Beach Living. Or, How I got back to me

Well. I've lived in South Carolina now for a little more than a month. We're still working through the busyness- busyness of getting the house finished, of making friends, of exploring our new community, of getting our kiddos used to this heat. Our days are swallowed up in busy. And trying to ensure I'm not resorting to the "go watch a movie while mamma finishes her to do list" mantra which has been the story of our lives since mid April. Moving with small people is HARD y'all.

And amid all of that. Amid the daily and the busy and the fun and the WORK (for the LOVE all the work). It seems as though I'm finding me again.

It's a bit weird, this discovery. Mainly because I didn't know I was lost.

I know for sure that moving to Seattle from the Jersey Shore was scary huge terrifying something I had never planned on ever. Doing that one week after getting married did not help matters. All the big scary coming at me- complete career change, zero amounts of family or friends in our first home, dealing with this person who I thought I knew but now that I lived with realized was going to take some serious work to get along with. Not to mention that he spent at least half of the first year of our marriage on business trips to California. So. Yeah. Not super easy. No sunshine, no friends, no family, a job at Boeing (anyone that knew me in high school is going "WHAT THE HELL???"). And then my health started to fall apart. All in the space of a year.

I obviously worked it out. I made friends, found a fabulous church, figured out the health thing, learned how to live with a traveling hubbs, mastered life in general....  After girlfriend's arrival, I knew I found my calling as a stay at home mamma. It just felt right, after a long time of feeling wrong. And as she settled into her toddler years, I felt like I was getting a me back that I hadn't seen in eons. I took her to her first concert- Indigo Girls at the Woodland Park Zoo. We went everywhere together. I wouldn't have had it any other way. I finally felt like I was rocking this mommy gig.

And then I discovered I was pregnant. Which for most normal people would have been fabulous. For me? I freaked out. And got pissed. And freaked out some more. I was only going to have one. My body clearly showed me that it was not capable of bringing life into this world like a normal body and so I wasn't going to tempt fate. I wasn't going to put myself through being terrified for, well for however long my body decided it would be pregnant this time, and then what if it didn't work out well this time? I was a hot mess. And the hot mess ness did not stop once I had our little man. It took a really long time to stop crying all the time. To really fully embrace the beauty of two kiddos, instead of just going through the motions. To not be so damned frustrated about having to do all of it without the help of family around. That was probably the hardest. I loved the community and family we built out there...but we also lived 40 minutes away from our church, and pretty far away from most of our community. And I super suck at asking for help. I also super suck at accepting help that's offered even when I don't ask. (Please don't ask the hubbs about the ridiculous "WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU TURN DOWN OFFERS OF PEOPLE MAKING US FOOD" argument of 2014. He had a point. Food after new baby was born would have been nice. I super suck.)

So. Here we are. Almost 16 months after boyfriend was born. Almost 3 years since we were originally supposed to move to Charleston. The kiddos and I miss our buddies in Washington desperately, but are adjusting really well to life in the sun and water. My body hasn't felt this good in decades! My allergies are gone, my stomach has WAY less flair ups than it used to, and without dieting or exercise (because for reals, who's working out in 95 degrees??) I'm down to the weight I was when I met hubbs. I never in my life thought I would see the numbers on the scale this low. I was 22 when I met him. That's just crazy sauce.

And every day, more me sneaks in. The tanner I get, the more Jersey I re-become. The me that drank 15 cups of coffee a day. The me with natural blonde throughout her summer hair. The me that wears bathing suits as outfits. And is constantly barefoot. The one that drives like this:

At my heaviest (and sickest)-  I don't even have pics of that. Here's one that's pretty close to my of the few full body shots that I have.  It looked, and felt, like I was swallowed up by someone else.

And it's not ALL about the weight. But it's a little about it. Because it was something I was obsessed with for such a long time. I didn't recognize that person. I didn't feel like me. But man, that Disneyland castle is pretty...

And here we are, hitting up the Sullivan's Island beach for the first time!

But THIS. This is me. Sun and sand and salt water run through these veins. The smell of Hawaiian Tropic is nostalgia (no. I do not use that stuff anymore. It's complete garbage. But that smell....that's my teenage years). Beach hair. Barefoot. Sand between my toes. Driving to the ocean at night to breathe in the salty air and read a book with a nice cup of coffee. That's me. (I'm still waiting to get that one back. Pretty sure I'm gonna need a few years for that to happen....)

I find it a little disconcerting that my living location plays SUCH a huge role in my self-concept. I kinda thought I got over that after picking up everything I ever knew and loved and moved 3,000 miles away. I guess I'm not the tower of unshakeability that I thought I was.  But it's truth. And with 37 creeping up on me, I'm glad to be discovering this now.



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