‘You never know how good you have had it till it’s gone.’ This common phrase is all too true in my life right now. It’s been one week exactly since Nate and I graduated from college, running, and living in Georgia. I wish I could say that I’m more excited, but honestly, since we’ve been done I have just been so sad. At the start of this year I was SO pumped to get done with everything and move on to the next chapter in life. I felt ready and motivated to face whatever is out there in the ‘real world.’ However, as the months went by and I found myself wanting each day to go by a little slower (side note: I wanted everything except for school to go by slowly… taking 20 credits of hard classes is not something you want to last forever). A weight in my chest started getting heavier and heavier as I realized what was coming. The dreaded …goodbyes.
Goodbye cross country.
Goodbye cute lil’ first apartment in the ‘forest’.
Goodbye crazy thunderstorms.
Goodbye thick green trees and beautiful flowers.
Goodbye visiting Nate in his graduate teacher office.
Goodbye babies that I teach in church.
Goodbye hectic Atlanta.
Goodbye delicious BBQ.
Goodbye being able to do pretty much everything with Nate throughout the day.
Goodbye mild winters.
and worst, very worst and dreaded of all,
Goodbye to my
teammates sisters and brothers.
As I was graduating high school I had my plan set of where & how fast I was going to run, what I was going to major in, and my prestigious occupation that I was going to excel at. I wasn’t going to get married till I was at least 22 and I was sure that my life would only be happy and great if I stuck to my ‘plan’. Well, let me tell you how much of my plan has gone accordingly….none of it. And I am SO happy it didn’t.
I never in a million years would have guessed I was going to graduate from Georgia State University. I never ever thought I would go to 3 colleges within 4 years. I never thought that I was going to meet my husband while working at a running store and get married as a 20 year old. I never thought that I would graduate in Psychology. I never thought…my life would be this amazing.
I don’t think it was by chance that a kid with messy helmet hair literally swept me off my feet and moved me to Georgia. The experiences and people I have met here have impacted and changed my life in so many ways, all for my benefit. Originally when we moved here for Nate’s master’s program I felt like it was a huge sacrifice on my part. But as these two years have gone by, I know for a surety that I was meant to be here just as much, probably even more than Nate was. I have learned how to handle a very hectic, stressful life. I have figured out more about myself and the way I tick. I have grown even deeper and more madly in love. I have learned that it’s okay that I don’t run super fast or obtain all of my goals; that’s not what defines me. I have experienced a totally different culture and lifestyle. I have definitely been pushed out of my comfort zone and been able to adapt. And most importantly of all, I have gained a whole new family; my best friends; my teammates; my GSU panthers.
Words cannot even describe how much I love the girls (and guys) on my team. From the first time I met them and they all greeted me with big smiles and hugs I knew that there was something special about this team. These past 2 years have solidified that. The bond that this team has is deep, genuine, and definitely unique. There is something almost sacred about the bonds you create with your teammates as you help each other push beyond physical and mental limits. Then when you add the hours of locker room chats, cold showers, long bus rides, jokes and giggles during stretching and drills, dreading pool runs, getting ripped in the weight room, freezing to death in the ice bath, trying to be somewhat normal and hanging out on the weekends, and constantly supporting and cheering for each one another in all life endeavors, you have a recipe for an amazing team. Leaving these girls has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I know that most of you will read this, so I hope you all realize how much you have blessed my life and made me a better person. I might not physically be there anymore, but I will always be ready for a phone call, text or skype 🙂 Remember to “focus on this one, the last one will take care of itself” “stay relaxed” and to always “Eat em’ up!” I love y’all so much!
As Nate and I pull out tomorrow I will probably shed a few more tears. Georgia has been so incredibly good to us. I am going to miss it. I am excited to be closer to family and for Nate to be coaching at Southern Utah University. I know that we have a lot in store for us. So unlike when I graduated high school…to heck with my ‘plan’! Bring on the unknown! We are ready.
Here are some pictures of whirlwind of stuff we have been up to lately:
|At the Athletic Banquet|
|CAA Conference Championship Steeple!|
|My former young woman leader, Ellen (and her awesome family), came and watched my race! It was so good seeing her.|
|My amazing parents 🙂|
|Mrs. Houle: Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology
Mr. Houle: Master’s of Science in Exercise Physiology
So blogger is being stupid and won’t let me upload the last few pictures…. Nate’s parents came to the race and graduation too (thanks Kirk and Kim!) & we went to Washington D.C. for a night 🙂