‘Growth and Grace’ takes flight

I hope to use this place to document my ‘goods’ and reflect on my ‘painful’…not for any reason other than, I believe in the power of storytelling–that it might resonate, that it might encourage, that it might bring peace. So, while I know I’ll have plenty of ‘goods’ to look forward to and have a memory box FULL of ‘amazing’s’ [reminiscent blog posts on which to come]…for context’s sake, let me just admit a few of not-so-beautiful things…

If you read this or this, you might have picked up on the fact that I’ve done some hurting lately. This past year has challenged me like none before. Sure, I’m only 26 [or am I 27? For the life of me, I cannot remember….a ridiculously perfect demonstration of my chaos these days]. But I’d bet money that I’ve lived a lot more life than most 90-year-olds. In some very good ways, and in some very painful ways.

While I’m no stranger to tear-inspiring moments, I’ve cried a lot in 2014. I’ve had cancer and been cheated on and had my family broken and watched not one, but two parents fight cancer–all in the last 5 years, mind you. But nothing, not one of those life-altering experiences holds a flame to this past year. The sparkle that once dazzled my heart and ring finger all the same, was put to rest. Not in a mutual kind of way either…the way that feels so surreal and paralyzing that one whole calendar year later and I still think it must be a dream. A dream that I’d still like to wake up from…I just know I won’t.

So I’m forced to make new dreams, I guess.

Here’s where ‘growth and grace’ really takes flight–literally.

My new dream is to learn to be okay. To be alone and quiet and still and calm. To have nobody and nothing and realize I’m still somebody who has everything. To breathe. To rest. To cry. To give myself grace when I cry too long. But to grow with each inhale and steady my heart with each exhale. I want to do yoga with the sunrise and walk along the beach at sunset. I want to fuel my body with new and interesting foods and sip wine from grapes grown on foreign soil. I want to grow closer to God and feel him guide my movements. I want to smile and know that it’s radiating from the inside. I just want to heal.

My dream for this year, this new year, is very simple. I want to feel like me again.

So, I’m going on a trip. For 6 months or 9 months or somewhere in between.

No, I don’t have every bit of it planned…probably not even half of it. I’m not sure when I’ll run out of money or how long this will feel fun. I’m not sure where I’ll stay in Bali or how to read a menu in Vietnam. I don’t know how long I’ll stay in Italy or if Germany will still feel nostalgic. I don’t know how I’ll get from Norway to Spain. But I do know that I feel more at peace over this decision than I’ve felt in a whole year. Maybe a whole 26 years..[maybe a whole 27?]. I’m doing this.

The way I figure, I know how to do the things I know how to do. I know how to make friends and find good deals. I know to dream big, but keep my safety net. I know that I want to see the Christmas Markets in Austria, but if I need to come home early for some momma time, then that’s okay too.

For the other things, I suppose I’ll just figure it out. No hostel mishap or losing my camera or flight delays compare to the confusion I’ve already felt. That, I’m certain of. So in that way, I’m guaranteed to win–already guaranteed growth.

I’m going on a trip around the world, not to run away or ‘find myself.’ In fact, I very much know who I am. I’m going on a trip around the world to bring perspective to my pain and solitude for my questions. I don’t have all the answers. But by God’s grace, I hope I’ll have a few more when I come home.

And yes. I’m smiling right now just thinking about how long I’ll stay in Italy and how I’ll figure out how to read a menu in Vietnamese.

Here’s to small wins, big gains and huge travels.

Here’s to ‘growth and grace.’

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13 thoughts on “‘Growth and Grace’ takes flight

  1. I can’t wait for your trip to start. You never cease to amaze me. You will be going to places I have only dreamed of but will live my dreamed of places vicariously through you as will many of us. And fair winds and following seas. The Lord is your shepherd and will guide you through many pastures and waters. Much love and let the dream trip begin. Love you. Dad

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    1. Oh thank you sweet, Ms. Sherry! You’re so lovely. Keep me posted on your nevwe ending travels in case we can run into each other over a big glass of wine 🙂

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  2. You are incredible! Never ever forget that. I’m so excited for you, and hope our paths cross somewhere in your travels. And don’t forget the sacred mantra: growth, grace, fucked up, beautiful. 🙂

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  3. Hey there intrepid traveler. Love seeing you get out there amongst life. I know you had a tough year but you have amazing people in your life because you are a beautiful person. Who knows why these things happen? I doubt you ever will find a decent explanation and certainly all those who love you wish it didn’t happen. Part of your journey. Thanks for sharing and I aim to see you in as many places around the globe as I can. Embrace! !!!

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  4. I am inspired by you already, Anne. Thanks. I will be watching (reading you) with great joy. Praying for God encounters that enliven your spirit fit to equal your enlivened senses. Heck – to outstrip them! Ps I love that you don’t remember how old you are. Neither do I, but I think that is because I AM so old…. xxx

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  5. I feel like we are switching places. I’m non-stop listening to country, and planning gallops around the US meanwhile you are going to our Great Southern Land to do the Aussie adventure thang!! So freaking excited, anyways, just wanted to say I’m so thankful to have you in my life and thinking of you!! See you in Sydney, and hopefully somewhere else on this planet!! Xx

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