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Happy or Content?

In what is a weird twist of events, the last few weeks, outside of being utterly bummed by the state of the world, in my own tiny world – I have been happy, content – things have been good. If feels weird. It feels weird to say it feels weird. Haha.

The thing is, I had a plan for what I expected to happen next. I dreamed about what would come next. I had high hopes. And now that I’m here, I’m not sure God wants me moving on. How’s that for a kick in the pants? I literally have no idea about what comes next. Because things in my life so drastically veered off course in 2019, I don’t even know how to figure it out. At 45, this is not where I planned to be. I can’t seem to breakthrough to what I want to be doing, in spite of my experience.

I wanted to move away from this city I live in – it contains unhappy memories. I wanted a change of scenery, a new job, more opportunities to find the life I’ve been trying to chase down for a while. But here I am. Entirely uncertain about whether I’m even supposed to leave now.

I’m not exactly bothered by it. Which also, you guessed it, feels weird. With my two weeks of vacation ahead, I hope that in the rest and and time away from work, I can make sense of what this time in my life is supposed to be. Especially if it’s not what I’d been hoping for, for so long.

There is a line of thought in Christian circles, that obstacles indicate “closed doors.” That can be the case. But there are, without a doubt, times in our lives when obstacles aren’t meant to turn us away. They’re meant to be climbed over. If it’s a closed door, sometimes you just gotta open it again. Or maybe kick it in. Since when does favorable circumstances indicate that something is God’s plan or will?

He’s not exactly known for clearing the path for the average saint. Sure, he parted the Red Sea. But then, when his own people were being total douches, he was like, “Okay, dudes – you want to do it your way, enjoy wandering in the desert for 40 years.” But, even when they knew they were in a location He’d told them to go to, obstacles were found in their path.

And often, His words to them about how they solved their little problems and removed their obstacles, made zero sense on the surface of it all. So no, I don’t think “closed doors” are rock solid evidence you’re on the wrong path.

In my uncertainty, I see where there is an opportunity to trust deeper and to respond with faith, when it seems like there’s not much to work with. So in this space of being content with the unknown & happy about the end of stressful times, I’m just going to work on trust and pray until I don’t have words left.

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I Am Enough

Blake Auden quote, elaina avalos

It’s easy to buy into a lie, when we’re missing something in our lives that we think we should have had, that we aren’t quite enough. Or maybe that our life is void of meaning, without this thing. Or maybe not void of meaning but less meaningful. I have fallen into this trap. I’ve been hanging out there for the last few years. I’ve been buried under it, truthfully.

The thing about me is, I hate photos of myself. I hate selfies too. I’m confident. Very confident. Maybe too confident. But not about this particular thing. All I can see are the things I wish I could change (wish my teeth were straighter, my eyebrows being whacked in this photo, I need to lose a lot of weight, and why oh why does my hair have to be this half-curly/frizz thing and eek…so much grey now).

elaina avalos

Yesterday, I walked the beach at North Topsail Island. There were quite a few women who were having a blast – without a care in the world – wearing bikinis or swimsuits that I wouldn’t be caught dead in. It got me thinking. They were 100% having fun & gave zero f$?!/. They were dressed as they wanted to be and that was that. They were fully enjoying the 83 degree water, their friends, families, and being in the water.

north topsail island, elaina avalos
I mean, how can you not focus on his beauty, rather than how you look?

Life is short. And to add to the clichés, we simply don’t know how much time we have left. Why would I (why would any of us) waste it worrying about what other people think? We just don’t know the hour or day when we leave this earth. For years of my life I held myself back. I held back from talking about, being about, & doing what I most wanted. Which is probably partly how I ended up childless, when I’ve wanted to be a mom…for basically forever.

But I digress. I go to therapy and it was much needed after saying goodbye to my kiddo (for those new here I expected to adopt him and everything fell apart). My therapist challenged me this week to (not in these exact words), see myself as enough. I am enough. If that man doesn’t tell me he can’t live without me. If I will never be a mom (or adoptive mom or stepmom or whatever), I am enough. I add value to my world without being a mom – without being the woman he can’t live without. I add value to this world simply because I exist. There’s something very freeing about that thought.

Which brings me back around to selfies and women being comfortable in their own skin. Life is here now – to revel in, to breathe deeply, to love passionately, and to live as we are meant to – without worrying what others think.

Do I think I’ll wear a bikini the next time I go to the beach? That’s highly unlikely. 😂 But I do think it’s time to live fully in the present – with the full knowledge that I am enough today – even if life looks different than the plan I thought would make me whole. The truth is, that already happened. I am and always was – whole. I am and always was, enough.

So are you, friend.

Anne Lamott, Elaina Avalos, have a big juicy creative life
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If you’re the one she lets in…

“Kiss her with passion
As much as you can
Run your hands through her hair
Whenever she’s sad
And when she doesn’t notice
How pretty she is
Tell her over and over
So she never forgets

Take it
If she gives you her heart
Don’t you break it
Let your arms be a place
She feels safe in
She’s the best thing that you’ll ever have”

Written by: Meghan Trainor / Steven Solomon / Forest Blakk