I’ve missed you. How have you been? This letter will be a brief catch-up. I will be posting a new letter each Monday. I would love for you to write back in the space below. Since we last talked our world has really shifted. The darkness feels darker. But the light is still more powerful.
It’s been a pretty rainy summer here in the DC area. How has it been for you?
Nothing like talking to an old friend and feeling a bit nervous the first few minutes and bringing up weather talk. Ha…that’s what I’m doing.
I’ve been so intimidated to come back to this space but also craving it. Allow me to be vulnerable with you. Maybe you will relate. The past two years of my life have been interesting. I came out of a pretty successful 2019/2020. I would probably consider that time my “peak” in some ways, as well as still walking through some hard times but things were starting to look up. I got married. I was consistent in blogging, I finally finished the legal battle after the accident we were in, and I felt a sense of newness. I was writing for LO sister. And then the world sort of flipped upside down. But that couldn’t stop me from the joy I felt and excitement for my future. I was practicing driving and starting to get more comfortable (it was still very emotional and difficult but I was doing it)! But then slowly the discouragement did begin to seep its way into my heart and mind. The same feelings I’m sure you have felt the past couple of years, “goodness, the news is continually bad.” Or- “wow, social media is changing drastically and the world feels as if it’s speeding up.” I also saw Luke walking through new grief as he worked in the ICU during the hard part of the pandemic. We both needed time to adjust.
When I turned 25, I had less interest in sharing and more interest in learning. 26 has felt similar, but also a lot of growth. I desire to be creative again. I’m excited to share in this space more.
I advocated for myself to come off of my antidepressant medication (I had been on it for 4 years) because I felt that my mind and body weren’t responding well to it anymore and it was the season to come off. It took me a full year to come off. It was brutal, to be honest, but I also did it. I had so much perseverance in that season.
Since then my health hasn’t been great. Mentally, I feel so much better in a lot of ways. But physically I have been fatigued, struggling with bad insomnia, my hormones are imbalanced, my gut is bad, and I’ve been stressed. Luke has walked through similar feelings due to high stress from work.
We moved to our apartment in May 2022! We are now about 30 minutes from our family (which is just about the distance & how long it takes to get anywhere in the NOVA/ DC area). The week we were moving I got Covid and right after we moved, Luke got it. Great timing! Ha. But we are in a new apartment that we are absolutely loving and the transition has been natural and fun. I especially love the farmer’s markets & local food in the area.
So, where are we now? We are currently really making efforts to care for one another and say “Yes” more. We noticed how when we both don’t feel well it’s been easier to not go out, not really do anything different and play it safe. But then we both started going stir crazy. Maybe we needed that time to stay isolated…but we don’t want to and shouldn’t stay there for long.
I am working with my friend who is a Nutrition Practitioner. I’m experiencing a new eating plan, lifestyle changes, and more. For the first time, in a really long time, I’m feeling SO hopeful for healing. It’s really exciting for me. Luke is doing the plan with me so that he can heal too + it’s so encouraging to not do it alone. I’m grateful for him.
I have been talking with Luke, my sisters, and my parents about “my passion” and where I find joy. I was talking to them about how I would love to know what I am “good at.” After writing out a ton of things that bring me joy, what I love talking about, and what I am passionate about…we saw similarities between each of the things I loved. I love all the roles of being a family woman: I love being a wife, sister, and friend. I love writing, reading/ studying/ teaching about the Bible, flowers, animals, nature, laughing, cozy places, coffee, tea, conversations, encouraging others, and music. I got so stuck trying to find a “niche,” a perfect role for me to fill, when God has placed all of this within me as a gift.
It’s okay if it’s not the role that the world preaches as successful. I have dreams of being a great wife (and one day a wonderful mother), a great friend, daughter, sister, and honestly- that is my passion! I’ll never forget when I was in 6th grade I failed a test. My teacher called me out into the hallway and she said, “Taylor, I am not calling you out here to talk to you about your grade. But I do want to say that I noticed you really love and value your family. That is a gift. Some others will push for higher grades and jobs. And you can do that too… but you have a passion and love for your family. That is a gift.” I’ll never forget that. I felt seen. That moment in the hallway re-entered my mind recently as I was pushing to find a job/role I could be successful at.
I also asked Luke if he ever thought about my work ethic or what occupation I would have prior to marrying me. For some reason, I felt worried that he would have a different expectation for me. He said, “I married you because I saw someone who would be a great wife and mother.” And it clicked, he saw that in me too. A woman who loves her family.
I’ve been thinking a lot about “roots.” We have been looking for the roots of my health problems. I was looking at what my passions are, what I love talking about, what content I love, what my desires seem to lean towards, etc. I’ve been watering and strengthening my spiritual roots during the past year to two. I have never been good at consistency until the past two years. Something about advocating for myself opened my eyes to see how I CAN do it. I just need a small moment of courage each day to make the right choice. The past two years when I felt like I had nothing to share, I was studying and reading which put me into a great place in my relationship with Jesus. It’s been really sweet. I’ve battled walking away from social media, but after much time praying & thinking about it with family + friends, I have that desire to share again in a healthy + encouraging way. It’s a part of my roots, encouraging others in their relationship with Jesus… and making them laugh!
What are your roots? Are your roots helping or harming you? What makes you stronger? Write me back below! 🙂 What brings joy and passion? I am excited to write back to you on Monday.
