burning sage

A few weeks ago, I went to a brunch event that had these little cards at every place setting.  Each question was different, and there was no assigned seating.  When I sat down and looked at this little card asking me, “What is something you have recently made peace with?” Oh boy. Where to even begin?  I knew there was a reason I was faced with this little card.

We went around the table and answered our questions out loud, and my answer to this question was left on my heart all day, and then all week.  Apparently all month becuase here I am, still talking about it.  I shared this experience on Instagram Stories, and I loved the response I got from girls on Instagram and in emails, so I decided to bring it over to the blog for a larger conversation!

I’ve been open on this blog that I’m in a transitional phase of my life. If I’m being totally honest here – I’m not really enjoying it. Ha!  I took a deep dive into some of the details here.

I’m in a place where I’m having to consciously practice gratitude and positive thinking every single day because I just can’t seem to get into a rhythym since we moved from Orange County.  I don’t think I even realized how happy I was in Southern California until we moved and things have felt so different.  It’s as if my emotions are dancing on eggshells and every time I bump my shoulder walking sideways into my closet (the only way to squeeze in there #smallspaces), hit my shin trying to dig in the back of some corner to find something I had to store underneath a chair or go up and down two flights of stairs 7x trying to do one load of laundry… I’m on the verge of tears.

I write this post from my desktop computer, as I somehow spilled half a cup of coffee on my work laptop on Monday morning and it’s currently drying out in front of a fan. The screen won’t turn on and of course I had a great computer repair place in Orange County… but I don’t live there anymore so every obstacle, every challenge feels more complicated and magnified because I have to start over. It feels like I can’t catch a break these days, and knowing I’ll inevitably be starting all over in a handful of months when we move… feels exhausting.  Sidenote: I hate moving and have always struggled with change.

It’s been that kind of season, if you feel me.  A season where I’m feeling unlike myself, emotionally delicate, holding my breath for the next mishap that normally I would power through but these days makes me crumble.

So what is something I have recently made peace with?

Clearly… I’ve not yet made peace with this transitional time. But something I am working on every single day is focusing on my path. I told Christian in one of my tear-filled broken moments last month (poor C… tending to my many meltdowns is becoming all too familiar) that I felt like I decided to run a marathon with all of my friends and they’re 5 miles away from the finish line and I’m still stretching.

He said, “More like you’re all on a hike and you are stopping to smell the flowers before you get to the rocky peak where the flowers don’t grow but the views are good.  Some people only want the view and some people only want the flowers.  We want both, so we can’t really compare ourselves to people with other aspirations.  They’ll do what’s best for them and we’ll do what’s best for us.”

Which brings me back to this quote:

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” Alfred D. Souza

I do feel genuinely happy for all the wonderful people in my life who have all the things I’m desiring right now – stability, fellowship and support from their communities, a home (with a yard! and a laundry room! and maybe even a garage!), holidays spent with their families, kids and so on.  I truly am.  I’m just not there yet.

And rather than focus on all the things I don’t have, I really need to appreciate what I do have. We don’t have as many responsibilities or bills, so we feel comfortable splurging on ourselves and others.  There aren’t nap times or diaper bags so we can ride Vespas all over town and have wine with lunch without worrying about pumping and dumping or daycare pick up. With no yard or greenspace outside, we’re walking the dog 3 – 4x a day uphill but hey – we’re toning those glutes!  Living in a small apartment so there isn’t as much to clean, no “housework” or landscaping to maintain.  We can go to 9PM dinners without worrying about the babysitter and can be completely selfish with our time.

Would I trade all of these things for more space, a house, community and maybe a baby Barnes? Of course. I’m ready for that phase of my life… but we’re just not there.  I’m actively working on making peace with my path.  It’s unlike yours and yours is unlike mine. And that’s ok. In fact, it’s wonderful! We can all learn from each other, and truly appreciate achievements and milestones when we reach them.

These obstacles are our lives. It’s a part of our story, and an important part. I know it will be revealed to me why I had to go through this overly emotional and challenging chapter.  Am I enjoying it? Nope. Not really.  Is it going to make me smarter, stronger and more grateful when the next chapter starts? Definitely.

So now I want to ask you – what have you recently made peace with?  Life isn’t all roses. Frankly, I know I learn the most from the harder times.  They’re important and character-building.  So let’s all learn from each other.

Thanks so much for reading and sharing! Big hugs to all my girls in a transitional phase right now. XO –

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91 thoughts on “Focusing on Your Path

  1. Thank you for sharing, this was a post I really needed to read. I feel like I’m always waiting for ‘life’ to start when in fact it’s all happening right now! Forever reminding myself to be g r a t e f u l for what I have. Loved loved the quote ♡ Lots of love,,
    Xo

  2. Kathleen – Aside from producing thoughtful content and being generally lovely, the reason you have such a loyal following is because of your encouraging and honest example. The IG life often looks so perfect. When the rest of us have had a horrible day, there is escapism in seeing all of these beautiful things on the internet, but then it gets old… and you think, why not me? Watching others struggle by no means is an enjoyable pastime of mine; however, I have great admiration for those — like you — who admit life can be hard even when it is good. xx Caroline

  3. I identify with this on every level! My life looks so different than I dreamed it would & is so different from my friends but I’ve been leading every day to embrace and appreciate it! I love how transparent you are- thank you!

