Blooming where you are planted

It’s the first day of spring, and I’m reminded by one of my favorite sayings:

“Bloom where you are planted.”

I love this for the same reason that I love springtime. The saying gives hope that after the harsh cold, rain and darkness can come magnificent beauty. I’ve witnessed this during a couple different times in my life – most recently, when I moved to Augusta, Georgia, about two years ago.

I built this blog as I was preparing for the move and started writing just a few days after we got settled. Primarily, I sought to give others a glimpse into my lifestyle in order to inspire and help them to eat healthfully and exercise and, secondarily, to keep my family and friends updated along the way. Putting myself out there has also motivated me to hold myself accountable in my own wellness journey. I stress “wellness,” because I’m not just talking about physical health but also mental health.

The early days of this blog document my adjustment to life in Augusta. In one of my first posts, I shared 8 tips for kicking homesickness. I read this list today, about two years after reliving and writing about what I learned 10 years ago, when I went away to college, and it still holds true.

I typically don’t re-read the early blog posts, because I don’t particularly want to relive that difficult time. However, I felt inspired to do so for the purpose of writing this post, and, while it brought a little bit of pain, it showed me even more progress. Here’s where I am on each of my 8 tips for kicking homesickness:

  1. I’m fully unpacked!
  2. Not only did I stop calling D.C. “home” a long time ago, but I’ve also made a concerted effort to stop talking about it so much – not for anyone else but for myself. As time goes on, I identify less and less with D.C. and more and more with Augusta.
  3. Getting dressed and going out in public where people are – and especially finding a job that I enjoy that allows me to do this every weekday with people whom I enjoy – has done wonders for my adjustment.
  4. My life in Augusta oddly looks a lot like it did in D.C. During the week, I go to work and exercise and squeeze in whatever else I need to do. On Saturdays, I start my day at the gym, run errands, spend some time writing and go out to dinner with my husband and sometimes our friends. On Sundays, we grocery shop and finish chores around the house to prepare for the week.
  5. Since moving here, I’ve started running half marathons and have run four of them and am registered for my fifth one.
  6. Most importantly, I’ve made some fantastic friends and have kept close ties to friends from previous stages in life.
  7. This is the first time I’ve looked at the short, intermediate and long-term goals I set for myself, and, while I haven’t followed them intently, it’s cool to see the power of setting goals. We decided to settle in a different area of Augusta, which shows the need to be flexible in the event of a change of heart and change of plans.
  8. I’ve learned to find the most joy in the simplest things, like sipping strong coffee on a sunny Saturday morning, taking a hot bath after a long run and even going to bed before 10 p.m. with the laundry all folded and put away.

Nate and I woke up this morning to the end of a wonderful weekend on Hilton Head Island, S.C., visiting with two of our best friends from D.C. This made me “check in” with myself and ask how I was feeling about leaving two special people whom I relate to a part of my life that I’ve missed very deeply. See, for a while after the move, traveling was very hard, because, everywhere we went, I thought about how was used to go home, and worse, how close everything used to be. I remember leaving Nate’s parents’ house or my sister’s house in Virginia and desperately wishing we were driving just three hours north to return home.

While I felt sad for our visit to end, I felt even happier about everything I was returning to – a comfortable home and life that I love…

That’s when I know that I’m blooming where I was planted.


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