Year One.

Well, folks, I made it 1 year in the Big D.

TexasForeverOldTry16

I remember driving my CR-V down I-30 this time last year, and, though knowing I was heading in the right direction (quite literally and also figuratively), I also remember wishing I knew how my life in Dallas would work out.

Could I make Dallas my home? Would I find a career? Community? A husband? Would I live in Dallas forever, or would this be a temporary stay? What kind of person would Dallas help me become? Would I like that person? Would I find new favorite restaurants and places? Would the ridiculously hot summers kill me dead? 

Though my life is completely different today than it was on August 8th a year ago, in many ways I still have the same questions, same fears, same general feelings of wandering.

Don’t get me wrong, it has been an all-star year. I feel at home here; I love my apartment, friends, and church; I live near family and familiar places. Overall, life in Dallas has been sweet. But I think there is some beauty in realizing that, as good as things can be here, this city—this earth, really—is still just a resting place until I get to Heaven one day.

IMG_3514

Truth be told, my last week of this first year in Dallas has been a bit hairy. I was hoping it would be a celebration of thankfulness and joy, but go figure, it turned out to be my least favorite week of the 52. Last night, when feeling particularly down, I flipped open my Bible and saw this written besides a familiar passage:

IMG_5018

Ain’t that the truth? God is always good. It’s part of His character.

God was good in giving me a church home, people and places I love, and a job I’ve always wanted to try. God was also good in giving me some tough situations to deal with this past year. God is just good.

And that fact helps me not be so scared of those questions I was wondering about last year and still don’t know the answer to today. I’m not expected to know how things will turn out, but my prayer for this next year is that I do my best to simply trust and obey.

So, one year in, here are some of my favorite things about one of my favorite cities:

Favorite Dallas park: White Rock Lake (duh)

Favorite Dallas breakfast: Benny’s Bagels or Smoke

Favorite place to pray in Dallas: The kids courtyard next to my church

IMG_5029

Favorite Dallas happy hour hang: Truck Yard

Favorite downtown building: The green one (actual name. just kidding. I don’t know the real name.)images

Favorite Dallas streets: Abrams Street, Vanderbilt Ave, and Lakewood Blvd

Favorite Dallas taco: Good 2 Go Taco

348s

Favorite moment in Dallas this year: I had a really sweet moment at church a few weeks ago. I was walking through the sanctuary, saying hi to friends—of whom included singles, families, middle schoolers, an elder—and I felt very much at home. It was a subtle moment, but special nonetheless.

Favorite song that reminds me of this past year in Dallas: I think “Dime Store Cowgirl” by Kacey Musgraves wins title of the year in round one for Dallas.

Thankful for year one; ready for year two. Adventure awaits!

KAT

Currently listening to “You Are My Sunshine” by Johnny Cash

D is for Dallas

Well, the move happened, and Dallas brought the HEAT. Don’t believe me?

IMG_0703

Thanks, old friend, for the warm welcome (PUN).

Man, it feels good to be back. But it also feels strange to be as un-busy as I currently am. Moving like I did (without a job, home, plan) is just about as freeing as it is terrifying. I have a whole lot of time to do stuff, but so very little to do. So, I’ve explored.

The CRV is doing serious work taking me to all sorts of new Dallas sites, like Oak Cliff, where I indulged in some JOY (also known as delicious macaroons):

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Also part of the exploration was Deep Ellum, the trendy neighborhood where I felt entirely uncool:

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

I went to White Rock Lake yesterday at…ehh, let’s just call it dusk, and I kept thinking, how am I so blessed to live here? I tell you, that White Rock Lake is one spectacular landmark. But it’s not just the lake—I’ve had that overwhelming feeling of gratitude a lot this week…when I drive past a Taco Cabana, when I shop at a Central Market, when I take a detour down Axton Lane (a pretty gray house on that street was my very first home). Dallas feels like a part of me, and I haven’t felt this “at home” in a while. Now, I know that no place on earth is my real home, but if I have to live in a temporary one for now, I’m sure glad it’s the big D.

Also cool has been how God has provided since being here. I have a place to live for a bit while I get my footing here, and it’s with my aunt who’s a really neat lady! I have contract work with my old publishing house that should get me through financially until October! A few dear friends have passed through Dallas and I’ve gotten to grab dinner with them—sometimes there’s nothing better than sharing a meal with a friend who knows you well! I went to a church and liked it!

How ’bout all those exclamations in that last paragraph? I’m grateful.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

KAT

Currently listening to “Dime Store Cowgirl” by Kacey Musgraves

Adios, Nashville (Year 1)

Ah, moving. Brings out the sentimentalist in a gal—and the realization that I have some serious hoarder tendencies. (I told a co-worker just last week that moving wouldn’t be too difficult because “I’m a minimalist.” Kids, take that as a lesson that when you try to be all breezy and superior, you usually end up just being wrong and dumb.)

One of the pack-rat items that I should get rid of are old journals. Man, oh man, to be reminded of thoughts from when I was 16 is cool and terrifying all at the same time. After a little internal debate, I decided that I just can’t get rid of those memories. So fasten your seatbelts, journals, you’re moving to Dallas too.