  4. Kat,

    I’ve made peace with the Souza quote you posted. You never arrive. Life is a series of hurdles, nothing more, nothing less. Some you soar over like a gazelle. Others trip you up and leave you a mangled mess. But, you always pick yourself up again, lick your wounds, put one foot in front of the other and follow the path that God has set before you. At 58 I’ve learned, nothing in my life is about me. Everything in my life is about serving others and following God’s will for me. That’s my sole purpose on this planet. Don’t think this sounds bleak. It is tremendously empowering/liberating to go with the flow and not fight the struggles/challenges laid before you. Embrace them and see each as an opportunity for spiritual growth and discernment. If only you could learn on my dime, but life has a way of teaching you how to live it if you live long enough : ) Don’t let any obstacle rob you of your inner peace. The peace that transcends all understanding is your power source. May the source be with you. xoxo Lea

  5. I didn’t even know I needed to read this until I was part way through holding back tears and saying YAS GIRL, I’m right there with ya.

  6. I love when you write these posts. You are so real and I’ve followed you for so long and seen so much of your journey (even before you were married and engaged!). We’re the same age and both of us has gone through so many changes in very different ways. I’ve said it here before, but I’m recently divorced and we were together for 12 years- met freshman year at Auburn and got married in 2010 and divorced in 2018. Life has been difficult to say the least, but the hardest choice was the right choice so I am trying to make peace with that. I don’t say this to have a pity party for myself, but just so say that everyone goes through different seasons of life and some are wonderful and some are extremely difficult. I do agree that going through difficult situations do make you stronger and definitely help you open your eyes to somethings or possibilities you didn’t know even existed. I too am in the same boat with all my friends around me having babies (most on number 2 by now!) and I want that so badly, but I know in time, that will come for me too, God willing.

    You are so very strong, and you have so much support and you will get through this season of your life and come out strong in the end. You’re amazing Kathleen and have been such an inspiration to me over so many years of following along.

  7. So I am not one to ever comment on blogs (no matter how much I love the content or person behind it) but I couldn’t not say anything after this one. I’m a new mom (3months in) and having a hard time letting go of “control” since life with a babe is so unpredictable in this phase. I keep waiting for him to “be on a schedule” or get a routine so our days will be ”easier” and I’m realizing that I’m missing the baby moments that you never get back. At the same time, I’m the first Mom in my friend group so I’m looking at everyone with their “no-plan” weekend afternoons of wine and vespas () wistfully! So yeah, similarly in transistion and working on making (and maintaining, which is the harder part maybe?) peace with this new normal! We’re all in it!

  8. I can so relate to your transitional phase Kathleen. When I moved to SF from Nova Scotia, it took sometime to embrace my new life, wow what a change. SF can be such a stunning beauty, full of breathtaking architecture, sunset views, diverse neighborhoods, lush parks, crazy yummy food and bevvies, a variety of cultural explorations… I could go on, but she can also test your resolve and joy in everyday life. Between the laundry situation, traffic, non-existent street parking, small quirky spaces and the grey fog (oh that grey!). My husband always says, go with the flow, we can’t force life and we can’t force transitions. So I began to embrace how to make our lives more simple, less swimming against the flow, bloody hell its exhausting! Yeah it sounds silly, but I sent our laundry out to a service, forget dragging it to a laundromat, that can make a day go sideways really fast 😉 I started volunteering, always a good perspective reset. And I started to embrace the sense of community in our neighborhood that I never expected to find. SF is now a place so close to my heart, I hope she stills covets the beauty and warmth I remember, but if anyone can find it and cultivate it, it would be you. Transitions are rough, but they’re so good for us! You’ve done it before and flourished. You’ll do it again my friend and have killer glutes to show for it 😉 xoo

  9. I love this. You managed to put into words a feeling that has been SO hard for me to pinpoint. I live overseas in a “destination” area because of my partner’s job and a lot of friends and family assume it’s all sunshine here. But I struggle to be away from the people I love and what’s familiar to me, and I’ve had a tough time making new friends and just reimagining my life to be based here for the foreseeable future. But I love my partner, so I’m trying to reframe and accept that while I may not be happy now, I’m on this path to grow and to be with someone and pursue things that are so worth it. Thanks for sharing this– it’s a hard thing to put into words and you did it beautifully. I’m sure so many people can relate!

  10. These are my favorite posts that you write. It would be very easy for you to show us all the glamorous parts of living in a city like San Fran but showing us that change, supporting your spouse, and working through struggle effects everyone is even more important. Thank you from all the girls (and guys) trying to trudge on through. xx

  11. AH! I love this post and could not have needed this reminder more than RIGHT NOW! Thank you for being honest. XO

  12. Oh wow! this post just got to me because of my life journey the past 4 years. My life took a turn I never expected (not going into details) and it changed me completely. I describe it as having died and trying to come back to life but having such a hard work doing so. While on this journey I have had to make peace with accepting who I am. A totally different person of the one I was before. Having lived for 36 yrs with me and all of a sudden being a total different person is very difficult! But I have decided to take one day at a time. I’m christian so I believe God has many blessings for me along this journey. I look at this phase as a metamorphosis and I continue to work on myself, on my journey and trying (as hard as it sometimes seem) to achieve the best of me… Somehow different but better than before! Sending love towards you and your journey. You too will get to the place you want to be…just remember somehow we all want something but when we get there is it enough? Food for thought.

  13. I’ve been there. And I can’t tell you how much better you feel once you make peace with your path. There have been things in my life that I have cried myself to sleep about. Things completely out of my control. But with a lot of prayers I got through it. Making peace with the fact that my life is nothing like my friends’ lives…honestly it changed my life. And it allowed my to embrace my life. Would I change things if I could? Maybe. But I’m so happy right now…maybe not. 🙂

  14. Thank you for sharing! As I was reading this I have always felt the same way about my path in life, and it’s recently been more of a struggle to be content with it. I definitely needed to read this today! Thank you for the encouragement!!

