but I was put in this exact position for a reason. If we didn’t move here, we never would have adopted our sweet pups (who I now can’t imagine my life without!), we probably would still be living in our tiny apartment working crazy hours and only seeing each other for a few precious moments everyday in passing and for meals, and I honestly would probably have never lived even remotely close to a beach!
While there are a lot of good things you learn by moving away from home, there are also many challenges. I’ve never been the BEST at making friends because I tend to keep to myself and bury myself in work, but I do have a few good ones–most of them being my sister/cousins/other family members. So one of the biggest challenges upon moving here was not knowing a single person. The most social contact I had was with the cashier at the grocery store or the maintenance person for our housing company. (Did you know that it’s really hard to start a conversation as an adult that doesn’t start with how crazy the weather is?)
Anyways, after about six months of living here boarded up in my house, I came across a running group on our base. It was a good way to meet a few people, and those people are great, great women! However, they’re almost exclusively mom’s who I just didn’t feel I 100% fit in with (again, they’re all wonderful, strong women… I was just feeling that I didn’t have too much to add to the mom conversation). Now that I’m back to square one, I am again finding myself picking up my phone to scroll through social media more and more often. And since we’ve been gone for a year now, it really does sink in how easy it was to take being close to family for granted. Missing Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, other holidays, or even just not being around for that impromptu trip to grab dinner or sit on someone’s back porch– those are all things I think about almost daily.
I may sound a little down, but worry not! Do I miss my family and everything surrounding them? YES! Everyday. But I’m also so incredibly blessed and grateful that I have those people and that type of family in my life (maybe not geographically, but spiritually) and that I have such a strong connection to them. And I am so grateful that I’m able to pick up the phone and call/text/FaceTime/ scroll through photos of that birthday party/holiday/etc. and feel included!
Is moving away a challenge? Sure. But it’s also an incredible time to grow as an individual and put all of those lessons learned into action. I didn’t even realize I knew how to get that stain out the carpet, but at some point that information was given to me and it stuck in my mind! It’s kind of awesome! I feel so much stronger as a person since being forced to do a lot of things on my own, and it only makes it that much more special when I get to visit home (or better yet, they come visit us and see our new life here!)