Each location and region that we visited held different gems to discover; from ancient stories of civilization to family-owned businesses, we were able to meander cities, farms, vineyards, and coastlines to better understand what makes Italy, Italy.
I am still processing the wonder, the beauty, and the magic of that day.
Sorting through my writings and drawings again felt like getting to know the little me; ever sunny, ever positive, and ever obsessed with animals. It was good for the soul.
“So, tell me, in your life what has been the lesson that has taken the longest to learn?”
6 months to go - I can hardly believe it. There is still much to be done, yet, I feel so joyful at all that we have created and all that will come together this August. My heart is full.
I am a writer – and so when it’s hard to do, I allow myself to trust the process and carry it me where it needs to go. This never fails. Honestly. Even with writer’s block, there’s always something I can bring forth in my heart, soul, and mind and express it on paper. Writing is magical like that.
As I look to 30 and the next season of life, I see hope. I yearn for more ways to make a difference in the world and to always seek personal growth and become the woman I am supposed to be. I want to continue to write, to continue to seek adventures, and to continue to promote love in a world that desperately needs it. I hope to do this with boldness and humility, knowing that my journey now could not be without the journey that has come before.
There is something about watching love manifest between two people, especially in their interactions. It is both inspiring and soothing.
When I am with God, everything is in balance. Everything is with perspective. And, any thoughts I have (positive or otherwise) feel exquisitely simple and yet equally profound. It is as though my spirituality is full of reminders of love, yearnings for compassion, and fierce dedication to hope. All of this, without any of my own internal baggage. It is quite nice.
Mostly, summer reminds me to breathe, relax, and just enjoy the existence of, well, life.
So, what, in this context does healing look like?
For me, it has been about confronting the pain, sitting in silence, recognizing the hurt (non-judgmentally), and taking power back over it. Just trying to identify what I feel in any given moments has been annoyingly slow (to be honest). But also, as I have been able to do this, I can move closer to a radical acceptance of myself.
Let us bring our identities from God, through God, and to God, with hearts full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control and all good fruits that remind the world that being gay and being Christian are just one parts of a diverse fabric of God’s people.
I want to be a counselor because I want to help people understand their lives better, to know themselves, and most importantly, to know they matter and that healing is possible. I want to be a counselor because I believe that this service is too often inaccessible for many people in our society. I want to equip individuals with the mental help and wellness they may need.
I want to create a safe space – even if it is the smallest of spaces.
This year, I've learned some important things, and I feel motivated to share. The truth is, we're all always learning - can you see it? Can you notice it? Do you allow it to change you? It's in these places that we grow and we can become consistently, fully ourselves.
You see, the path for my brother was not and has not been easy. He has had to overcome challenges that I could not dream of facing. And yet, he has survived.
There is no list to follow, there is no how-to-guide. Instead, moving in with another person is about knowing yourself, knowing your partner, and knowing where you are headed. This takes a lot of self-awareness, faith, and gusto – not just for the first few months, but for the long haul. Sharing your life is a big deal. Let’s not forget that.