Monday, September 1, 2014

Missing Asheville: A Little Sad. Validating Our Own Feelings

"I do love Bend. So much about it...the quality of life, the people, the fact that everything I need is within a 7 mile radius, the extremely fit and healthy population that makes me feel like I'm in some kind of bubble (probably am), the trails, schools, food, neighborhood (kids play the entire day with friends), the house, our's great. However, I also think I'm allowed to miss my home in Weaverville/Asheville too. I miss so much tonight: My front porch, the warm mornings and evenings, fireflies, humidity (yes, I miss that too), the walks to the library and around the block to witness breathtaking sunsets over the Blue Ridge mountains, Well Bred bakery, the cute little library, my bench in the nature park, friends, the coming fall where the entire outside world will be a breathtaking display of colors that nothing can quite compare to. I know Bend will become that for me already is. But for now, tonight, I'm feeling some major love for the home in my heart back in North Carolina. Feeling grateful to have lived in some cool places! And wishing I had some sort of secret power where I could be in either place with the snap of my fingers." --My thoughts from a few days ago.

Life sure has been a whirlwind lately.  An exciting whirlwind but a whirlwind all the same.  Really, the last year and a half  has been like this.  As many of you know, in March 2013, we moved our family of five from Portland, OR to Asheville, NC for an opportunity to live somewhere we'd never lived before for a little over a year.  We were grateful for the opportunity and excited for the adventure.  With our temporary move to Asheville,  came lots of travel along the east coast, living in a small but charming old house in a small town, meeting new friends, and discovering a place I had no idea I'd love so so very much. I've written about this lots but the big story of how this came to be is here:  Take the Leap: Grow Your Heart. And We're Moving to Bend.

 I knew we'd be taking a huge leap of faith in moving all the way across the country for only a year or so but I also knew that it's often these leaps of faith that open some of the most amazing doors in our lives.  It certainly opened those doors.  It led us to a place I loved more than any other place I've ever lived. And it led to a year or so of incredible growth.  It was a safe place for me to work through some things, heal, and find my way to begin this next chapter in my life.  Living there gave me a place to start fresh and discover myself and life in ways I never would have otherwise.  I'm forever thankful for this time.  I'm beyond thankful that we were able to move back to Oregon and settle in Bend.  It truly is an incredible place to live.  I feel lucky indeed.  But, I'm also struggling a little.

Change is hard.  Period.  It just is.  And just because we are living a good life and in a place where people would love to be, it doesn't mean I shouldn't allow myself  to feel sad if that's where I'm at with things.  The past few days have been hard for me.  Although I'm happy and excited to be here, there's also such a big part of me that hurts in saying goodbye to a place that filled me so completely.  My heart sang in Asheville.  I ache for it.  If I close my eyes I can feel myself there again, wrapped in the Blue Ridge Mountains, running on my favorite path around Beaver Lake, and sitting on my front porch watching the fireflies come out. I can feel the warm morning air and see the glorious sunsets that were there for me when I'd head out on my evening runs. I hear the birds that sang morning, noon and night. I can see the large old house across from ours...its craftsman charm and old front porch, smiling at me and telling me I was home.  I miss it.

I miss it so much. Today was especially hard.  The tears were right there on the surface, ready to pour out no matter how hard I tried to stuff them in.  Its been an internal struggle for me.  I've almost berated myself for my feelings.  I've told myself that I have no right to be sad when I'm living in this gorgeous house in a place people would LOVE beyond anything to live.  I keep yelling at myself to just be happy and focus on all that I have and stop feeling sad about saying goodbye to something I knew all along was temporary.  I've found myself scolding myself for sounding ungrateful and not counting my blessings (even though I do...daily!).  I even make lists of all the things in the world that are really worth feeling sad about and tell myself how silly it is to feel sad in my situation.  I tell myself things like:

"Gee, Amanda, you're really being a brat.  You have trails at your finger tips, a gorgeous house, sunshine, family, mountains...everything you wanted!! There are people with real things to be sad about.  There are so many people that can't even afford to travel or buy a house at all and here you are whining about missing  a place you were lucky enough to travel to in the first place! Who does that?  Moves across the country, travels the east coast, lives a completely different life, and then still gets to move back to a place like Bend, OR.  Gee wiz, lady, what's your problem?!"  

