The Way On From Here


If I had somehow been given the gift of looking ahead from three months ago, I think I would have been surprised at the amount of job applications, reference-gathering, resume-tweaking in my wake. It has been an emotional time for us, navigating this uncertain path after our big move. All my strategies for our stability hinged on no more than a 3-month turnover, and by all accounts, that should have been the maximum. The waters had been named fresh and teeming, but so far they haven’t yielded for us. Where is my dream? The one long-planned that my gut told me was sure to come to pass? The one lodged deep in my heart, growing all green-vined and blue-flowered and breathtaking?

I’ve been waiting. Waiting for that stability that feels like the starting pistol to jump back into the relay of writing and teaching about all the things I love and believe you will love, too, and find empowering for life’s journeys. I never meant to put down the baton but sometimes life gives you a tumble and restoration is a long road with a lot of tolls. So I write and edit when I can while devoting the majority of my time in search of the ground that isn’t shaking our life to pieces. I want to be able to share so much more with you, but for now, I’ll continue bringing the small offerings in reach. 

Battered by the storm of reality, I know it’s about pressing forward now. I’ve been from desperate to numb to desperate again and sometimes I think the only reason my faith is still hanging on is because I don’t have a prayer without some measure of belief. It defies the intellect, but maybe that’s a thing you learn in your thirties: that it takes more than brain power and the skin off your knuckles to build a full life. Is it? I don’t know. The turbulence may have just jostled loose a few more marbles. Anyone want to tell me if the next decade gets more peaceful?

The other day I had a rare bout of SVT or in layman terms, a rapidly racing heart. The fact that it is rare now or that I have an active life feels like a miracle, because 6 years ago I was on beta blockers and I have some stories to tell about being in the ICU during my last pregnancy and also how I’ve visited somewhere besides the land of the living. I still wait for certain healing, but having a second chance is something I need to remember and celebrate. Especially when it gets hard. I have to remember how hard I fought to stay and how tightly my husband held my hand (and still does) and how love has kept us through the worst of times as well as the best. Love has always endured. And that is the compass I need right now.

Where we go from here is more of the same, because we must keep trying, pressing onward. Let me just tell you, though, it’s a fight now: for faith, for hope, for getting the maximum result out of every choice we make. I didn’t know how many doors were going to close to us or how many moments of advocacy I’d have to engage in. I for sure wasn’t prepared for all the enormous servings of pride and fear I’d be having to swallow. But there it is. And here I am to declare that the fight is worth it. And we do it for love.

I hope we never forget this.

Jamie Bagley