2017 has been interesting.
I started 2017 nearing the end of my only long term relationship. By March, I was living in my own apartment – by myself! I hadn’t been by myself ever. I went straight from my parents home to living with someone else. I didn’t know what it felt like to open the door to an empty and eerily quiet home. I didn’t know what it felt like to try and fill the hours of time between getting home from work and a reasonable bed time.
Part of me relished this new found idea of being alone – being on my own. I got to put things exactly where I wanted them, without needing permission. I could buy something for my apartment and not worry about if anyone else would like it. I ate exactly what I wanted. I binge-watched hours of The Office without complaint from anyone else. I found joy in sleeping sprawled across my bed.
The other part of me was deeply terrified by the loneliness of my new situation. It’s what I wanted, right? I ended my relationship so I could be alone, so I could be myself again. I ended my relationship to try and find myself again. But, it was terrifying. I didn’t like the sadness that swept in during those nights alone. I didn’t like the tears that fell as I thought about the comfortable situation I choose to leave.
I started to spend most of my time outside of my new apartment – with church friends and with my family. It helped. It helped SO much. I started to feel joy (but that really has to do with rebuilding my relationship with my Lord and Savior) and I started to feel okay being alone.
I took this time to find myself again, like I wanted to. And I found someone happy. I found someone who loves her Heavenly Father, her earthly parents and friends. I finished my novel and started to work on my 3rd novel. I started to pray about what I should do – what I should be working toward.
And I got an answer – finish school and move to Utah.
I was so excited to get this answer. I was so excited to leave Oregon and to move to this lovely land that I spent some of my childhood in. I longed for the snow and to see the mountains all around me.
So I made plans.
I gave notice at my job and I started to look for a job out here in Utah. I said my goodbyes to my friends and family in Oregon, packed everything I own in my car and left. I left Oregon to start this new adventure.
I thought I knew loneliness before. But boy, was I wrong. I didn’t know what it felt like to be in a state where you can count the people you know on one hand. I didn’t know what it felt like to doubt deeply this huge move that I up-ended my life for. After sulking in my bed for hours watching Teen Wolf, I called my parents and wept, telling them that I wanted to come home. That I didn’t want to be here and that I had made a mistake.
My Mom reminded me that this is what I prayed for. I got my answer from my Heavenly Father and I didn’t doubt it for a second. I knew that I would move and that it was what I was supposed to do. But I didn’t realize how scary it would be – how scary this adventure would be. She told me that I’m strong and that I could do this. I’ll be honest with you and tell you that I didn’t believe her. But I did what I know best and I prayed. I prayed with tears streaming down my face for strength and for comfort and for the knowledge to know what to do.
There is a plan for each of us. Our loving and amazing Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need and when we need it – but we can’t always see that. I am trying to remember that each day. There was a reason I was told to come here – to move to Utah and continue this year of adventure in my life.
So – I’ve been here for a week and I’m still here. I start a program to get my Certified Nursing Assistant certification tomorrow and I’m going to take it day by day. I’m keeping a list each day of the good things that happen to remind myself that it’s not all bad.
And ringing in my ears are the words of my sister, “Hey Shenshen, it’s okay to be alone.”