August 23, 2016

Dearest Future Self,

August is almost over, I repeat, August is almost OVER. This is absolutely crazy!!
For the past two (or so) months Jarryd and I have been planning my family's trip out to Maryland; most of our energy has gone into anything and everything relating to their visit from  grocery lists, to bed/sleeping situations, itinerary, activities, places to see, and what baked-goods to make.

You spend all of the days leading up to their arrival just planning like crazy--striving for it to be perfect; and then after they leave you say to yourself, "hmm, now what? My brain is oddly quiet right now".

I doubt most people get as excited about their parents' visiting as I did this last time around. The last time I saw them was at Christmas and that was up in Canada! So this time, they flew all the way out here to beautiful Maryland. I'm tellin' you, it is SO cool when your two worlds collide (those being my Canadian world and my American world).
FINALLY my family got to see our new apartment and just see how we live our life here in general. The last time they were out here in Maryland, Jarryd and I had been married a little over a month, so that hardly even counted. We weren't "settled in" at all!

They left to go back home to Canada on Sunday and ever since then I've just felt nothing but thankfulness. I mean, I'm thankful to God all the time for my life, but recently it's been an overwhelming thankfulness. Being with my family again reminded me of how blessed I am to have been raised by two of the most amazing people I've ever known. Through them, God has given me an incredible 25 years of life, experiences, and adventures.

Everytime I look back at photos of myself that were taken on all my adventures in Canada, Europe, USA, ect, I try to read my face as best as I can; I look for any indication, ANY slight indication at all that I'm grasping just how good I have it. So often I want to go back in time, stand before myself, reach out and shake my own shoulders screaming, "do you know how amazing your life is right now?! I don't think so because I remember when this photo was taken and how you weren't actually very happy at the time. Jenny, you are crazy for ever NOT being happy!".

Sigh. I see pictures of myself standing with all of my best friends and wish I knew then that I was probably never going to be in the same room with all of those wonderful people at one time again. I wish I knew then how lucky I was to have so many friends who lived just a few minutes from my house. Nowadays, making friends isn't so simple.

I see pictures of myself lying on the grass on our old farm and wish I knew then that one day I'd be living in an apartment situated between 4 major U.S cities, longing to have that much space to roam again. I often wonder if I'll ever have that much peace and privacy to myself ever again.

I see pictures of myself at my high school graduation and wish I knew then what an amazing chapter of life I was going through. I had finally graduated and I literally could go anywhere and be anything that I wanted to be--and all I wanted to do was rush through it. It's sobering to think how every single choice I made back then was so crucial and life-altering.

If I never would have felt so career-oriented and brave I never would have gone to University in B.C. If I never would have felt so longingly for a change in scenery/way of life/school dynamic I never would have gone to Germany for Bible school.
If I never would have felt so passionate about continuing my degree in Christian ministry I never would have gone to Bible school in Saskatchewan.
If I never would have had my own kitchen in my dorm room there where I realized how much I actually enjoyed cooking and baking I never would have applied to Culinary School in Ontario.
If I never would have met Jarryd during my time in Germany and committed to long-distance dating and later said yes marriage, I would have never moved to Maryland, US.
If I never would have moved to Maryland, I don't think I'd ever appreciate the beauty of friendship the way I do now. I don't think I'd realize how warm, friendly, and welcoming my home country of Canada really is. I don't think I'd fully appreciate to the extent that I do now, how wonderful it was growing up in a Christian community surrounded by a huge support system of friends and family. I don't think I'd truly appreciate how fantastic it is to meet a person so friendly and genuine, and to realize how infrequent these types of people come around (so when you meet one, make sure you hold onto them).

All of these choices and decisions I made based on feeling "at-peace" with it all, have led me to this place: 25 years old, married for over 2 years, living in an entirely different country, working as a cook, exploring the beautiful country of the US of A, and sharpening my baking skills by doing cake/cupcake orders. Sometimes I STILL can't believe where I'm at right now!

I bet, in 5 years I'm going to look back at this moment, this memory, and say to myself, "you had it SO good Jenny. Your life was incredible at 25. How could you not have been truly happy?"

And my future self is right! There's something exciting about where Jarryd and I are at right now. It's just the two of us, no kiddos yet, and no careers that have the "power" to keep us tied down to hanging our hats in one specific area. Truthfully, we could pack up and move anywhere right now. If we really wanted, we could hand in our two-weeks-notices at work tomorrow and pack up and move within the following weeks. We could live anywhere we want to. It's exciting and nerve-wracking and overwhelming and thrilling! To think, this time next year we could be living in another town, another state, or another COUNTRY even! OR, we could just be in this exact same spot a year from now, here in Maryland (which...truthfully...doesn't give me any butterflies whatsoever, haha!).

God places us right where He wants us, doesn't he? It's only a matter of opening your ears to what He has in mind. Right now we're just praying for wisdom and discernment. Praying to be active in our faith and to be aware of all opportunities He lays out for us. We're exploring our options and trying to grow in Christ in the meantime.

So dearest future self (30-year-old Jenny), I'm here to tell you in August of 2016, I am truly happy and am truly thankful. I have it so good, and I don't have it good because of anything that I've done, but because of what God has done! :) <3

No comments:

Post a Comment