If you haven’t caught wind yet, we moved back to Oregon. 

I started this blog because I wanted a place where I could be honest in a way that I felt like my social media and small talk was lacking. To go against the grain of all that was sparkly and shiny in my life and say, “yah, my life is hard and flawed and a mess but still beautiful” instead of just, “my life is beautiful”. 

So in honor of truth telling, I sit here being the first to say I didn’t want to come back to Oregon and I’ve been all sorts of weepy, depressed, and pathetic because of the move. I really thought I was made of stronger stuff, but turns out the strong stuff in me was only as strong as my belief in it. The moment I didn’t believe was the moment the strong stuff caved in on itself. 

On special occasions Bobby and I always do some sort of reflection and goal setting. Together we look back at what was hard and good, what we could improve on, what we grew in, what we learned, and what we hope for in the future. So on the 2nd anniversary of Bobby’s business, we sat down in a booth with no clue that after that meal we were going to decide to move back to Oregon a whole year and a half sooner than we had originally thought. It was a mutual decision based on what we thought was best for us and Bobby’s business in the long run. But even still, leaving San Diego felt like uprooting all the good that had grown there for me and facing all the dark and scary that had existed in Oregon before we moved. 

I basically have been crying ever since. You know, the sadness where you are penciling in your cries? “Okay, right when I wake up I can step in the shower and cry, then after lunch I can step away when no one will notice and get a good sob out, which will lead nicely into my weepy, beggy 'God wtf are you doing?' cry while brushing my teeth before bed”. It’s scary how high functioning a sad person can be. 

I was/am sometimes still fighting against the decision to be back in Oregon. Partly because San Diego is more my groove and Oregon is a lot less my groove. But mostly because I’m scared. Scared of all the times I ended up in the bad, scary place of depression here. Scared of how often my emotions follow the weather and how many damp, cold, dark days Oregon has in general. Scared of how stress had been a thick layer around my life here and how many times I had been in survival mode because of it. Scared of losing the growth that had flourished in San Diego for me and scared that the version of Ciara I had found in San Diego isn’t going to survive here. Fear is such a bitch.

So I wrote a list of things I was going to fight for in Oregon, with the mindset that I wasn't going to give up the happy, full life I had in San Diego. I was going to fight for the happiness and fullness to carry over into Oregon; caving in on myself because of all the sadness, darkness, and nasty weather was not an option this time. Those things ended up being hobbies, people, and goals that I knew if I fought for them would make me feel fuller, happier, and more myself. Sometimes they feel hard to add to my routine, or incredibly selfish to plan my day around, but they have been lifelines that have been pumping back into my weary heart, "it's okay, you're going to be okay, just keep breathing". It kind of feels like I'm offering pieces of me back to myself, which seems like really important business in a season of change. It looks like putting myself out there by going to new yoga classes and breathing deep, jogging around the block not for cardio but to be outside and remember I'm alive and my body is a freaking miracle, petting a lot of my neighbors dogs, talking on the phone every single day with friends and family, baking treats, going to counseling, and singing Disney songs in the shower until the hot water runs out...just because I'm an adult and I can. 

With all of the change it has felt like a lot is unstable, which has made me feel unstable. I have all these raw emotions I'm carrying around with me and my life feels like a constant coping process. I've pendulum swung from belief in the path we are taking and the peace we have to complete hopelessness and doubt in our decision one too many times. I've realized after going back and forth, back and forth that when everything feels unstable, doubt creeps in like a ninja that wants to f*** with your belief. 

The strong stuff in me is only as strong as my belief in it.

Aren't we all fighting? Against doubt, despair, hopelessness? Aren't we all trying to not cave in ourselves and breathe a little deeper, get outside a little more often and realize we are alive and this life is a freaking miracle? It's hard and it sucks sometimes, but miracle nonetheless. The truth is, when I cry it out, shake it off, and get up, still all I can say is I believe.

I believe in the God who makes the stars sing. I believe in the God who envelopes me when I cry. I believe in the God who paints sunsets over the land and whispers "this is for you". I believe that with every form of death there has to be life. I believe in unwrapping every moment the power, love, and sound mind that God says are my gifts from Him. I believe in universal love that sees every person as a person. I believe in a future  that goes beyond time, flesh, and our imagination; that is so unknown and yet somewhere deep in the pockets of our soul we remember. Eternity. I believe that my hands, my voice, my feet are God's creation and ultimately His to use as He sees fit. 

Belief is the beginning of hope for me. I feel less convinced of a lot of things, but regardless I believe. I'm pretty sure with this whole belief thing that less is more. The less you are convinced of, the more you understand - the more you believe. I'm not convinced of many things these days. Logic doesn't get to play in this campground. Just peace, hope, and belief.