Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Better than before

Something about leaving made me want to bless the next tenants. My cynical mind went right to, "managers just gonna rip 'em out!" because its been an uphill battle trying to leave with good graces between our manager and us. That story shall be told another day. Anway, I persevered and decided that no matter what the managers decide to do I have a responsibility to God and to my own well being. 
So I took my beautiful and beloved mums which have thrived and are soon to bloom and planted them along the fence. I wish I remembered what colors they were so I could attempt to landscape them properly but alas, they'll be beautiful no matter what. 
And with dirt under my nails and sweat on my brow I leaned back and thought, "I should have had these here when I lived here. " and that is EXACTLY how I want to leave. 
With things better than they were when I moved in....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

In this moment (take 2)

When I was young I made the mistake of thinking things never changed and that goodbyes weren't necessary. I never said goodbye because in my precious little world goodbyes weren't a part of them. 

I left my childhood home and never said goodbye. I didn't take my beautiful best friend and lifesaver in so many ways face in my hands and look her in the eyes and say, "I wanna thank you. Thank you for helping to shape me for who I am. Thank you for laughing with me at life and into life. Thank you for being by my side through thick and thin. For crying with me in break ups and being loyal when no one else was. Thank you for sitting by me in junior high when no one else would and lets be honest I didn't deserve anyone too! Thanks Sarah for being my best friend. And things are about to change and we're gonna change but I'll always love you and I'll always consider you one of the most influential people's in my life. Thank you." 
That's what 18 year old Joanna would say. But 18 year old Joanna thought life and people would stay the same. 

So now I am taking the time to appreciate and love the little things from California. I'm taking California's face in my hands this week and looking into it's eyes and telling it that things are gonna change... But that I'll always love it and be grateful for the time we had together. 

Here's part of how I said goodbye to Japan... I always thought I'd go back and maybe I will... But here's the goodbye I wrote the night before I left.


I really don't like goodbyes.

I'm terrible at them. I either don't cry or I cry too much.  I either am laughing and making it seem like it won't tear my heart a bit to leave OR I'm blubbering too much, snot dripping down my face and people are wondering if I'm going to be okay.

I do not like goodbyes.

There is so much to say and to do... so many last moments and before I know it they have all passed me by and I didn't relish in the beauty of those moments.


Life has not happened like I thought it would.  It has been harder in ways I couldn't have predicted and a HUGE blessing in other ways.

I have lived in California longer than any other place minus my childhood home.  Isn't that crazy?  It's a bit sad to me to be honest.  I didn't think I would be in California for a long time and I had a hard time adjusting so I pretty much rebelled against putting down any sort of roots for the first two (maybe more) years.  But then life happens. And babies happened.  And plural amounts of babies were not part of my plan.  Thank the Lord because I am forever changed and blessed by them.  But in the unpredictability of said plural amounts of Love Bugs I was in a good way forced to put roots down and appreciate the little roots that had grown in my heart without my knowing.

And I prayed at the beginning that I would cry leaving this place because although I couldn't see it and didn't think it would happen, I wanted to be sad to leave the place that was so hard to get used to.  I've never felt like such a foreigner in my own land and never so out of place and out of sync and like... a nerd in a place quite like I have living in California.

California has dug up the ugly parts of my heart and for that I hated it.

But now I am sad to be leaving it.  Weird, how that happens huh?

California, thank you for changing me.