scaling back. breathing deep.

fall is finally emerging in my town. i remember my first visit to north carolina over thanksgiving in 2007. it must have been a later fall than this year, because i remember my jaw dropping. i remember feeling encompassed by a thousand trees, each a slightly different shade; and i remember the crisp air. maura and i just walked around winston-salem, and i was in awe of everything. i bought a key chain that day; it said “i heart north carolina”. i had no idea then that ten years later i would live here. (or, and especially, that i would marry a man from here). Cary is the name of my new town. we have been here 16 days. day 11 was the most emotional. followed by day 13. i started yoga. the most stressful part for me in yoga is the breathing. i’m always opposite the instructor as i try to follow their many “flow” commands. it’s a very big deal for me to try yoga and not quit. it’s a very big deal for me to get the breathing right; during a yoga “flow”, and during everyday life. i’m a certified breath holder.

i’m scaling back in my new town. moving slower. getting the space i’ve craved. space i need to process the past four years at least, since i became a mom (i’m including gestation here, because i was still a mom then; my body was used to carry a human, and i still haven’t processed any of it well).

there is no crisp air as of yet, but the changing leaves are helping me move slower. and the poofy clouds amid the bright blue sky have been helping me feel hope. i always have hope, but i don’t always have the luxury of feeling it deeply. that is where the deeper breaths seem to help too. with deep hope.

i saw my therapist in seattle just days before the move. she is the absolute best. we talked about the capacity inside all of us to want and to do. and how sometimes wants are more like needs than they seem, unless we give ourselves a lot of grace. (update. i tend to give myself much less grace than i give others). i told her the chaos of each of the moments of parenting a three year old were getting to me. i was feeling out of control. out of my mind. not myself. and without hope of change. i told her “i want calm and relaxation while i am parenting a three year old”. she encouraged me- “well, you are here and you are finding calm and relaxation. you found a way to get it while parenting a three year old”. in Cary i’m finding more space.

my daughter started preschool last week, and the emotions are back and forth. guilt. excitement for space. sorrow. peace. fear. intention. i have some goals for the time she is in school. i tried to not make them lofty. walk, write, yoga, connect, stay intentional, breath deeper.

in Cary i feel different. i was hoping it would feel like starting fresh; and while i’m still anxiously awaiting the crisp air amidst the changing leaves, it does. the first step to the process of seeking calm, intentional, slower moments in this new town is giving myself grace alongside starting and not quitting. the second step is getting the words out in order to unlock the other words hidden inside of my held breaths. i watch the leaves change and fall, i’ll feel the air get crisper as these autumn days go by, and i’ll share my growth as i move closer toward the me that isn’t blocked by chaos and held breaths.

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