It's been a crazy few months. It's been non-stop, one thing after another. And not in in the way Miranda's Summer of Awesome was a few years ago. This year, it's been more like a train careening out of control. There's been a lot going on, and most of it's been stressful. Some of it's been stressful in a net-positive way, but some of it has also just been a lot of stress.
So it's nice that I'm getting something of a fresh start. Finally.
And it's about more than just moving across the country — although that's quite the fresh start.
It's more about a change to my mindset, and the way I operate on a day-to-day basis. Moving across the country certainly facilitated the fresh start, but there were plenty of other events that shook me up a bit, and forced me out of my comfort zone in a way that required something of what I'm calling my fresh-ish start.
But mostly I've decided that I can be who I am. Josh has always encouraged me not to hide my opinions and values, and I struggled with that in Utah. I'm in a fairly conservative area here, and a good portion of my new ward are Utah transplants, but I'm going to attempt to be bolder than I was in the past.
And why not? Many people were taken aback by my very definite stance on wealth inequality as a major problem of our time, and on our need to stop judging the poor and actually help them. But then it turned out I was vindicated by Elder Holland's talk in General Conference. And some of the kind responses helped, too. I'm going to unabashedly be the crazy one. It took about three years for me to slowly be outed as cah-razy in my last ward, and I think I'll just start out as myself this time around, thank-you-very-much.
I've also been able to, with the help of Elder Uchtdorf's unfailingly understanding talks about testimony, doubt, and what-not been able to see if there really is a place for this to be my spiritual home. It's been a rough year from that standpoint as well, and some of the things that are still said from the pulpit (General Conference and more locally) still have me questioning my decision to stick it out, but, ultimately, part of my fresh-ish start is about making my peace and coming to terms, and making sure my son can figure all this out for himself through his own experiences, and by having appropriate discussions at the appropriate times.
Also helping me with this fresh-ish start is Josh. I was a little worried to tell him that I had been invited to Kansas City for an all-expenses paid junket thingy by H&R Block soon after getting back from FinCon14. But he didn't even blink. Josh's mom was willing to come back down and help with Gavin (although I'll be gone for less than 48 hours this time, the timing with Josh's teaching schedule is terrible), and Josh was very encouraging. He's never been one to hold me back, and I still don't know why, after nearly 13 years of marriage, I worry that he won't be supportive of me and my career. Because he's always been supportive of me and my career.
So, while I'm not going to take advantage and be gallivanting off all the time, I am going to move forward with some of the things I want to do. The fact that the gender roles in our marriage have long been “messed up” is something that heartens me, and I'm not sure why I've had a hard time letting go and doing what I feel I need to do. I've always had a good support system (my parents and Josh's parents in addition to Josh), so the only person holding me back is me.
At any rate, I've been taking a look at a lot of things in my life, and making a few changes. I'm ready for that fresh-ish start. Not because I'm becoming someone different, but because I'm ready to be more of the me I already am.