Life Can Change in an Instant

I took this photo of the last full moon, not knowing then, how quickly things would shift and change in my life. But I’m well acquainted with the split second moments where everything changes. Last year it was my brother’s death, Monday it was my dad going into the hospital. This time, I’m not sure he will make it.

I fly out on Tuesday. And while I have to see my dad and will, there’s a lot of business to deal with and paperwork to track down and phone calls to be made, too. Doing it from here, while I also need to advocate for his care in the ICU, is impossible.

But the moon – that’s where I started. The last full moon was March 7th. In a matter of a few days, things were so different. Life can change in an instant. I know we know this. But we don’t live it.

We live in the past, we live in the future. Last night and early this morning I was anxious about things a week ahead of me. I don’t even know any of those things will happen. None of us knows what the future holds. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to remain grounded in the moment. It’s all we have – all we are guaranteed. I don’t want to lose the opportunities I have in front of me, because I’m way ahead, worrying about what may never come.

Life changes and shifts in an instant. Don’t lose out on living fully, loving hard, taking chances, and telling those you love – that you love and care about them. This all sounds rather cliché, I know. But that’s what you get out of multiple losses & grief packed in tight over a few years. Life is too f-ing short to play small and not chase down what & who you want.

She Walked Alone

six word bio, elaina avalos, elaina m. avalos

Recently, I came across a writer’s Facebook post. She’d shared (here) a post from a professor who wanted students to come up with a six word bio to describe themselves. The professor went first. The bio was, “That beautiful stranger loved me once.” So intriguing. If that was a tag line for a novel, I’d probably buy it.

But I’ve wondered what my six word bio would be. I’ve come up with a few – like the one above. I love with my whole heart. That has always been true. It will always be true.

I had another one that I almost went with. It was, “She walked alone, it’s grown old.” But then I thought maybe that was a little depressing. Depressing but true, so here I am sharing. As modern women, I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to reflect something different – something less emotional and more bullet proof. Right? We’re supposed to live our lives not needing a man for anything. Isn’t that the message?

It’s a whole lot of BS. The truth is, I’ve been alone for long enough. I don’t need to pretend. It’s not a weakness to need community, companionship, love, affection, and to live your life with someone else. I haven’t once and will not ever wait around to pursue what I want. My weekend was characterized by rest, trying to work myself back into an exercise routine, writing, a little cleaning, and today – I cooked all afternoon (which I love to do). In other words, I do my thing and I refuse to be miserable because life isn’t exactly what I envisioned.

It’s not as though I don’t make the most of each moment. I’m working so very hard on that very thing. I wasted too much time in the past. Nonetheless, it has still grown far too old – walking this path alone. I will forever live in each moment, wherever it takes me. I’d just like to do it alongside my best friend and partner. Tell me I’m not the only one. So yeah, I love with my whole heart and walking alone has grown old. Granted, the heartache and alone-ness gave me some good writing fodder. But I have a great imagination so I’d be good with less of that now. 🙂

I’m looking forward to the next adventure (that I hope is around the corner). I hope I’ll be on that adventure with my true companion.

What would your six-word bio be?

Chasing Dreams

Today has been a little rough. I’ve felt it all afternoon – this lingering sadness. I’d been tracking this day for a while. But in my distraction over facing a new week (when I don’t want to), it slipped from the forefront of my mind. But it all came back a little bit ago & now I know why today has been rough. Today marks six months since my baby brother passed away.

His death has been tough to process on so many levels. The thing I keep going back to besides missing him – is how very precious our time is. I make constant excuses. “I’ll start on my plan once I get through holiday events. I’ll make a decision after __. I’ll just stay a little bit longer – it makes the most logical sense.” 🤬👎🏼🤮

But time marches on. I know my brother felt time breathing down his neck, too. He was getting older and faced the need to get healthier. He was pursuing that when he passed away. But he had some things that he hadn’t been able to do yet. I know it weighed on him.

Six months since losing my brother. And time passes on without moves in the direction I want to go in. If there’s anything good that can come from grief and losing your only sibling, I hope it’s that I finally get off my @$& and create the life I know I’m meant to live.

I need to be chasing dreams, not counting down days until my next break from work.

Change of Seasons

autumn leaves, change in seasons, seasons change, yellow leaves, eastern north carolina, elaina avalos

Yesterday, I was out on my patio watering my plants. I swear I didn’t see this much yellow (there was no red) in the jungly vines in the woods. The heat & humidity are with us & probably will be all month (maybe into October), but there are little signs the seasons are changing. As I started to write this, a stray rainstorm blew in and yellow leaves fell to the ground. It really feels like autumn is on the way, now.

autumn leaves, red leaves, change in seasons, seasons change, yellow leaves, eastern north carolina, elaina avalos

I always find some renewed hope when the seasons change. There’s not a lot externally that’s changed for me, though change is what I long for. I long for a new place, new people, new relationships and opportunities. I’m waiting for my greatest dream. Usually, when I want something new I just go do it. I go get it. I make the move. I make the change.

For the first time in ages, I feel the pull toward the change, but know my change of seasons isn’t quite upon me yet. There were a couple moments this weekend when that made me uncomfortable. I like change and when I’m ready, I’m ready. It goes against every instinct in me to remain in the same place.

autumn leaves, change in seasons, seasons change, yellow leaves, eastern north carolina, elaina avalos

But something is keeping me grounded. Which tells me God is actually at work here. And while I may never understand the reason, I know the timing is off for the change I so long for.

So, if you, like me – are longing for change but it eludes you so far – maybe stop to soak in the change in the seasons. Let nature’s shifting & changing be enough right now (as hard as that may be).

As I enjoy one last day off on this holiday weekend, I wanted to say that I hope you will find the moments to enjoy what each season brings with it – even when it feels uncomfortable.

Pretty flower photos, from my patio, for no reason…