To China and Back Again: The Year 2017

Walking over a bridge in China

2017 was filled with many challenges but so much growth.

When I look back at the year 2017, my head spins a bit. So much happened in a fairly short time. My life changed dramatically as I moved from Florida to China in 2016, settled there more in 2017, and then moved back to the USA.

However, I changed even more than my geographical location. Not understanding a word around me but having to find my own apartment and find directions taught me to ask for help even if I looked clueless. Teaching children and planning creative lessons taught me to trust myself more as a leader and artist. Working with children and feeling alone in a new culture taught me that I did want a family one day. Having a happy relationship continues to teach me that I’m lovable with all my quirks and faults.

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A Letter My Fiancee’s Daughter Wrote To Me Tonight Before She Ran to Bed

This is so touching!

Kindness Blog

a letter my Fiancee's daughter wrote to me tonight before she ran to bed Reddit User, ‘poolesso’, shared this lovely photo of a letter he received.

For context he added…

“My fiancee has 2 girls, one 10, one 3. I have a 4 year old son. Her ex was abusive and they broke up almost 2 years ago. I met her after and we clicked and got together, and after a while got engaged. At first I wasn’t sure I was cut out to take on two girls, especially when one was already 10 and I’m barely 22 myself. Turned out her Dad pretty much stopped acknowledging that they exist and I tried my best to pick up the slack, she told me that she watched her Dad hit her Mom, etc.

I paid for her to enroll in soccer and played with her every now and then. Watching her at her games, I noticed she was really good at running so I asked…

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Someone Will Fill the Holes

Kelly Clarkson sings this song “Piece by Piece” so beautifully and passionately. So many of the words of it touched me. It is full of hope for those who feel broken.

I might feel like no one will ever be there for me, but numerous people have been. More will continue to step into my life.

Try to think of those people who helped make you feel worthy of love. Remember them instead of the people who ripped you apart. That is what I want to do.

One Thousand Thanks: 1144 – 1154. Living Far from Home


Lantern in Morocco

There are cons to living away from home but also pros.

Living out of state has been harder in some ways than I had guessed it would be. The snowy winters, family members being close, friends who I grew up with – all of these things are very missed.

Yet, there are many blessings about living in a new place too. Here are some of the reasons that I am grateful that I ventured out into the world.

1144. Being forced to grow up – Living close to home would have made it harder for me to actually grow up. I wouldn’t have wanted to move out of my home or get out of the house as much. Being thousands of miles away makes me do things on my own for the first time.

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The Mystery of the Past Two Valentine’s Days

Valentine's Day Teddy

My wonderful Valentine’s Day gift from Christine

Sleep still in my eyes, I wandered into the living room this morning. Staring me down from the couch was a huge, fluffy teddy bear.

“Must be for one of my roommates,” I figured before snuggling onto another side of the couch with my cereal.

Heading out the door, my lovely roommate handed me a card. “Someone at work left this and the bear for you.”

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There Are So Many Things and Ways to Love

This video really inspired me. After all, I might not be in a relationship, but I can still love others. I can still try to take the yellow  tape off of my heart.

Who is it that you want to show some love to not only today but every day? Texting a forgotten friend, sending a letter to your sibling, snuggling with your cat a bit longer than normal. There are so many ways to reach out to others.

I want to do this more often. How about you?

Feeling Lost without My Family

My wonderful sister Christine just came to visit me for a few days and then left. Seeing her was amazing. Losing her was miserable.

I am feeling so low and depressed. Right now, all I want is my family. However, they are so many miles away.

Some good news regarding a job came to me. However, I am waiting to hear about my start date. Until I actually know that and start, my anxiety will be raging.

What do you do when you need someone you cannot have in your life? How do you cope with this?

Merry Christmas to All

Santa and Mrs. Clause

Santa and Mrs. Clause

Christmas in the park was pretty crazy today. I am exhausted.

However, I did see the wonderful family who invited me to sit with them last night. Also, my family Skyped me to open gifts.

Thus, I might feel lonely, but I am loved. I might feel a bit sad, but I am a joyful person. I might feel tired, but I am energetic.

Merry, merry Christmas to all of you!

My Blessed, Magical Christmas Eve

Me with my pooh

The pooh that I was given

Just knowing Christmas is tomorrow was hard for me. All day, I felt lost and sad that I could not be with my family. Not only would my sisters, brother, and parents be celebrating, my dad’s parents and his family would be getting together as they do each Christmas Eve.

Thus, I went to Epcot feeling very down. “God, please let me have a magical moment today,” I prayed. “Please grant me some special love. I really need it right now.”

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Missing My Family

As I listen to my roommates talk about their families coming down to Disney for Christmas like it is not a big deal, my heart keeps sinking. Yes, I am happy for them. At the same time, it stings.

Being alone for Christmas, and working it, will be so sad. I am excited to Skype my family, but that is not the same.

How do you manage being alone for the holidays? What can I do to ease this pain? How do I listen to this planning without going crazy hearing about other families?