Each of the three years I’ve lived in Nashville have been so different and growing. And thanks to these new-found journals (it really is a wonder the things to be found under one’s bed), I’ve been able to relive some of the highs and lows during my time in this city. So, I decided to share one journal entry from each year. Some may be funny. Some may be sad. Some may be prayers. But I think it’s a beautiful thing to remember and take joy in the journey. Enjoy…

YEAR 1: FIRST YEAR OUT OF COLLEGE: MOVED TO NASHVILLE WITH NO JOB/HOME/FRIENDS: AGE 22-23: 2012-2013

July 6th 2013
Here’s what you’ve missed (so freakin’ much): 
1) That “no-makeup in June” thing lasted a weekend. Not exaggerating. I’m sure my complete failure says a million bad things about my character/self-esteem, but frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
2) Ericka’s wedding in Nebraska was the highlight of my summer. It was so fun and so great to be back with people who really know me. Missed my pals. Missed those wide-open spaces. It felt like home.
3) On Monday I started having really intense menstrual cramps and passed out at work. Sweet Miriam, whose office I passed out in, called 911, and some friendly EMT dudes wheeled me out on a stretcher to Baptist Hospital. If you were to categorize this story, it would be in the folder labeled “Worst Young Adult Ever.” 
4) It’s been a bad week. And a hard year.
5) I thought I was moving in with roommates this year, but it’s not so certain now. I’m ready to have community and accountability, but God is in control.
6) I haven’t been treating God like God lately. He’s been a back-burner thought. I’ve been so stupid. I need the Lord so, so badly. I don’t want to even imagine a life without Him, yet I’ve been ignoring Him for a while. I’m prideful. I’m selfish. I’m oh, so human. I’m sorry, Father. I need You for everything. 

Well, there you have it. Year one. It was a doozy and a character-builder. If I’m being honest, it wasn’t filled with super fun stories or exciting new experiences. If anything, I remember being really scared that first year—like all the time. And super broke. And deeply lonely. But there were also amazing blessings, like my first apartment. Oh, how I loved that place. Best case scenario for a Craigslist find. Another positive was realizing I was tougher than I thought (a valuable lesson that is absolutely terrible to learn). So cheers to you, Year One. Here are some pictures, because nostalgia is nothing without pictures. (And in case you’re wondering, yes, I really did pass out at my job due to menstrual cramps.) SAM_0019 IMG_0674 photo-3 IMG_0951 IMG_0971 IMG_1088IMG_1259 IMG_1862 IMG_1864 IMG_2082 IMG_2087That last picture has a story. Went for a lunchtime walk; started pouring outside; turns out yellow cotton is see-through when wet. Although my dress didn’t photograph sheer, IT WAS. So, I sucked up my pride (and sucked in my stomach, because sheer dress!!!) and ran as fast as I could to my 4th floor office, only encountering a few unfortunate souls along the way.

Kat

Currently listening to “New Slang” by The Shins

Quittin’ Time

I quit my job this past week.

This job, my first out of college, was good to me. I learned a lot about maturity, integrity, and confidence. It was an environment that was gracious to me when I failed (and fail I did—especially that first year) and it allowed me opportunities other publishing houses wouldn’t give a green recent grad.

But the time has come. The ol’ Lone Star state is calling my name, and you just don’t say no to Texas. Thus, I quit my first job and am moving to Dallas in four short weeks.

Though “moving on” is a normal and often healthy part of life, I still struggled with the idea of quitting. My job is unique in that I’m not just an Editor; I’m an Editor of Sunday School curriculum. I am in ministry, of sorts.

Let me tell you, I’ve wrestled with quitting this ministry/job for a while. I desperately want to do what God wants me to do, but sometimes that path is “clear as mud,” as these Tennesseans would say. Ultimately, I realize that the gospel being shared isn’t riding on the fact that I am an Editor of Sunday School curriculum, and the Lord placed a neat opportunity in my lap to move near family. I prayed about it, and though still unclear, God didn’t ever tell me no. If anything, things just worked out. I know He is sovereign and will be with me regardless of where I land. And so, I quit.

Because very few people knew I was quitting, I didn’t have a lot of friends to confide in before the official announcement to my bosses. I have the people-pleasing tendencies of a golden retriever, so naturally, I was a nervous wreck. So what did I do? Well, I closed my office door and apparently channeled my inner Kim Kardash. I think the official selfie equation goes something like this:

Ball of Nerves + No one to talk it out with =

Documenting the moment with selfies

In theory, I am against the selfie trend. But I just had to show someone my anxiety, and I’m sorry to say: that someone is you.

Oh, and I might have listened to “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys to boost my lacking confidence. You remember how I said I learned maturity through my time in the workforce the past few years…just scratch that.

Selfie #1. Sadly, the most respectable of the bunch. I think it says something along the lines of “I’m pretending to be excited, but I’m really just scared and have crazy eyes.”

IMG_0050

Selfie #2. Probably the most accurate photo to what I was actually feeling in that moment, which was that I had to go to the bathroom and wanted to cry.

IMG_0049

Selfie #3. And the “holy cow, I’m about to quit my job” mirror selfie. New low.

IMG_0038

So here’s to ends. and beginnings. and in betweens. So grateful for the journey thus far.

KAT

Currently listening to “My Girls” by Animal Collective