When I started the first iteration of this blog, I was thirty-one years old.
Today, I am forty-seven. I will be forty-eight later this year.
We had the sweetest dog, named Ginger.
She took her final breath in 2020, and I knew I would never love like that again.
Then came Macie.
I was right, honestly. I don't love Macie like I loved Ginger. I don't love her any less than I loved Ginger, it's just a different love. Each dog is different, just like each child is different. I absolutely adore Macie and although she's genuinely in romantic love with Jason (her middle name is Jolene because she stole my man), she and I are great friends.
When I started writing about my life Jason and I had been married a little over three years. In all honesty, we didn't have the easiest time of it for the first few years.
Our 20th anniversary is in July. I know I could not live without him.
When I started writing about my life I talked a lot about my weight. The gym was not something I took very seriously.
Today I weigh at least 200 pounds less than I did when I first wrote in this blog. I say at least because I'm sure there was a very long time that i had no idea what I weighed. I'm a certified group fitness instructor. I'm a certified Zumba instructor. I'm a certified Strong Nation instructor. I teach six or seven classes a week and I work out every day of my life. I love it. I absolutely love it.
When I started writing about my life, I lived in a little house in East Tennessee.
Today, I live in a pretty big house (compared to the little brown house anyway), in North Carolina.
My life is totally different than it was back in 2006.
Except it's not.
It's really not.
I started writing about my life back in 2006 because I was terribly lonely and sad. I felt left out of my family in so many ways. I felt like I wasn't good enough for anything or anyone. I felt like I was a horrible daughter, wife, mother, employee, and human being.
I started going to therapy and it was really important to me that my therapist LIKED me, even though I was literally paying him money to talk to me (side note, he did like me and it should not make me as happy as it does that he did). I see a therapist now and it's incredibly important to me that she likes me (and side note, she does too. See above).
When I started writing this blog I wanted everyone to like me. When I got mean criticism on my first book I could barely stand it- honestly that's why I haven't written another book, even though I have several in my head and heart. Today, I want everyone at work to like me. I want everyone in my classes to think I'm a good instructor. I hate when people are critical.
When I started writing this blog, I felt lost.
Did I write about any of that? Oh no. It was funny stories and a lot (Jesus, so much) of me complaining about stupid things. I look back on some of my old entries and I'm absolutely floored at what bothered me. What could literally ruin my day. So many of the things I wrote about are so, so minor. They seem so unimportant and silly.
I look at what my life looks like now and I am amazed.
Incredibly thankful. Incredibly blessed.
I am also still lost.
I frequently feel alone, even though I've cultivated a really wonderful group of friends.
I sometimes feel trapped by the future, because of the economy, my fears, and my husband's chronic illness.
I almost always, almost every single second, feel scared.
Change is necessary. We can't stay stagnant. I would be really concerned, actually, if my life was in the exact same place as it was back in 2006.
I keep searching for peace.
I just keep searching.