Thanks for reading,
this was such a sweet post! excited for what you are planning with this space now~
as for me, what brings me joy is spending time with those who i can be genuinely myself around, baking, learning (currently getting to know my sewing machine lol), and going on loooong walks 🙂
Thank you so much for this comment! It means so much to me that you took the time to read and respond. It was so fun to see the responses. I love spending time with people who you can be your 100% self around. It truly does make a difference. I love that you enjoy baking and learning. And wow! That’s amazing. I have only ever sewn one thing and it was with my grandma when I was little. I wish I had that skill- maybe I’ll have to relearn! I love walks too! 🙂
I always love reading your updates Tay!! and really appreciate you being so open:) I also have struggled with finding where I “fit” and what I’m really good at. and have discovered more and more that it’s okay to be unsure! I know what I love: running, writing, doodling, learning, being with people I love! and sometimes that’s enough! Thanks for the encouraging words!
Thanks so much for reading and for the kind words. 🙂 I love that you love all of that and that you’ve found joy in those things. I’m thankful that it’s okay to be unsure and that we don’t have to push to be anything that we are not. I’m thankful to encourage you!
All I can say is wow. I can’t believe how much this resonated with me. I’ve always felt like wanting to be a good wife/friend/daughter/sister wasn’t enough, that it wasn’t a ‘career goal’. But this was such a good reminder that just because the world finds certain things ‘goal worthy’, doesn’t mean that other things aren’t worthy too.
My life recently has gone through a big change (a great one!) and it’s been a bit overwhelming trying to find what I’m passionate about and what brings me joy. I’m finding that I love to bake things for my friends and family, because it brings a huge smile to their faces. I love to spend time reading or journaling my thoughts. I also love that I’ve turned into an at home barista who is learning how to make a ton of different beverages that I can bring to my family on Sunday mornings to enjoy during church. They feel like little things, but I know they’re important and I shouldn’t brush them off just because they don’t feel big and important.
I’m so glad you’re back to writing! I’m always so encouraged by what you have to say. Really looking forward to hearing more <3
I’m so grateful that you resonated! So refreshing when we get glimpses of how others feel similarly. “doesn’t mean that other things aren’t worthy too” I love how you said that. So true. Wow! That’s incredible that your life has been going through some great changes. I love that you love to bake. I unfortunately am horrible at that. I also love making drinks at home and being an at home barisTAY. 🙂 That’s so sweet that you enjoy making it all for others too. I love that. I’m so thankful to be back to writing too. So fun. Hope to be able to encourage you!
Taylor – you are a sweetheart and I’m so glad you took the leap to come back! I have always enjoyed your posts.
P.s. I definitely signed my name as Melanie Gord and not Melanie Ford at first 😂. That one letter could have made my identity a mystery lol!
How sweet that you would read my blogs and take the time to respond too. That means so much to me 🙂 I’m not sure I would have known who Melanie Gord is haha but I definitely know Melanie Ford! That is incredibly encouraged that you have always enjoyed my posts. I hope you’re doing well. Thanks again 🙂
So so glad that you’re back to blogging! I love reading your thoughts and insights and random shopping sprees and all of it. And I am here for the return to blogs and longer thoughts than Instagram offers!
I’m glad you shared about finding your “roots” and your passions, and how those don’t necessarily relate to external factors. Honestly, I sometimes wonder if I’m smart enough or talented enough or hardworking enough (or even beautiful enough even though I don’t want to admit it) for someone to love me and choose me, and I really needed the reminder that we don’t have to measure up to some external standard, to love others well.
I had a really amazing year in 2021, I felt like I had really found my community and figured out my next steps, and then this year (while it’s been overall positive!) I also struggled with loneliness as so many of my friends got engaged and married while I’m 20 and single. I’ve also really grown at work, getting more experience in photography and doing really cool things for my job, all while thinking that I care much more about my community than a career and am afraid of being left behind because I’m not in the same life stage. So definitely a mix of good and hard and I’m learning to work through those hard things. And working on the balance between believing that God is enough for me, and also that he created us for community.
As for joy and passion, I’d say almost every creative outlet brings me joy, whether baking or painting (even if I suck at it lol) or photography or bouquets, and sharing that with others!
Thanks for being such an encouragement and voice of wisdom, Tay!
Thank you so much for reading and responding! 🙂 I am so happy that you had a great 2021. I’m sorry that you have battled loneliness. 🙁 I hate that you’ve felt that way. Community is hard especially during this past season. And wow! Congrats to you on your job and all that you’ve been able to do with that! A mix of good & hard is what I’ve noticed about life. Learning to grow through them is also what I am attempting to do. We can do it 🙂 Wow…I’m impressed you can bake. I can’t…you probably know that by now. I love bouquets! So fun. Thank you for your encouragement. I’m thankful to be on here again to encourage.
Welcome back Tay! I loved reading your post, God has definitely given you a gift with your words, your writing expresses so much love, kindness, and sincerity.
As for me, as I am going through a new chapter of my life as well after moving to a new city, starting a new job, and getting married in only two weeks, I feel as if my mind is constantly running at 100 mph but I still find my joy in my plants, trying new recipes (though many have failed), hiking with my dog and fiancé, farmers markets, and my new hobby, refurbishing furniture. At my work we also have a “free shelf” where anyone can donate stuff and anything can be taken for free, and as weird as it seems, it really is the thing that I get so excited to see and brings me so much when I show up to work in the mornings because I’ve gotten some really nice things 😂
Can’t wait to see what more you have to share with us!
Raelynn, Thank you so much for responding! Thank you for the sweet words too. That means so much to me. It’s good to be back. 🙂 Wow! That is so much change in a short amount of time. How are you doing with all of that? A lot of excitement and memories being made for you right now, I’m sure. Congratulations on getting married SO soon! So happy for you. I LOVE the idea of that free shelf. That would get me so excited too. What sort of things have you found there?
Talk to you soon,
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