  15. You’re my favorite blogger for so many of these reasons. I can relate to you because you don’t act like you have unlimited income or the perfect always polished Home. Plus you’re an SEC/southern girl and you’re obsessed with your pets! I love it!

  16. Several months ago, I was going through something very similar and know exactly how you feel. Just know we’re all here for you, and it’s okay to have some bad days or rough times. You are tough, and you will get through this!!

  17. Hi. I just started following you. Not even sure how I found you just a few weeks ago. I am so thankful for finding you and thank you for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes as I am so making peace with where I am in my life…40 , single, working on a new life+ career path and a whole lot of self discovery. Thank you for sharing your truth….it’s inspirational. Cheers

  18. I know EXACTLY how you feel. My husband is finishing his Post Doc, which required us to move to a new city for the next year or so. We’ve been here for a year already and I noticed we kept thinking of all the stuff we’d be doing once we left, spent the majority of our time leaving the city as soon as we could, or complaining about the city, lack of activities, our neighborhood etc like it was a sport. Looking back, I’m pretty disappointed in our attitude–to think we essentially wasted a year complaining instead of doing what we could to make this place feel like home, even if it’s temporary. Your post reminded me to focus on the good parts of where we live: we have a cute house with a yard that our lab likes to explore, we have a home gym (lol) that was my husband’s dream (again, lol) but has been a really great way for us to spend time together, and we’re close to so many family members and friends after spending a few years away (even though they’re all an hour + away and no one wants to visit use because again, this city is the pits). This is a novel, so treat yo’self if you made it this far, but I just want to say thanks for your vulnerability and realness. Moving sucks, being in transition sucks, but it’s important to not get sucked into the suckiness.

  19. I cannot tell you how much I NEEDED to read this today. My husband and I are currently surrounded by babies – all our friends seemed to have had babies at the same time and we’re in this limbo phase. We haven’t been able to conceive (yet) and are getting the “when are you going to have kids?” question all the time. I’m STILL trying to find peace with it but it’s a learning process for sure. We’re all in this together, girlfriend!

    xo

  20. Oh goodness this is speaking to me! I’m are currently going through transition in nearly every aspect of my life, and it is difficult. We are moving from Chicago, a city I love, to Michigan for my fiance’s great job opportunity. Living in a new place, myself starting a new job remotely, and MOVING are intensely difficult. Some days I just cry. But we need to try to keep moving forward and appreciate all the gifts and opportunities given to us. Thank you for your refreshing honesty. xx Jaclyn

  21. I enjoyed reading this post so very much. It brought tears to my eyes. Back when I was in my early 20’s (44 now ) I had a similar experience in that me & my (now ex-) husband moved 800 miles away from our families & everything familiar so he could attend law school. We then moved a little closer to “home” & family but things always felt like “we just need to get the the next phase…” which is exhausting & disheartening. Well, here I am in life now not wanting to have changed a single thing. ALWAYS enjoy where you’re at, don’t forget to live your life NOW.
    God bless you.

  22. Life is tough when you’re always waiting for it to begin …. so take a look at that list, maybe some of those things don’t have to wait? Sometimes there really isn’t the right “time” to start the family…. and in reality, those are things you may not always have control over – so waiting may not work either. Just go for it and jump in. Life has a way of working those things out. (and I don’t say this from a place of judgement …. I say this from a place of “well, we thought we were in the perfect spot when we decided to start our family but life had other plans and struggles that took us down a different path – so now family looks different then what we had planned and waited for”… maybe if we hadn’t waited? and whatever – and I find myself having these same thoughts now about other parts of life…”if only, we were here” “if only, it was now” so I have to remind myself to control what I can and grab on to those things) I feel you on struggling with change tho. For what it’s worth – on the outside you are handling it very well. So congrats on the fake it till you make it 🙂 🙂 🙂

  23. Hey girl, I completely understand where you’re at.. I’m both in a strange and challenging transitional stage as well as staring a new one in the face. It’s hard sometimes, especially as an emotional person who is easily in tears. Community is everything especially when you have a man who works intense hours like ours do. I wish I could give you a real life hug and we could chat about these transitional phases we are in, but you’re right, these tough times really show you what you’re made of, and you will be so proud of yourself when you realize the strength you didn’t even know was in you.

  24. Long time follower here and can I just say, you are a breath of fresh air! You keep it real, honest and make me literally laugh out on your stories. Something that I’ve had to make peace with recently( let’s be honest, it’s a daily struggle) is moving in with my mother in law. We’re saving money while my husband transitions careers so it makes the most sense, but it is difficult. It comes with its pros and cons and some days all I wish is for our own space again and the “next chapter”. But I try to remember everyone is on their own journey and comparison is the thief of joy. And something someone once told me, and I try to remember everyday is, “Do not let this feeling(unworthiness, resentment, anger, fear, etc.) steal your joy.”
    Thanks for sharing with us!

  25. Great post and message! I appreciate your honesty and rawness, even with the not-so-good moments. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but going through this will make you stronger, wiser, and more tolerant of crap than what most people could do. You’ll be able to look back on this and actually miss these moments.

    I understand because for majority of my adolescent and teen years I was constantly moving from a two-story house to a tiny, no bedroom, rv camper. Most of my young life I lived with no bedroom, satellite tv or internet, closet, and hardly a bathroom with four people. But doing so has made me more appreciative of life and that I don’t need as much crap as I thought I did.

    Just remember that hard, bitter times make for sweeter fruit.

    Tabitha
    https://coleann.com/

  26. This is so honest and so well written! I love that you’re being so open about this because I think this is something we all struggle with in lives at some point. Sending you lots of love and hugs!

