/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/132/19818281/files/2014/12/img_5807.jpg(South Congress in Austin, Texas)

S and I left Texas on Saturday morning and headed back to Tennessee.
Though it felt like forever since we had been home, I felt sad as we drove through the Texas towns I am so familiar with. Looking out the window, I realized I have felt this same sadness every time I have left Texas, every time I have left my family behind.
I was talking to S about it and he said, “I think it’s brave of you to embrace that sadness. A lot of people are so terrified of being sad or uncomfortable that they block it out and never fully understand themselves.” As he said it, I saw a picture in my mind of my heart crushed into little seeds and I was scattering it in different places; a little sprinkle here, a single seed there.

So I guess I will be sad like that a lot, but I’m okay with it. This is the cost of being open, of allowing myself to love in more than one place.
I am sad when I leave Tennessee. I am sad when I leave Texas. I was sad when I left Sweden.
Sadness is a good thing. It shows me that I really do care, that I have truly invested myself, sown a piece of my heart into the land and the people.

It also reminds me of how much I am loved.

I have so many amazing people in my life. I’m really glad I’ve done so much traveling this month, right at the end of the year. I feel like I am closing out 2014 with reflections of how many wonderful relationships I have – new and old.
I have parents who love me, care about me, invest in me – parents who have never given up on helping me become the best version of myself.
I have siblings who have become friends, grandparents who encourage me.
I have in-laws who have become so dear to me, who have cared for me, supported me, accepted me (which is a truer miracle than you may realize: S and I were long-distance our entire relationship before we were married. The Cox’s barely knew me. I could have been an ax-murderer).
I have friends who have helped me grow, given lovely advice, shared love and experiences with me.
I have a husband who loves me, sacrifices for me, supports me, shares adventures with me.

Everyone talks and writes about thankfulness in November, but I prefer to be thankful more than just one month of the year.
As this year comes to a close and you find yourself thinking ahead, don’t forget to look back.
My heart is full of love and gratitude as I move toward 2015.

Who have you shared 2014 with?

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