Wednesday, December 9, 2015

bloom where you're planted

written by Caity

A theme we decided to have in this blog has been "bloom where you're planted", and I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately..

I remember when we first moved to Philadelphia we had high hopes and a lot of optimism. We lived in a funky neighborhood, Brad had a cool job, we were kind of "on our own" in a new place for the first time. We were excited.

Then we got sued by a cyclist for scratching him when he ran a light and grazed our car, got our car mirror smashed in by some hellions, realized the overall filthiness of the city, were smothered by the humidity and no central air, were harassed by our landlord, and were unable to find parking on our tiny one way street. Ever. 

We lost steam really quickly. We thought living in Philly would be a type of "New York lite" experience for us. City life, but less expensive, and more car friendly. But all it did was seem to be against us all the time, and always fall short of expectations we'd had from living close to New York. We started to really dislike Philadelphia. 

The seasons changed and we were able to find a new apartment near the park to rent, with parking. We made some dear friends who raised our spirits even in the hardest times. Without the constant stress of being prisoner to parking spaces and a naggy landlord, we were suddenly able to deal with the stress of having a husband that works at a start-up. We took full advantage of living near the park and spent every spare second we could soaking it up. I regained my sanity walking through the woods in that back every single day. We gazed out our windows at the beautiful spring flowers that bloomed outside. Our attitudes and hearts changed. 

Our short time in Philadelphia was hard, but I remember rocking Bea to sleep at night, looking out the window at our beautiful trees, thinking, "Life is so good. Our life here is precious."

Philadelphia didn't change. It's still dirty, people are still prickly, it's still hard to get around. But I have only the fondest memories of living there. The first months were hard but as our attitudes changed, and we decided to bloom where we were planted, our time there was wonderful and such a sweet season of our lives. Leaving after only a year was hard. But it was a lesson to me to start sooner. To enjoy my life wherever I end up and not to wait too long to do it. Time is precious. Too precious to waste on negative feelings and wishing for the past, and the comfortable. I learned that I need to exit my comfort zone to find a new, even sweeter comfort zone, and to enjoy it while I can because it could be gone all too soon. Living in Philadelphia was not easy, but I learned such valuable lessons; it was one of the most important years of my life. I hope I can always remember to hit the ground and bloom where I'm planted as quickly as I can. Life’s too short not to.

some snapshots from one of the most enlightening springs of my life:

around the corner from our house

from my walks in the woods

all of this, RIGHT outside my kitchen window!

our beautiful philly front yard

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