  27. Dear Kathleen,

    There are no words to describe the rollercoaster of emotions I had while I reading this blog post. It made me think of the many challenges I’ve had in my short life (I’m just 23yrs old, but live like I’m 30). When I say I live like I’m 30, I mean that I already have two colleges degrees (BA & MA) and currently studying to enter law school next year while I have a full time job and many bills to pay. I’m the third of three girls in my household and the only one who my parents expected more from. I never understood why, but answering your question of ” what I’ve recently made peace with ?” …. well I made peace with my struggles in life (professionally and personally). I was always asking why things happened to me, but since I recently found a new job with a better income, I feel like I’ve made peace with those many obstacles. Now I understand why my parents expected more from me than my two older sister. If it wasn’t because of that pressure I’ve never would’ve achieved having two degrees in just 5 years and currently going to start a JD and never would’ve learn how to be independent. Long story short, thank you for this post. It made me realize many things I’m great full of achieving and finally knew with what I made peace.

  28. Thank you so much for sharing…I cried reading this. You couldn’t have posted at a better time. I recently failed an important exam and have been seeing many of my peers get promoted & get raises and I can’t help but compare myself to them. I feel so out of rhythm but you are exactly right – this is all making me stronger for the next chapter of life! Thank you always for your wisdom and honesty

  29. Thank you for sharing this. I am going through a tough season of life right now where my husband is traveling a ton for work, I work from home and I also have a 11 wk old and challenging 4 yr old. I basically have zero personal time and I’m struggling with this. But, I am thankful for this struggle especially after having a challenging pregnancy and a loss before this.
    So, looking back I can say with certainty that I am so thankful that I had my 20s to be career focused, travel and have quality time with my husband. But, at the time, i think i didn’t feel this way. So, what I’m getting at is that I know this just a season of life and will evolve into something I feel more comfortable with. I just have to be patient. So, again thank you for your honesty! I love reading your posts.

  30. Kathleen, I just want to reach through the screen and give you a big hug! Like others have said, your honesty is inspiring and commendable in a world full of curated lives on display. I recently turned 40 and have been struggling similarly. Something about hitting this milestone stopped me cold and sent me into a spiral of “I thought I would be/have XYZ by now.” It’s given me anxiety and panic attacks even. I really NEED to let go and embrace my unique journey, stop looking ahead to an imaginary finish line where I think I’ll be fulfilled, cease comparing myself to others, and appreciate all I do have (great job, great house, etc). Thanks for keeping it real and for the reminder.

  31. I couldn’t help but have a lump in my throat as I read this… change is so hard. I absolutely loved Christian’s analogy of not comparing yourself to others’ journey on the hike. Everyone’s goal, path, view preference is so different! At least from an outsiders perspective, you are handling everything with grace, beauty and honesty. Hugs to you!

    PS – I went from LOL’ing last night about C’s deep V to tearing up this morning… all the feels! xo

  32. This spoke to me. I feel like I have been in a transitional space for 9 years (since my divorce). I finally quit my corporate job and am now a consultant (another transition). I’m trying to sell my home (which is sitting on the market); another transition. Sometimes I see young couples with their young children and babies and am sad that I am done with that phase of life, my kids are 19 and 15 and am single. But what it comes down to is life is full of transitions and you have to dive into each one and keep your path in site. It’s hard, but I feel your pain. Soon you will transition into a new phase with new challenges. I’m sending good thoughts your way. I love how open and real you are. Your fashion is on point but I follow you for your real ness. Much Love~ Amy

  33. Firstly, I love your blog! I first stumbled across it because I love Sex & the city, so duh!
    But, I totally relate to this post on so many levels! I struggled for a long time with what other had and I didn’t (a baby!)- my husband and I walked the path of infertility for many years and finally adopted our daughter this year- and let me tell you, the journey sometimes sucks, but the destination is SO WORTH IT! Its not how I had originally “written” my life story in my head when I was a little girl, and getting over that ideal was tough, but I can honestly say its better- and you’ll get there too and you’ll appreciate it more and it will make you stronger and better!! Keep your head up girl!! 🙂

  34. Oh Kathleen I loved everything about this post!! I love these ones the most:) Your honesty is infectious. My husband recently started his own company and is hardly home. Me being the selfish one was used to him working from home, preparing home cooked meals, having lunch ready (yes I live that close to my job) but seeing how happy his is and proud of what he’s accomplished has helped me accept the change that is occurring. Its not easy, but I love it!!!

    Things will get easier for the both of us! Good luck love!!!

  35. My friends and I had the same conversation recently. Some of us are single, some newlyweds and some married with kids and the grass always seems greener. You really need to just live in the moment and be grateful for whatever season you are in because everything comes at a different time for different people.

  36. Wow did I need this today. As I just had a breakdown to my sister last night about people all around me being pregnant. And just like you said, we are all on different paths at different times. I know my husband and I are not there yet, there is doubt about that. But its hard not to want to speed up that clock (God willing) if everyone around you is. But this just reassured me that we need to stay in our lane and do whats best for us. I’m not at peace with it yet, but this perspective was exactly what I needed to help me get there and really soak in those wine Wednesday lunches, impromptu plans, and living selfishly. As an avid reader, your brutally honest posts recently have been so relateable and I greatly appreciate you opening up and being vulnerable with us!

  37. You’ve moved me to tears. I feel you girl! Life is tough and brings so many challenges and obstacles, but they must be embraced because life will always have these elements. It’s hard not to look at others who are in a space you hope to occupy one day and form some jealousy or envy, but you’ve hit a great point in that we are all on our own path. These parts of our lives will come to happen in their own time, and it is no way to live comparing yourself to others.

    I’ve certainly struggled with this as well in the past couple years. I’ve learned to make peace with plans falling off track. Okay, correction: I am learning! You can’t plan life and sometimes, it can be more fun without the plan. Still, it is so helpful to see these honest-to-goodness posts from you because it helps me realize that EVERYONE is going through this in one way or another.

