Good heavens it’s been a while since I’ve written. You know that this is my space where I process through my deepest struggles, and to be honest, things have been pretty dang good. So I haven’t written.
Well, we have a fun update that I can’t wait to share! One of Andrew’s long time friends is a big time produce in LA. Her name is Maggie and she’s a stud. She works at MGM, and one fateful day she showed her boss our video that explains why we’re doin’ this whole nomad thing. Next thing you know Maggie is calling us and sayin’ that she wants to do an online show about us! When I first heard, my first thought was, “Why??” Haha, I get so caught up in Ellen world that I start to think that my life is pretty simple and boring. I drink my coffee, go on hikes, do my yoga, play with my dogs, fawn over Andrew, not a lot of drama.. Well, good thing there are experts out there that can make my life seem interesting. So! We’re doin’ this! This is happening. Oh my soul.
The film crew (who, from my internet stalking, look like really awesome guys) are meeting us at my sister’s house where we park Gertie for the holidays. Then we’re headed to our beloved Big Bend, and they’re coming along for the ride! You know me and I need time to process, so I’ve been going on my long long walks and just thinkin’. And thinkin’ and thinkin’.
Here’s the deal, as you know, this past year has been tough. Money was tight, big plans fell through, Andrew and I ate a lot and I drank a lot of wine, and were totally fighting depression. If for some reason, you want more details on this drama, you can read here and here. Yet through the whole time, Andrew and I would talk and I kept saying, “I don’t know what, but I feel strongly that the Lord is preparing us for something.” Seriously, I said it all the time. Then this show idea started making shape, and I realized, this is it. I’m not saying that my whole life is culminating in this show, but I can say that if you tried to put a camera in my face last year, I would have been a blubbering mess.
I feel very strongly that we do not suffer in vain. We do not go through struggles pointlessly. If you can pull away from the immediate drama, you can see that you are growing through you hurt, that there is a greater, grander perspective that reaches beyond your limited view. There is a story that is unfolding day by day. A beautiful story. Even when you’re in it, even when you’re in the grind, rushing kids to doctor appointments, making dinner, folding yet another basket of clothes, there is a current that is flowing that is leading you forward. What you do is important. Even the little things.
It was hard for me to tap into this current when we were in the thick of the battle. But then I would bust out my old Bible and read about another story that is greater than mine, yet touches mine on a daily level.
When we start to view life through this lens, the everyday grind has meaning. We come in contact with people all the time, and our life weaves with theirs, even if it’s just for a moment. Our life, our story, impacts others.
Andrew does this thing. Every time we go through the check out line, be it at Target or Whataburger, Andrew seeks to connect with the person taking care of us. Especially if he can tell they are having a bad day. He makes it his personal mission to make their day better. He just keeps asking question after question to, in our brief interaction, encourage them to open up. He tells awkward jokes that are not funny. He makes eye contact, and by the end, I have seen time after time, complete strangers transform.
I can get so busy, so in my head, and let’s be honest, I’m like the most introverted person ever, so watching this unfold has started to change me. Our lives intersect with others all the time. I want to be like him and seek out connection.
I think that the biggest most pervasive issue in our country that no one is talking about is mental health. It is still completely taboo. People are unsatisfied and wanting more. People are hurting.. merely surviving. I did it for most of my life. Once I made the decision to be bold about my own mental health struggle, I’ve seen walls come down. People were dying to open up about their own issues. It was so freeing for me and I’ve seen that in others.
I’ve said it a million times, one of the biggest battles with mental health is feeling that you are all alone. No one can relate. You are living in the world, but do not feel part of it. You feel disconnected and trapped. I’ve been through some drama in my life, I’ve made some hard decisions, but one of the most daring things I’ve ever done is choosing to open up and be vulnerable with people. I’ve seen it disarm even the most closed off person. When you choose to connect with others, truly connect, people will respond.
I have no idea what this show will look like, all I know is I feel prepared. I’ve gone through quite a process to lead me to this place. I spent years hiding my bipolar struggle, fighting to get through the day all on my own, fighting my thoughts and being paralyzed by my issues. Once I got it in my head, that I will never stop being bipolar, I will always struggle, things started to change. I’ve realized I have a choice in the matter. I can run to wine, close myself off from the world or I could choose to fight. I can make changes in my life that impact my mental health. I can change my coping tools, I can change my diet, I can move away from the city, embrace my restlessness and live a simple life on the road.
Mental health is a day by day choice. Mama always said, “It’s an explanation, not an excuse.” She also said, “I can’t control my emotions, but I can control what I do with them.” I had to fully embrace my darkest parts, not run from them. And only by confronting my issues, can I grow from them.
Again, I have no idea how this show will turn out, or if many people will even view it, but I can say that I feel ready. I’m ready to be open and real. I’m ready to laugh and frolic through fields. I’m ready to put my heart out there and connect. Stay tuned yall, it will be quite a ride!