One Year Ago Today…

I can’t believe that on this day, August 6, 2013, I drove away from my lifelong home and started the 4-day journey from Los Angeles to Franklin, TN.

Notice I still have to add the Tennessee part since not everyone knows where Franklin lives on the map!

I left behind my family, my friends…everything that was familiar and set out on a new journey in my life.

The last time we were together in our house in California. So hard to say good-bye.

As I pulled out of the driveway I was filled with complete sadness…I could barely see to drive through the tears and I most certainly couldn’t speak.

I was NOT excited. I was terrified.

What kind of a decision was this? What had we decided to do? How would I survive the sadness of leaving my daughter? (I’m still not very good at the daughter part. I miss her so much. )

We drove in two cars. Dominic with Sassy sitting on pillows in the front seat…

Sassy had fun on the road trip…she was a good girl

And Mom and I in my car with both cats and the windows rolled up. This would be our life for the next 1,999.5 miles.

That’s right…it’s not 2,000 miles to Franklin in case you were wondering.

I had made a little hotel for the cats in the back of the car…fluffy blankets for Baxter and newspaper for Emmie.

Meet Baxter

And here’s Emmie

I even had a litter box, food and water! (They didn’t use any of it.)

And do you want to know how often they were in the back enjoying their traveling quarters?

Not one minute! They sat on our laps the entire way. I know…not very safe for driving, Cindy…but they were scared and so was I and somehow having that little fluffy kitty sitting on my lap, helped.

Traveling with cats is quite an adventure. They don’t take well to change and Baxter did not make this easy. The number of times we tore the beds apart to get him out from under them is, in retrospect quite amusing.

We moved into our new house on August 10. It wasn’t our home yet and we had a long way to go until it would feel like it was.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, then you know we’ve had a few challenges along the way. But…we’re still standing and I think we should all be proud of that!

I’ve learned so much about myself this past year. First and foremost I’ve learned that I am a LIONHEARTED WOMAN!

What exactly does that mean?

I’m a woman who has learned to get comfortable with what’s uncomfortable.

I’m a woman who is willing to embrace change and uncertainty.

I’m a woman who is willing to lean in closer to God when I’m frightened. If God is not the term you use…then call it the Universe…but I’ve learned to lean in and ask for help.

I’ve learned that I’m courageous and maybe even brave, but also that I’m not afraid to open up and be fully open and vulnerable.

I’m a woman who honors and respects my feelings and emotions and who has learned to pay attention.

I’m a woman who knows that sometimes you have to take big chances in life (that may or may not be successful) to find a new way. It’s so easy to hold on to what is familiar even if it’s not right for us.

I’m a woman who knows how to make new friends.

I’m a woman who knows how to deal (although sometimes not well) with adversity.

But more importantly, I’m a woman who knows how to be resilient…how to trust my instincts…how to pray for guidance…and how to trust that sometimes we’re just not meant to know.

Franklin is a special place and you have to experience it first hand to know what I mean. It’s a feeling…it’s a way of life…it’s people from all over the United States who have made a home here. It’s family friendly. It’s a big/small town…it’s beautiful…oh…it’s beautiful…and in that beauty…there is peace. (It’s also a big adjustment!)

Sometimes the beauty takes your breath away!

The thing is that when you make a decision to move across the country…you have to find a way. You can’t just pack up your things and move back. I mean…you just can’t.

There is a way and it starts with jumping in with both feet and sometimes jumping into the dark water and not knowing how deep it really is. But you have to jump!

Today is filled with mixed emotions. I miss my pals…I miss my brother and his family…I miss family gatherings…and I really, really miss my Kaitlyn.

And you would miss her too…

But after a long 12 months…we’re settling in and finding our way…and even learning short cuts when we drive.

I think when you learn to take back roads and you don’t get lost and they lead to short cuts…you’re on your way to feeling at home.


P.S. If you’re thinking about moving and you have questions…send me an email and let’s talk. Someone did this for me before I moved and I felt so blessed that she took the time. I now consider her my friend.

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