    Not to throw a pity party, but my boyfriend and I are going through a difficult time too. We feel as though our lives are stalled from going in the directions we envision. His dad unexpectedly passed away about 2 years ago, and as an only child he had to postpone his plan to practice law and move about 2 hours away, take over the family businesses, take care of his mother, and, recently, take in his little cousin. We rarely see each other and are starving for quality time and the opportunities to finally merge our lives, buy a house, and have little rascals of our own. But, you are right, there is an optimistic approach to this as well. So many amazing moments have happened and qualities have been born out of these difficult years.

    You will get through this and, eventually, you will look back and appreciate so many of the things that you do or don’t recognize. The same goes for everyone else. You are not alone!

  38. Hey K – I appreciate this post so much. I am also terrible with change and felt very similar to what you’re feeling now just a few years ago. Through lots of prayer and leaning on family and friends, God got me through that not fun season and lead me into one where everything seemed to fall into place – I met my husband, got married, took a dream job and had our beautiful darling girl. Gratitude changes everything and you’re on the right track and remember, this too shall pass. Know you are loved!

  39. This brought me to tears! Life has a weird way of bringing these issues up just when you think you’re the only one. The longing and comparison to others lives can be so difficult but this perspective is so important. Thank you for sharing and providing this space for everyone feeling this way. Much love! And prayers headed your way. XO Kendyl

  40. I definitely needed to read this today, thank you! You’re one of my favorite bloggers because of your willingness to be so open and real! I am struggling with making peace with my path at the moment too. 2 years into our journey for our rainbow baby and we’ve dealt with things most couples don’t ever have to worry about. It’s exhausting, confusing, sad, lonely, infuriating and I’ll admit, makes you more jealous than you want to be at times. I’ve been trying really hard to have peace, that no matter what happens, it will be okay. And I try, like you do, to put things into perspective and look at all of the wonderful things my hubby and I do have. Some days though, it’s just easier to cry it out and drink some wine. You’ve got this girl. We all do.

  41. There is such wisdom here! And I feel like I’ve been in that same place before as well. My kids just started middle school and high school and I’m right back in a season of transition. I don’t really want to live in the part of the state we live in and haven’t for more than a decade. I’m so far from things that make me feel ‘home’ and your post reminds me that God’s plan for me may not always line up exactly with what I think I need and that’s ok. There is some gold to be gleaned from these times too. I LOVE Christian’s response- what a gem! Thanks for sharing.

  42. I absolutely love how honest you are with your struggles. Sometimes social media and blogging can mask other people’s lives as “perfect”, but your commitment to being authentic is incredibly inspiring! I definitely feel in a similar situation- what has helped me is listening to the podcast “Productivity Paradox” and other self-help books/articles about CHOOSING happiness. Happiness is a choice, and I often forget that! Best of luck with everything and again thank you for sharing!

  43. I’ve *tried very hard* recently to make peace with putting thoughts into actions…. something as small as seeing the better in people before I react or that peoples intentions are more pure than my sometimes pessimistic mind likes to believe. This is a definite work in progess but it’s really helped me look within first before I judge anothers actions/views. P.S. – Have you considered beginning a podcast? I understand this is big business commitment, but I feel like your other loyal CBL followers would LOVE to hear more of this sort of perspective like the one you have in this blog post. You have such a well-rounded, caring, accepting nature and I would love to hear more of it.
    XO, Megan

  44. I feel ya girl! I feel like I’ve been in a transitional phase for about a year now and am still trying to find my way through it. It’s not fun is it? It is a good learning experience though, and has helped me to learn things about myself that I can work to improve and has helped me to try to find a focus in my life. Kind of like you said, It’s important to remember that life really is a journey and not a destination and to take it a day at a time. Can be hard to remember in the moment, but when you try to focus on that, things can feel a lot better. I think I am learning to make peace with the fact that things will continue to change in life, and some things that I have no control over. I like to feel in control so I am trying to make peace with accepting that it’s about my reactions and how I deal with the changes that I face. About taking things as they come and not always worrying about the “what if’s”, because I do that A LOT. I think a major factor here is that we are thinking of starting a family and the changes with that huge transition kind of scare me. At the end of the day though, I want a family and I need to stop worrying about all the unknowns and allow changes to happen, so hopefully I can learn and grow from them. Thanks for this great post Kathleen!

  45. I have made peace with the fact that I have left very good friends behind due to relocating to new cities for my husband’s job. It’s hard to start over and create a new history with people. But I can be there for the new people I befriend. Be a supportive and positive influence in their life no matter how short our time together is. I remind myself to accept and not judge our differences. I am really enjoying just getting to know people without expecting too much from them, other then sharing life’s daily challenges and joys.

  46. I feel this on a cellular level. Thank you for sharing. Life is HARD but it makes us stronger, more empathetic people. How lucky we are to know that better times are just around the corner. Take care of yourself during this season of life. You’ll thank yourself later!

  47. I can relate to this feeling all too well. While I love my new life as a new mother of twin girls, I definitely struggle with the complexity of my new life. I needed this read and need to enjoy this beautiful and complicated ride even when it’s not easy. Thank you!

  48. Even though I was diagnosed way back in 2003 with lupus, I have only recently REALLY REALLY come to terms and made peace with it. It has been 15 years but there are things in life that just take longer to process and accept. Hang in there, girlfriend!!! You got this!!

  49. I’ve never connected with a blog post quite so much. You’re right when you say obstacles are our life. And I’ve gained a new appreciation of enjoying each step along the path of it.