I know how much I have to be happy about.  And I am happy.  I know all that I have to be thankful for. And I am thankful.  I know all this. I know that there are people going through REAL and BIG and HURTFUL things in life...there are people dying, dealing with serious illness and poverty, war and so so much. Yes, I'm more than sensitive to this fact.  It all makes me feel so ridiculous writing an entire  blog post about being SAD about leaving a place I love.  Almost makes me laugh if I think about it...

I'm ready to just let myself Feel what I Feel and BE where I AM Today.  

I just found this picture that was actually taken/written right when we moved to Asheville and before the 2013 Boston Marathon.  This was one of my very first walks on the path around Beaver Lake...a path that I would end up running countless miles on!  I did many a long run on this path!
I think it's okay to allow myself to feel sad today.  It's okay to feel happy too.  Even to feel extremely happy and sad in the same breath.  It's okay to feel what we feel...even when our feelings and hard spots seem so insignificant compared to so many in the world.  It's okay to BE where we ARE!  And it's okay to miss something that we love.  Maybe that's just what I NEED to do: Allow myself to grieve a bit...because that's what it is: A little bit of grief for a place and a community I didn't want to leave.  I think that by allowing myself to feel sad without worrying about how I come across to others or myself, I will then be able to move on FULLY and be my best self.  I think this is true with so many things in our life: When we validate our own feelings and allow ourselves to be where we are without worrying what we SHOULD feel, think and act like, we give ourselves permission to grow at our own pace and stand as we are.    

So, there I AM.  A little sad today.  That's okay.  I'm happy too.  I can be both, right?  I already feel better after writing my feelings and allowing myself some process time!  I needed it!

Just writing this post has helped me feel ready to move on and start LIVING whole heartedly here in Bend.  There's so much to do and see and my kids are happier than ever.  There's new races to try (perhaps my first 50k trail race), mountains to climb, date nights, friends to meet and MEMORIES to make!  And I have a feeling I'll be back to Asheville to say hello from time to time!

Have you ever felt something you almost didn't allow yourself to feel because it seemed silly or insignificant compared to everything else in life? 


A few of my favorite posts from when I was in Asheville:


  1. Of course you should mourn leaving a place you love. I don't think it's silly or insignificant. You're saying good-bye to so much more than just a place. And it doesn't mean that you don't love where you're living now.

    1. Ah, thanks Char. You're such a supportive voice on here. I appreciate you.

  2. I agree, we need to allow ourselves to be sad. I also believe we should acknowledge and recognize sorrow. Too often, we treat sadness as depression and take a pill for it, when actually, some things are just...sad. And they make us sad. And it is ok to be sad for a little while. In fact, it can teach us how to be happy. Too often we smother our feelings or decide that they're somehow wrong.

    1. Thank you Gracie. I really loved your comment here. yes yes! You know, even in expressing sadness here, I instantly felt vulnerable and wrong for my feelings. embarrassed almost. LIke I needed to cover them up immediately. What a weird thing. Sadness is such a real to everyone emotion but we don't always feel safe enough to express it publicly.

  3. It's ok to feel sad. And just because you miss Asheville does not mean that you don't also love Bend. (Honestly, I'm jealous of both places. I'm so over living in a huge metro area.) Eventually you will settle back into Bend and then you'll be able to think of Asheville with fondness, rather than sadness. Hang in there - change of any sort takes some time to get used to.

    1. Hey, thanks girl. Appreciate your comment. Yes, I think you're right. I'll settle. And yes, I do love Bend very much and trying to have a heart of gratitude and contentment but I also still ache to be home in Asheville. It's just a matter of time. :) Thanks!