I’ve been here since Saturday, but Monday was the first day that I was here alone, so I’m counting that as Day One, today is Day Two and it’s already looking up because the sun is out. This is most definitely a sign in Dallas’ favor as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve already gotten cry #1 out of the way for the day. My baby sister Kaylan is coming up to see me today and she’s bringing my niece shelby with her and I’m really excited about it.

I want to take a moment to fully relive some of the moments over the last several days. I’ve been avoiding writing about this as it will probably bring me to cry #2 of the day, but I want it to be out there. Over the last several days so many wonderful people have cheered me on (via facebook) and shared their own stories about moving away for the first time, and it’s been an incredible blessing to read them and know that there are people who not only know the way I’m feeling, but who’ve survived and thrived and come out on the other side.  With these awesome ladies as examples, I feel as though it’s my duty to document my experience so that maybe someone else will feel the same comfort I’ve felt and be encouraged.

Let’s begin with Friday, my last day at my Home Store. What I really want to give life to on this page is actually after my work day was done, I went out with a core group of girls I’ve bonded with over the last two years. I don’t want to make anyone feel left out, many people who are very dear to me weren’t present. However, Carla, Rosanna, Maria, Angela, and Jill are people I see outside of work, they are my friends. I had to take time away from packing, which I was stressed about, to go to Kona Grill and hang out with them before the move, but I’m SO glad that I did. I drank Dos Equis, we talked and laughed and I treasure that hour and a half with those girls. It’s not likely that that little group will ever meet like that again.

Next, I want to take a moment to remember saying goodbye. I knew that the first person I needed to say goodbye to was my Mom. We have had, have, and will always have our differences, we’re just different people, but I knew if I said goodbye to Mom first, that somehow it would give me the courage to say all of the other goodbyes. She hugged me, told me she loved me, and that she was proud of me and that I would do good. And it wasn’t so much the words, but how she said them that were so soothing to my mind and heart right then. So I could say goodbye to Chris-the-brother-“in-law”, and to he and Kristin’s children, Shelby, Cash, and Tessa… my nieces and nephew, who I’ve loved like they were my own and who I’ve seen almost everyday of their little lives. Cue cry #2. There’s nothing in the world like having a child love you, I don’t think there’s anything that can engender a deeper love in response either and I’m greedy, I want to be able to hug and kiss them everyday.

The same way I knew I needed to say goodbye to my Mom first, I knew I needed to say goodbye to my Dad and Kristin last. I needed them with me here, I needed them to leave me here… my Mom gave me the courage to say goodbye to Home, Kristin and Dad gave me the courage to say hello to everything waiting for me here. That’s all I can say about that, it’s still a little too raw to really talk about, they’ll both understand.

I know it might seem to some people like I’m making a huge deal out of nothing. It’s not that far away, it’s not like I can’t see my family often (like today… ) but it’s so much more than that. I was stuck… in spite of all of the people I loved being close, I was stuck in a place that had seen the worst of me, that had seen my heart devastated and ripped apart. Inside the walls of that city, of that room, of my job I lost chunks of myself, I lost faith, I lost hope.  It’s time to start over… I’m reminded of lyrics from Linkin Park’s song “What I’ve Done”, “… Put to rest what you thought of me, as I wipe this slate with the hand of uncertainty, so let mercy come and wash away what I’ve done. I’ll face myself, to cross out what I’ve become, erase myself , and let go of what I’ve done.”

The tattoo on the back of my neck says, “obscurum absum planto via pro lux lucis”… the absence of darkness lights the path. When I had the dream about this phrase and inspired my tattoo it was all about taking a step out of the dark place, and this morning it makes me think of Peter walking on water. The interesting thing to me about that particular story is… Peter had to step out of the boat, the boat was safe and secure, but it was missing something, so he had to step out… and ultimately he sank… but when he started sinking Jesus reached down and pulled him out of the water and then Peter truly understood who Jesus was.

This is me, stepping out of the boat, this is me sinking, and this is also me, already feeling the hand of God there pulling me back to the surface, back to the place before all of the hurt, before all of the scares, before all of the shame, and seeing Him clearly.