Settling into myself

The past seven weeks, I’ve had to learn how to settle into myself.

Being away from home – from everything, and everyone I know well, leaves you with few other options. You either find your path, or you despair; reminded that the support of the beams that raised you have also shaped you, and contained you.

Learning how to occupy a new space, a new city, and then call it yours, is a feat for the brave, the young at heart, the daring. Or, for the overconfident extrovert.

The first weeks were exhilaratingly uncomfortable, and excitingly terrifying.

I’m past that now – I feel at home, I have a routine, I don’t get lost on the metro, and I’ve found my circle of people.


But the summer has begun fleeting, just as I’ve found my rhythm. Three weeks from now I will be in New York City, then on to Montreal. Then home in Oklahoma City for three weeks – then Germany for four months.

*a long, deep breath*

The thoughts humming underneath the traffic of my head wonder:

What have I done? How will I start from scratch again, but this time, in a new country?

I’ve begun drafting plans, idea maps, lists and references to look at when I’m in Germany. What will I need to remember, where do I need to go to settle in, again?

The list of newfound, little wisdoms looks like this:

  • Potlucks bring friends together naturally. Good food whets good conversation, and a weekly gathering to look forward to breaks monotony in our schedules. New friends are abundant in the big city. Keep them around by sharing a meal with them.


  • Community gardens are magical places where good people congregate like honeybees to a flowerbed. Find one, keep showing up.


  • The habits you thought died were actually just dormant; stressors wake them up like sleeping giants. Be vigilant with your mental health (waking up two months deep into destructive habits that you were semi-consciously partaking in isn’t something you want to grapple with when you’re trying to soak up the world).


  • Biking is the most beautiful and most pure form of transportation. A bicycle is a tool as much as it is a conduit for adventure and enjoying nature.


  • Creativity, where you can find it, is a cool breath of relief from eight hours under a fluorescent-lit ceiling. If that means journaling during your lunch hour, or picking up the guitar before bed, find your own best way to create.


  • Checking in with the muse each morning and night is so nourishing – it should not be rushed through, or skipped. Ten minutes of sitting and breathing with yourself adds to your patience and diminishes anxieties.



  • Your goals should always be of growth, not of shrinking. Shaming your own body, and tearing down your own confidence will never bring you goodness. Where’s the strength, power, health, or wisdom in self suppression? I will love and invest in my vibrant, thriving, health and growth.


At the essence of each lesson I’ve learned, and each part of myself I’ve got to meet here, being gracious and flexible has offered the most reward. Unwavering stiffness, in routine or thought, has never served me here. This city has taught me that, deeply.


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