Time is ticking down.  Today marks 24 days until we leave this place. It's so weird.  When we first made it out here together, everyday we were away from our family and friends in Virginia felt like an eternity.  I had a panic attack or two from the personal stress I felt in being away from everyone and everything I'd ever known.  Now those intense feelings of separation anxiety seem like a distant memory.  [Don't get me wrong, we're still longing to get closer to family.]  

It's kind of comforting to know how resilient we are and how capable we are of growing and adapting.  It's comforting to know that I love my family and I have the freedom to live near them, but that I'm also perfectly capable of living far from them and not just surviving, but thriving in many ways I never would've had the opportunity to otherwise.  It's comforting to know that I've found someone to share my life with who is willing to stick with me even when life is really hard and especially when I'm really difficult to love.

Neal and I have discovered so much about ourselves, about how we love, about how we need to be loved.  This experience has allowed us the freedom to decide for ourselves what our marriage will be like both now and in the future. How we "do life" is up to us.  I'm not sure we would've felt that total freedom if we would've stayed in Virginia. 

Excuse me if I get sentimental and sappy over the next few weeks.  This all just comes from a place of being extremely reflective.  While we are thrilled to be moving home in 24 days, we're also terribly sad to leave behind so many people, places, and experiences that we have come to treasure.  As "one", since we've been married, this is the only place we've known.  It's going to be rough leaving it behind, but we're beyond grateful for all the growth and joy we've gotten out of this place and I pray that in the years to come, that is what we cling to.  Joy and growth.


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