Life Lately

Life has such a funny way of catching you completely off guard doesn't it? 

To be totally honest 2017 has gotten off to a bit of a difficult start in my neck of the woods. 

I had every intention of starting this year off strong for my business.

I had every intention of starting this year off strong with myself. 

I had every intention of making 2017 work well for me from the very beginning. Don't we all? 

2017 has already been... a lot. 

As you may know already, if you follow along with me on Instagram at all, we had to put our beloved dog down just over a week ago. On Friday the 13th no less. Out of almost nowhere. 

I mean sure, we had a dog who clearly exhibited a great deal of aggressive behavior. And Sure, there was always a chance it could happen. Sure, he was getting unpredictable. But we were fighting so hard. But we had him in so much training. But we loved him so much the worst couldn't possibly happen, could it? I'm not going to go into too many details here because this is not about that.

But I will say that it all came out of nowhere and it felt (and honestly still feels) like a piano falling out of the sky. 

I was not prepared to handle our time with him ending so soon. 
How can you prepare to handle grief gracefully? 

And I've dreaded writing this since way before it happened. But I'm addressing it here for two reasons. 1) I feel like if I'm okay with sharing, and it could be helpful to someone, then I should share. 2) I mention Hank in all my goals for the new year, my 27 before 27, and I write about him here so much. I felt like like I needed to do tell you and I felt like this place was strong enough to handle it. 

I was already feeling off before the 13th and since the 13th I've been a little bit stuck trying to navigate being a person on the internet who has suffered a great personal loss. I'll probably write some about that later, but right now it's still very much happening. I'm still navigating it and feeling it out. I have learned, though, there is no wrong way to process something hard so long as you aren't harming yourself and others.

The past month has felt oftentimes like crash course in hope and that's where I'll go next.

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it’s destination full of hope.
— Maya Angelou
And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand - out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
— Romans 5:2
I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
”So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
— J.R.R. Tolkien

I've done a lot of praying in the past few weeks, more than I have in months. I consider myself to have a practice of prayer and gratitude, but I found myself praying multiple times an hour asking for the pain to be taken away. I prayed to forget. I prayed for things to be easy. I found these two quotes and this verse at separate times over the past three months but, they've meant more to me this past week than I can explain. This idea that we can be heartbroken but still throw the door open to discover grace staring back at us. The idea that love will find a way. The idea that we can accept ourselves when we're reluctant and broken. 

And through the prayer and the seeking there have been moments of happiness. 

And of joy.

And of peace. 

Cookies dropped off at our doorstep. Friends who find you in the Chipotle dining room with tears in your eyes and guacamole on you breath, and come inside just to hug you. Someone coming to pick you up and take you out of the house without you asking because they know you're having a hard time. $2.99 bouquets of flowers from Trader Joe's. New pillows for your bead (because you haven't had pillows on your bead in two years.) Sweet notes from sweet people. Texts from friends to just let you know they're there if you want to talk, but if not that's okay too. Don't worry about responding. You're going to get through this. It will all hurt less soon. Gift cards so we don't have to cook. Friends hiring someone to vacuum our house and clean our stovetop and make our beds. The new found ability to decorate things and make some place that you've called your home for a year really feel like your home, even though it feels so different. 

There is hope, even when you feel like a boat being tossed on waves of heartbreak.

I just wanted you to know that I'm still here. And I'm fine. And I'll be showing up.

And I've got a lot of really wonderful things coming down the pipeline for 2017, so you show up too, okay?