East Lansing, MI. Septemeber 2019.
I’m going back to Spain tomorrow. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m really excited about going back and while I am excited, I wouldn’t say it’s of the ‘really’ variety. Mostly, it feels like going back to school for my sophomore year. I was excited to go back to the Hill and see all of my friends again. Excited about college in that way that feels like it’s the coolest thing you’ll ever do while you’re doing it even though it isn’t. I was glad to know my way around the place and have a handle on the institution. But, the experience wasn’t totally new so I wasn’t enthralled by it in the same way I was that first time we drove up to campus when I was finally able to see the clocktower from the road and the whole world was new.
I know what I’m going back to in Spain. I’m heading back to the same apartment, town, and community of people. Sure, some things are new like I have another school to teach at this year and I’ll have more private lesson students, but I don’t anticipate those small changes upending the whole experiment.
I say experiment because beyond just making sense for my life, moving to Spain has been an experiment in doing for myself—first. I’d give myself a grade on the last year, except I’ve moved past judging myself. I do know things I plan to do differently this time around. I’ve set my intentions. I know what I want the next year of my life to feel like.
I use the language of “feel like” instead of “goals” because goals box me in too much. They lead me to behave in very black and white ways when really the world is so crazy gray. And that gray space is the world I want to live in, for myself, in my head. I want to be more accommodating for how life shows up. I no longer desire to be a person of extremes.
Maybe my life is less about being good or bad and just about being what it is. Holding multiple ideas in tension, in space, in conversation at the same time. Less polarization, more balance. I’m speaking about myself here. My little corner of the world. My locus of control. Judging myself and everything around me less just makes for a calmer, happier Gabrielle.
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
- Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
It’s been so important for me to learn to trust in God again over the last year. It’s been so important for me to learn to trust in myself again over the last year. I’m sure a big part of both was thriving in another country, a continent away for 10 months.
I just had to make up my mind—about the person I was going to be, how I was going to be in relationship with God, myself and others, how I would take care of and the experiences I wanted to cultivate for myself.
My words for 2019 have been unencumbered creation. I thought they would manifest in all of these creative and professional projects. But where they’ve shown up is in the unencumbered creation of myself, this current model.
I designed myself. I chose the person you “see” today. And I’m really, really happy about how she’s turning out, coming into being.
All this to say that I believe we always have a choice (in most situations, some things are just truly out of our control). We have choices about what we chose to keep our minds on. We have choices about the energy we allow around us. We have choices about who we give our energy to. We have choices about what we eat, how we sleep, what and where we give our time to. We have choices. And ideally, what we choose leads us to some next, higher plane, some more beautiful version of ourself, our world.
What will you choose for your higher self, for that next person you want to be today?
Me? I choose to stay in this perfect peace. I choose to go home to Spain tomorrow. I choose to unapologetically focus in on my priorities for this season. I choose to guard my heart, for everything I do flows from it. Most of all, I choose to stay excited about life, even when, if, and maybe because things won’t always go how I’ve planned. Maybe Spain will be a mess. Maybe I’ll regress back to where I was before starting and growing through therapy. Maybe I’ll lose touch with God and myself. Maybe, but I doubt it. I’ve got this thing called faith now. And it’s grounded, no pie in the sky ideas about life and love. I’m all about being realistically optimistic.
Time and time again, I’ve seen that if I operate from a place of peace and joy, eventually no matter what I perceive as having been taken away, life will give me those back. There’s always a blessing in the storm, even if sometimes it’s just making it to the other side.
love and more love + some vibes for the ride. see you in October.
to be continued…
P.S. If you got sunny. on Amazon, do me a favor and leave a review? Thanks in advance!