I started this blog almost 4 years ago when I found out I would be moving to Oklahoma for work. I titled it “Just OKaleigh” as a play on how Oklahoma is “Just OK,” and listed the tagline as “Tracking my transition from Texas to OOOklahoma.”
But it’s been 3 years since I settled into the state. My license is updated, my plates are Oklahoma registered, and I’ve even reported for jury duty. Daniel and I now own a gym (#PureHealthPerformance) and it looks like we’re pretty established, at least for the foreseeable future. So I feel like it’s time to drop the “transition” and accept that I’m (at least geographically) an Okie. The new tagline sports a more accurate representation of this blog to me–
“Documenting life, love, thoughts, and adventures for the wild Wests”
It’s a strange sensation feeling settled. When I moved here originally, my thought was that I would live here a few months and then try to get transferred to Houston. Once I took my first role here, I still felt temporary, as if my life would at any point just pick me up and fly me away. I can’t say that things have completely changed–I still oftentimes feel very temporary–but at some point I started calling this place “home.”
For those of you who are new to this blog, you may not know that I have a tendency for feeling uneven. I spent this last week feeling anxious and saddened without much cause and that left me pondering what I could possibly need in my perfect life. The combination of dissatisfaction muddled with guilt over how lucky I am left me in a funk, but my very dear friend, Luke, brought me back with his kind words.
“People like you have a constant hunger,” he said. “Hunger for knowledge, adventure, and growth. And when you hit a plateau in that journey, it can throw your entire earth off-axis.
You are exactly where you need to be in this moment. And there is so much change for you yet to do here.”
I am a restless person. I spent a very large portion of my childhood/early adulthood trying to fight this urge by avoiding the thoughts that hurt my heart and by focusing on responsibility. I worked long and hard to “outgrow” being sensitive and emotional by focusing on the logic in a scenario. I made good grades to go to a good college to get a good job and have a good life. But I never really prepared for what I would do once I got there.
These last 3 years have provided me a lot of insight as to who I am as a person. I’ve been in one place long enough to realize that I share my mother’s wandering heart and her intense desire for change. It’s stifling, suffocating, and claustrophobic, that feeling, but I’m reminded that all feelings have a purpose. They are not to be stuffed down or avoided, but instead give you a better understanding of yourself and the people around you. I have come to love and appreciate my sensitive heart, even if that means it spends most of the time broken. That’s empathy–and that’s an okay thing to have.
This last week has forced me to re-evaluate my heart. Why do I feel the need to change so badly?
I had an amazing lunch with my friend Allie last week where we talked about insecurities that left me feeling so understood and at peace. I told her about how I love and appreciate that I am a little eccentric, but I can’t help but feel like I’m standing on the outside sometimes, especially at certain social events. I’m constantly feeling like that “weird girl” when my passions don’t align with the things everyone else seems to have in common. My husband is always reminding me that my feeling of “outsidedness” is a sign of my authentic self. And if my authentic heart is a “weird girl” heart, then I simply need to nurture the amazing relationships I have with people who share similar passions and not worry about the rest.
So maybe it is time for a change in my life. I’ve spent a lot of time focusing my energy in wasted space and need to instead focus on developing in the areas that bring me joy. This blog is one of them.
I hope you’ll join me for this wild ride. I expect great things are to come.