    I’ve made peace with the fact that I need to follow my passion among the daily grind of life. I am in a scary transitional phase, but I’m challenged to find the silver lining.

    xo

  50. I felt the same way when we just moved to CO for his fellowship in July. I’m trying to settle in but it really does make you realize what was left behind! Friends, familiarity, favorite spots, repair people, grocery etc! Yes even grocery! Haha
    I agree.. this is a tough age/season for change. It was easier when I was college age C is right…this is your unique journey and without the fluctuations life has no great story to tell your great great grandkids! I’m glad you have a steady guy like C by your side to make you smile! ☺️

  51. I’m so glad you brought this up! I’ve been following you for a while now and I’ve noticed a change in you. (Not necessarily a bad one, just a more sarcastic version?) and it’s like, how do you bring up to a complete stranger that you think they hate the new city they are living in? And as a girl from OC I would HATE SF too. But I’m so so happy you are tackling this! And it also applies to me because all my friends are getting married and having kids and I’m still over here trying to figure out if I want to change career fields. 911 dispatching is getting a little stressful for me, do I want to go into insurance? Back to retail? Oh wait I’m supposed to have 2 kids by now? Wellllll shoot. So thank you for writing this! And I hope we both find happiness and clarity soon! Xo

  52. Hi Kathleen! Thanks for sharing – many aspects of this resonate with me. I’m 33 and started a second career as a psychotherapist and just finished grad school. I was previously an attorney and thought that I was done with school. My path is VERY different from different from my friends who have been in stable careers for years now, but I also believe in what I’m doing. I so admire you for supporting Christian and I can’t imagine how challenging it’s been for you to move so frequently. I know how valuable having a supportive community is. On IG and social media in general, everyone is so rosy all the time. I get what you’re saying about practicing gratitude – and I support this! – but I also think it’s okay to be down sometimes. All emotions are valid! You can have some off days and that’s okay. I get it; I’ve been there as well these past few months…thinking I had things figured out in one of my ambiguous areas right now and then it all falls apart again. Hang in there. Savor the good days, and remember that it’s okay to have a down day too. Thanks again for sharing! xoxo

  53. Oh my goodness. Sigh.

    Thank you so much for writing this. I needed this. I am where you are, but not quite. I too am in the career building phase of life with my fiance (we work together) and its taking so much longer than either of us thought. I figured we would be further ahead financially by this point. I want the house and the yard, and maybe not babies quite yet, but I know I want the stability to be open to that sooner than later. We see our friends buying homes, getting married and so on… And I lust for that life too. I’m newly engaged and wanting a wedding soon, as only a month after my boyfriend popped the question, we discovered my dad had brain cancer. Pulling together a wedding for next year with no budget feels impossible, but I know I want my dad there, and pushing it out another year could mean he wouldn’t be with us. I feel grateful for my life and where I’m at but so frustrated by circumstance, I have such a desire for more. I’m trying my hardest to trust that the universe has a plan, that the timing I had envisioned is simply different than what I imagined. That we just need to continue working hard and that our growth phase will push through and expand our lives in time. I’m trying to trust that whatever is meant for me is a part of a larger plan, and maybe that means I’ll get to have my dad walk me down the aisle and maybe it doesn’t. I’m practicing gratitude and trying my best to trust the journey… Wishing you all the strength to do the same.

  54. This made me so emotional, in a good way! Thank you for sharing. It is so easy to forget that every path is different and this is such a great reminder to love your path and to look for the amazing in your own life! Preach!

  55. Hey Kathleen! I really loved this blog post. I’ve followed you for quite some time on insta but I don’t know if I’ve ever read a blog post of yours. I now know how much I’ve been missing out on!
    This post really spoke to me. I am also in a transitional phase as I recently moved (to NYC!) and started a new job. I work all the time (it seems like) and I don’t have much of a “social life” anymore. A part of me feels like I am drowning and I don’t know how to get to the surface for air. To sum things up, i am a bit lost too. I’ve definitely been leaning on my faith more recently to help show me the way and path forward. I guess I just wanted to share that we are all a bit lost in a way, some more than others. Thanks again for sharing! Also, will definitely check out that Oprah Soul Suundays episode you mentioned in your Insta stories today!
    -LG

  56. Kathleen, I’ve never commented on a post before, but your post moved me to respond. I, like you, moved to a new city (not repeatedly, thank goodness) but leaving a place you consider “home” is hard and heartbreaking. It is the single loneliest thing you can do. And when you said you were waiting for your “real life” to start, it made me cry. I said that same thing for years! I’m much older than you (probably your Mom’s age!) but starting a life in a new place, without any friends or history to that place, puts you behind. My husband was ambitious and wanted to do things in what he considered the “right order” finish school, good job, etc. But all (ALL) my friends married before me, started their families before me and I was jealous! And kind of bitter about it actually! But as things turned out, having my first baby at 30 and my first very own washing machine at 40 was worth the wait. My “real life” turned out to be perfect for me. Waiting for things other people take for granted made me eternally grateful for the things I have now. As my friends started getting divorced just when my “real life” was starting, made me realize that by being patient and creating a life for ourselves away from the familiar, we cemented our relationship in a way that is stronger than most. I’ve found that when you know one person in a new town, you depend on that person (and vice versa) and you need each other in a way that other people can’t understand unless they’ve also had to be tested and survived. I promise you, from the other side (the older side) enjoy your life, these memories will someday be a badge of honor, the thing that you will both laugh about. You’ll also realize, hopefully, that your “real life” was actually pretty great all along, tears and loneliness and all. Even the bad times will be a good memory, I promise!

