Thank you to everyone who has stuck around and continued to read these blogs even though I am super sporadic with writing them. I am not an aspiring blogger hoping to make money off of these. I really just love writing, and blogging is a fun and creative outlet for me. As long as it stays fun, I will keep at it!
I asked for suggestions on what to write on next, and I got an interesting question: What have you learned about yourself with each place you’ve lived? Over the course of my short 29 years on this earth, I have lived a few places. I was born and raised in southern Louisiana. I played college tennis in Kansas (Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!). I moved back to Louisiana to finish out my degree and college tennis career (Go, Cajuns!). I pursued stand-up comedy in California, discovered CrossFit, managed a couple of gyms, met my husband, and now we’re in Colorado! Side note: Before I moved to California, I applied for an editorial program in Denver. I didn’t get in, and I moved to California on a whim! It’s funny how life doesn’t seem to change much when you’re living day to day, but then you look back and everything is different. I’m thankful for those changes! God has blessed me beyond measure. So here is what I learned with each place I lived:
Louisiana (the first time): The things that seem important now won’t matter in a few years.
A prime example of this is the high school experience. I remember wanting to be popular so badly! I wanted to be invited to parties. I wanted to be nominated for homecoming court. I wanted to have a cute boyfriend. I wanted to be considered “cool.” Why did I spend so much time chasing after those things? None of that stuff matters now. When I was younger, I had a true gift. I was a talented tennis player, but instead of honoring that gift, I spent my time resenting the fact that I couldn’t go to parties on the weekends because I was traveling for tennis tournaments. Instead of using my gift to be different and stand out, I pursued the idea of being “normal” just to fit in. Who knows where I could have gone with tennis if I had honored that gift to its fullest potential? I wish I had spent more time enjoying my friends and family and the gift I had been given rather than chasing boys and popularity.
Another example that comes to mind is Instagram. There is going to be a time in our lives when Instagram won’t even be a thing anymore. What a crazy thought, right? Remember MySpace? How many hours did we put into decorating and designing our pages just for something else to come along and completely replace it? We put so much effort into curating the perfect feed that we can’t even enjoy the lives that are right in front of us. Instagram is a highlight reel, and we shouldn’t be spending so much time envious that our lives don’t look like someone else’s. At the end of the day, does any of that really matter? So again I say, the stuff that seems important now is not going to be important a few years down the line (excluding your family, obviously). Invest more time in honoring your gifts and loving on your family and friends rather than chasing stuff that isn’t going to matter in 10-years time.
Kansas: The “good ole days” are happening right now so appreciate them while they’re still here.
When I was in Kansas, I truly had it made. I had my education 100% paid for and even more. They paid for our room and board, our food, our clothes, and gave us an additional $1000+ per month to do whatever we wanted! Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t a walk in the park, and being a college athlete was a lot of hard work. We didn’t live the life of a “normal” college student, and that was honestly probably for the best. We stayed out of trouble because we had to. We got good grades because it was required, and we stayed away from drugs because we couldn’t risk losing our scholarships. We still had an occasional night out, and we still had our fun, but it was a very different experience than other students. I honestly had no reason to complain, but unfortunately, I spent all of my time missing home rather than appreciating what I had been given. I was so close to finishing my journalism degree, but I ended up transferring my senior year to play for another school in Louisiana (I’ll save the details of that for another time!). Looking back on my experience at KU, I now realize what an amazing opportunity I had been given. I don’t regret my decision to leave, but I do wish I had appreciated my time more while I was there.
Louisiana (the second time) + California: When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
This is actually a twofer! This was the biggest lesson I learned during my time in Louisiana (the second time around) and California. I really wish I had learned it before I moved back to Louisiana because it was a really hard lesson. Unfortunately, I had to learn this one a handful of times before it actually stuck. I moved back to Louisiana with high hopes of rekindling a relationship that I had no business trying to rekindle. I was holding on to his words rather than paying attention to his actions, and I was left alone and really disappointed because of it. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, that relationship taught me so much, about others and about myself. I have learned that I am extremely resilient! No matter what, I will be okay. Not only will I be okay, I will come out on the other side a better version of myself.
I also have learned that people are just not as complicated as we make them out to be. You can learn a lot about a person simply by paying attention to his/her actions. If a guy is not making an effort to spend time with you, he just isn’t that into you. Sorry for the truth bomb. If a friend is making you feel crappy about yourself, call them out on it, and if they refuse to acknowledge or change their behavior, it’s time to find a new friend. If a boss is treating you like you are expendable, seek other opportunities. Maybe that’s a cynical approach, but even so, I think having a better grasp of this concept could have saved me a lot of heartache. I understand that people are the way they are because of XYZ (a parent, a traumatic experience, etc.), but at some point, we all have to own up to our own behavior. Just because we may have gone through something horrible does not give us the right to treat others poorly. So like I said: when someone shows you who they are, believe them. Sometimes it’s just not worth “sticking it out,” hoping and wishing that someone will eventually see your value.
Colorado: Your relationship with your Creator is the most important relationship you can have. When you focus on nurturing that relationship, the relationships you have with yourself, your family, and those around you will completely change for the better.
Before moving to Colorado, I truly didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. I believed in Him, but I didn’t know Him. It wasn’t until I understood just how much He loved me that my life completely changed. He died for me (and for you!) so that we could spend eternity with Him! I realize now that I was more wrapped up in serving myself rather than serving Him. I don’t mean that I only thought of myself in the traditional self-serving way, but I was more concerned with what others thought of me than what He thought of me. I used to rely on myself to get things done and make things right, but I have learned that reliance on self will ultimately end in disappointment. We are imperfect beings, and we will fail. At the end of the day, that’s okay because God isn’t going to fail us. “Self-love” is important, of course, but our relationship with Jesus is life changing. Since putting my relationship with Him first, I have become a more patient and understanding friend, daughter, and wife. I have been able to forgive people, including myself, for past hurts and mistakes, and the things that I previously obsessed over are no longer of importance to me. My life didn’t magically become easier since coming to know Jesus, but I have never felt more fulfilled than I do today.
There you have it! Each place taught me something new, and I am thankful for each experience. Like I said, life doesn’t seem to change much when you’re living day to day, but if you look back, you’ll see that you were changing all along!