This will be my last week as a resident of Northern Ireland. Come this Saturday, I am moving out of my rental house and on to my next adventure. After almost exactly six months here, I feel like it is definitely time to move on. But before I do so, I think it is worth reflecting on my time here, both the good and the bad, and all things I have learned.
Six signs of stress: weight gain, unhealthy skin, caffeine addiction, bleeding gums, heartburn, body aches. I have all six.
My weight is the highest in years. My skin is suffering from terrible, ongoing acne. My energy is gone and my sleep patterns a mess. My exercise routine is non-existent. My mood is terrible. And my life has become a series of never ending to do lists.
In moments of confusion and apprehension we seek clarity. At times even those we love cannot help. In my longing and loss, I searched my heart but found only conflict. I sought wisdom, understanding and clarity in the cards.
What I found was a sense of peace, of calm, of connection.What I found was heart-breaking. What I found I know to be true in my heart. What I found is only one of the many, many futures that exist.
My skin has always been an issue. I’ve experienced varying degrees of acne since adolescence and it has always had a big impact on my self esteem. The times when my skin is clear, I feel healthier, happier and more confident. When my skin is flaring up, I simply want to hide inside alone. I’ve tried many, many different treatments including expensive brand-name creams & washes, dangerous pharmaceuticals, and any ‘oil-free, dermatologically-tested, non-pore-clogging’ fad product I could get my hands on. Nothing has ever completely taken care of the issue but certain times in my life have been better or worse.
I am not a team player. I do not respond well to instructions. I am not athletic, graceful or keen eyed. But none of that stopped me from taking tennis lessons.
Shiny. Bathed-in-light. Happy. Perfect.