  57. Thank you for sharing your journey with us when really you don’t have to. You can choose to keep it light and fun and all about what you bought at Nordstroms, and while I love it, I love you being real. Your IG stories are my jam and honestly I was feeling you when you were talking about small living spaces. I am currently in OC originally from the Midwest so the luxury of a yard for my doggies seems like, ‘ugh, hello, am I Beyonce?’ I think you are great and truly see you a real person to connect with! I think you have a wonderful life from what we see and I appreciate your open and honest relationship with your followers. Plus anyone who can freely walk around SF with a cat stroller is just someone I want to be friends with! Thank you for being awesome and bringing life to my midday social media sessions!

  58. I just moved from one state to another and this post mirrors what I’m feeling and going through. I too do not deal well with change. Leaving my friends, my routines, just all familiarity has been tough. This was the reminder I needed to see the good in every day, express gratitude, and practice patience with myself and my growing. Much love to you in your transitional season!

  59. Hi Kathleen! I love your blog and have followed you for a couple of years now, and this post really touched me. I’m in my mid-twenties and I’ve gone through so much change in the last year. My mom passed away unexpectedly last summer, I got engaged and married, and I went from being a full-time student to a full-time employee. A lot of big changes. It can be scary and I often find myself wanting to fast forward through a lot of the hard parts that come with adapting to any new situation, but this encourages me to appreciate every little obstacle as a part of my story and of my life. Thank you <3

  60. Something that I struggle with the most – still working on finding peace with it lol – is that I hate that I have to work so hard for every single thing that I want. I know that probably sounds childish or even pathetic but it is how I feel. It’s hard when I go to the barn to do a riding lesson and see little girls not even fully appreciating what they have (their own horse, multiple lessons a week, etc.) when it’s something I have wanted my entire life and am just now getting. Something that I’ve taken on more jobs (in addition to my full time one) just to afford it. Sometimes I wish I could just catch a break or be like one of those little girls and have at least one thing handed to me.

    I know there’s definitely a better way of looking at it and I just haven’t fully found it yet but I know I need to. So, that’s what I’m struggling with/needing to make peace with lol.

    P.S. We’re moving next week and I HATE MOVING TOO! I’ve never been a fan of change myself either so I fully understand that. P.S. Your post said you’re moving again soon. Where to?!

  61. Your text is coming from my heart and thoughts and I’m also trying to give myself this daily mantra that I just need to be patient in this transitional phase and enjoy the good things, but it’s so hard when every day when you’re waking up something doesn’t feel right as if you’re in the wrong life or didn’t deserve the things others seem to get so easily. Even though your life is great for you it just doesn’t feel that way.
    I’m living in Berlin, Germany and I always had the feeling that I belong to the east coast of the USA and also to the countryside and not a big city. Never the less my job brought me to the city which is also a great job as a buyer for a department store but just not for ME after doing it 2.5 years. I met my wonderful boyfriend here and my biggest wish is to move in together but he’s not ready yet after 1.5 years. So yes waiting on something again. Will he want to move to the States with me one day? Don’t think so? Is my chance for a great life with him better in Berlin and will my dream of living with my love come true? Should I give everything up and move to a cute small town in New England (which is very hard with all the visa stuff but honestly my biggest dream). Everyday those questions and the feeling that I’m wrong here. It’s truly hard to enjoy the beautiful moments that life of course has with this ongoing thoughts in your head. And you always tell yourself you have a great life and other people don’t understand you.
    So yes I totally understand how you feel when you’re ready for something but it’s just not the time for you yet. I’m sure one day our perfectly unperfect life dreams will come true :)! I think it all ends with the feeling of coming home!

  62. Great post.. it’s so interesting how it seems like the grass is always greener on the other side – I would absolutely LOVE to live in San Francisco but can’t afford it, and am totally envious of your fun, loving marriage. It’s a good reminder to try to be grateful for what you have. Change and moving can really suck, but it’s temporary!

  63. I remember as a teenager being SO insecure (but who isn’t in that phase?!), and my mom telling me “there is something beautiful about everyone you meet and there will always be someone wishing ‘I wish I had..’ or, ‘I wish I was more like..'” Looking at your life, I find myself wishing, “I wish my fiance and I could go for dinner and not have to worry about a babysitter.” Or, “I wish we could go on more weekend trips like we used to before our daughter.”Would I trade parenthood for anything? NOPE. Do I find myself envious of pre-parenthood life? YEP. And that’s okay. There is beauty in every life, and in every path we walk down. The best part of being in a transitional phase of life is that it’s transitional. This too shall pass.

  64. Wow, just wow! I so needed to hear this today, girl. It has been feeling like a roller coaster for me this past year with similar thoughts about “my path” versus “other’s path”. As my husband and I approach our third anniversary, we are constantly feeling that pull from others to take a different path. We are just over here trying to enjoy the ride: owning a home, having a beautiful old golden retriever and an old-man kitty cat and working at living our best life together. There have been many teary moments, and it is so good to hear that others are having similar feels. It’s inspiring me to work on gratitude for the “now”. Thank you for your real talk!

    xo, Meredith

  65. This was so nice to read! I have kind of been following in silence for a long time but I just love you and your personality and the fact that you’re a toaster and I just felt very compelled to this story because I am going through a lot of life transition right now too. After graduating college and starting a new job and and moving in with my boyfriend it’s just a lot of growing up and a lot to get used to so posts like this are just so great! Thank you for sharing and I’m hugging you back ❤️

  66. Omygoodness Kathleen…! I’ve been following along on your blog for a while now and am loving it. It’s funny to me that what you’ve been experiencing lately is similar to what I have been going through as well. I recently moved to the East Bay area all the way from North Carolina for my husband’s job. We were California dreaming for a while, but ever since we moved here it has been a challenge in nearly every way. So much so, that we’ve already decided we are going to move back as soon as we are financially ready. We’ve been in a similar transitional period for a while now and I am so tired of it. It was a huge effort to move across the country and knowing that we’re going to do it again is really frustrating. It’s been this huge ordeal that now we want to undo which is slightly embarrassing and feels like a waste of time. Through all of this, my husband and I have realized who we are and what we value in life – each other and slow southern living. It’s been so challenging but we’ve learned a lot and I think we’ll forever cherish NC because of its many comforts and warmth that we had been taking for granted. If you read all of this, thanks! Love your blog and I will forever be a reader! 🙂

  67. Totally needed this post! Sometimes you need to know others are feeling like you are. It’s tough to focus on what you have sometimes. Difficult to focus on being positive but negitive thoughts will bring us down.

