Thursday, February 18, 2016

Boyfriend Appreciation Post: Thank God for Conflict Resolution

Valentine's Day is definitely over, but that's okay because love should be celebrated every day. I think days like Valentine's Day are meant for us to make sure that we take a step back and really acknowledge the love we do have in our lives, but like what most guys (including Darell) tend to say, it really is only just a day. If you're doing it right, you're appreciating your loved ones every day of the year. 

& that's what this post is about. I just want to take some time to appreciate Darell on a normal day for no other reason than "just because." 

Over the last few months while I transitioned from California to here in Australia, I hit a lot of road blocks, but through it all Darell was my biggest supporter, my biggest cheerleader. He always encouraged me to keep fighting the good fight & that everything would pay off in the end. He comforted me the whole way through and always knew that I could make it happen, one way or another. 

I've talked about my relationship on here in the past, but I don't think I talk enough about the struggles with it. Well, we recently got into a really big fight, and our first major fight since being in Sydney and honestly since before Darell moved too. & as I reflected on the last 5.5 years, I've been thinking about everything we've been through & how far we've come. 

Why do I mention our really recent fight? Well, as he & I were talking about what had happened & were trying to work through it, after we had both calmed down from being very angry and sat down to really talk about the root of the problem, I noticed how he handled himself. 

He was very patient with me, and he let me cry out everything I was feeling (he even let me cry onto his shirt & get stuff all over him haha). He was gentle and hugged me in a way that made me feel protected & safe with him. 

You might read that & think, "Well, he should've been like that to begin with!" or "Was he not like that before?!" or something along those lines. But if you look at our relationship, you have to consider the fact that I was 15 & he was 17 when we first started dating. We've come a longgggggg way since then. 

Because Darell grew up around not very many women other than his mom (he has one other brother plus his dad), it took him a very long time to get used to how to care for and even understand the emotional needs of a woman. He definitely grew up in a guys' house. & because of other factors in our lives at the time (another very long story for another day), he & I had a lot of issues in the beginning of our relationship, especially with the way we communicated with each other. It wasn't healthy the way we handled conflict. 

However, as the years went on we both learned how to communicate better & we are both much better at facing conflict head-on. Sometimes, I think he handles conflict better than I do now, haha. 

All that is to say that I'm thankful for him. Lately, he has definitely been my rock through everything that I've been going through. He's kept me level-headed while still encouraging me to keep pushing forward and having faith. Especially in this season of life that I'm in right now, I don't know what I'd do without him. I'm very thankful every day that God has brought him into my life. 

So Darell, I know you're reading this right now because you're always the first to read my new posts, but I just want to tell you thank you for being you. Thank you for your heart, thank you for your willingness & openness to grow & learn, and thank you for your encouragement. I feel at home when I'm with you. I love you. 

Chau for now

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Greetings from Sydney || Initial Thoughts

By the time this post is published, I will be in Sydney! I am currently writing this post on my flight while most people are still sleeping around me, but my flight has no wifi, so you guys will be reading this post while I get settled into my new home.

My life since my last blog post has been all over the place, but I guess I’ve been saying that a lot for the past year.

Life is full of surprises. That is one thing that I have learned from this experience and I don’t think I’ll ever fully get over that fact. Another thing that I’ve learned is that God truly moves all of a sudden. I’ve had a lot of things work out unexpectedly or at the last second, and I can’t think of any other way for it to have worked out the way that it did except God.

I’ve also had to really stand firm in my faith, not just in God, but in myself. As with any big decision, this one has come with opposition, with all of it being from people in my family, people so near & dear to me. I understand their concerns completely, but no matter what I say or how many years I’m away, I don’t think they’ll ever fully understand why I decided to pick up & leave when I did and the way I did.

Yes, I want to explore the world and travel and yes, my boyfriend is already here, but what pushed me over the edge to make this decision is bigger than myself. I have a God that calls people out into the unknown, sometimes asking you to take a step when you can’t see anything in front of you.

& trust me, it’s not easy. Regardless of what is motivating you to move forward, it is never easy to not know everything going into it. But at the same time, isn’t that life? When you go to college, you don’t know exactly how things are going to play out. When you get into a relationship, you also don’t know how things are going to play out. When you move anywhere--whether it's to another country or across the street, you don't know how things are going to play out. With anything in life, you really never know. But I think that is the most terrifying & beautiful part.

Okay, so I didn’t mean for this post to get super cheesy & cliché, but at the time that I’m writing this in my seat (I actually have a whole row to myself haha #winning), it still hasn’t completely hit me yet, so I’m reflecting on the last few weeks. They have been so hard and so emotional for me, but God is so faithful. I’m sitting here looking at my tv screen, and I can’t believe that I’m 4 hours away from Sydney at this point. This is of course different than the last time I was heading there because this isn’t a visit or vacation, this will be my new home! The fact that I bought only a one-way ticket and am not completely sure when I’ll be back in LA completely blows my mind.

Anyway, before I start rambling I will leave this at this. As I start figuring out what my next steps will be here, here is a quote from one of my favorite movies, A Cinderella Story:

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”

Chau for now