    Here’s to your path and living each precious day for what it is 🙂 xx

  68. Kat,
    Sometimes you stumble across something you know in your heart, but really need to hear or see written out. I’ve been struggling with this current season of my life (being married for almost 5 years, building a house, but no kids…yet). It seems like everyone seems to be hitting those “milestones” faster than me, but I know I have to continue to trust the timing of my life. Thank you for being vulnerable, opening up and sharing your feelings. It helps to know I’m not alone.

    -Katie

  69. Posts like these are definitely why you are my favorite blogger. I’ve been doing long distance with my boyfriend for about 2 and 1/2 years now and every time we think we see the finish line, something happens. I’m an attorney so it’s hard for me to move around since I would have to take another bar exam, etc. Plus, I love my current job. My boyfriend is looking for a new job up here, but it’s hard. When we first started dating in law school, we agreed that we would put our careers first for the time being. I didn’t, and still don’t, think that it would be fair for me to narrow his scope or narrow mine before we even got started. We’re definitely still in the “we’ll figure it out” phase – which is fine.

    Most of our friends are now married and have houses, etc. and sometimes I get really jealous of them. We’re both ready to be in the same place, but sometimes it isn’t just as simple as that. I’ve come to peace with the fact that, like you and Christian, our relationship is different and unique from all of our friends. While I sometimes get a little green with envy that my friends can wake up next to (or even just in the same city) as their significant other, I remember that old cliche that life is a marathon, not a sprint. Everyone moves at their own pace and what works for some people won’t work for others. Being long distance for so long just makes the time we do spend together (which is close to once or twice a month) that much more special. I think it’s easy to romanticize things when you’re on the outside looking in, but everyone has their struggles.

    Anyway, sorry for the novel! Keep your head up and love on those sweet animals of yours (that always cheers me up).

  70. Wow, that hiking analogy really got me! I’m newly in a transitional period as well and relate to a lot of what you’re saying, so you’re not alone 🙂

    briana | youngsophisticate.com

  71. “It’s been that kind of season, if you feel me. A season where I’m feeling unlike myself, emotionally delicate, holding my breath for the next mishap that normally I would power through but these days makes me crumble.” THIS. This right here is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately and I think I’ve felt even more frustrated by it because I’ve felt like I’m the only person having to go through a refinement process right now. Usually I’m strong and I don’t let things bother me, I power through (as you said), brush off my shoulders and continue to make it happen. But right now, it seems like every little thing is a big thing that just breaks me down – which is SO unlike me! Thank you, THANK YOU for being so willing to be vulnerable and share your thoughts with us. It has in turn helped me feel not so alone on this journey. xo.

  72. I’m literally in tears right now! This post, your words, the quote you shared… I really needed to read them right now. I’m a 49 year old mom of three working in Corporate America and I feel like I have so many things that I’m about to do (self-publish a YA book I wrote 3 years ago, focus more on my blog, launch a website, etc etc etc) but obstacles always get in the way. 2018 is almost over and I fear that I’m gonna look back on the past 12 months and be pissed at myself for not completing all the things I set out to do at the beginning of the year. I hate that feeling! But your post and your sharing where you’re at in your path reminds me that this is my path. It also reminds me that I should really get moving with my list of to-do’s and to stop thinking that I need to wait for “this” to happen and “that” to be out of my way. This is my life, this is my path. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and making excuses I need to pull my big girl panties up and get moving. 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing. I literally just discovered your blog yesterday from binge-listening to Jenna Kutcher’s podcast (which I also just discovered the day before). 🙂

  73. Oh boy! Did I need to hear this…Currently had a moment where I broke down in the metro in DC in front of my brother who is not as emotional as I was and just didn’t understand my transitional phase.

    I recently moved and I can’t help but say that this transitional move has made me question everything. I moved from the east coast to the west coast, and I can definitely say like you I am not liking it! Am I trying to see some positives, yes! I moved after graduate school, leaving a place I felt like I was showing my best self to a new job and in the midst of a deployment with a new boyfriend who just recently decided he couldn’t reciprocate/dumped me. So I am finding peace with the fact that I am again newly single and completely transitioned on my own, but also with my first visit back to the east coast right now realizing that I need a stent away to make myself miss it. Am I lucky to have a job, roof over my head, and some family members who understand my risk in moving—yes! I am realizing this is jus one step on my new journey though and like you I will feel so grateful when the life that I keep thinking I need to be on meets up with the path I am on.

    Transition is hard and I am thankful that you posted this with all I needed to hear! It is a reminder that I am never alone and while I have never personally met you it showed me that we all have life moments. Thanks for sharing!!!

  74. I feel exactly the same. Comparing my life to friend’s lives, always waiting for my “real life” to start- just after I get that job or (currently) finish our flat renovation. Your husband’s words hit it huge in our house, we are busy smelling the flowers on our way up to the view and there is nothing wrong with that! Thank you very much for this post and reminding us that we aren’t alone in these feelings.

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