Permission to Breathe.

This song is on repeat in my kitchen for a solid 48 hours.

I know, another song. But y’all, I just CAN’T STOP because it’s exactly how my heart feels! Nine thirty tonight is going to find me HOME IN NORTH CAROLINA. The weary world rejoices.

It was spur of the moment, really. My sweet husband got back from his business trip last Thursday, and everything was heaven until he announced that he’d be leaving again on Tuesday.

For over a week.

It was the combination of a business trip and a North Carolina beach vacation with his family and their posse of college friends—something that we’d decided I would stay back in NY for given my frequent flier status over the past few months. It had been the mature decision to make, but suddenly very the idea of putting my husband on a plane one more time, and then sitting at home by myself for a solid week AGAIN made my heart crumble.

There wasn’t even an ounce of bravery left in me to fake. In fact, the very best that I could muster was a watery half-smile that wasn’t fooling anybody. Y’all go buy stock in waterproof mascara NOW, because I am singlehandedly keeping the entire industry afloat. In totally unrelated news, Kellan could use a beer.

There are a lot of things about marriage you don’t expect. For instance, Kellan had no idea that both books and avocados would need to be separate line items in our monthly budget. [Am I the only one? Holler back.] Neither of us expected to get married the way that we did. Neither of us expected it to be this hard in Albany. Neither of us expected for me to still be sifting through jobs four months after our wedding–…finding little to nothing that I have the slightest interest in doing. [I would be steaming lattes at a local coffee shop by now if not for my husband urging me to be patient for once.] This might come as quite a shock, but I love people. You want to make my day? Drink a caramel latte with me for an hour or twelve. Alone time all day every day and sometimes for weeks on end? Not healthy for this girl. And as of Friday night, my heart was DONE. I could not stomach one more week of alone.

Cue my husband–the man who deeply, deeply feels so much of what I feel. Marriage means that you don’t hurt alone—something for which I am unspeakably grateful. Kellan walked through our front door with pink flowers happily hidden behind his back [be still my beating heart!], pulled me onto his lap and very calmly told me that I needed a break. We need to get you to North Carolina. 

I fought, because something in me feels like I need to channel Tim Gunn and just make it work. The problem is, living in New York feels very much like being asked to hold my breath indefinitely—and I’m afraid I’ve turned a rather startling shade of blue. Touching down in Raleigh feels like finally being given permission to exhale. Of course Kellan was right when he told me I was being bull-headed and prideful—it was time to breathe again. It was time to breathe in long drives without ever once glancing at my GPS. It was time to breathe in twelve hour coffees with my people, sunshine and bare feet, toes in the sand and country radio. It was so. past. time.

Serendipitously, my favorite time of year besides Christmas [Togetherfest, my Africa team’s annual beach reunion] is happening in just a couple of weeks, and given Kellan’s travel schedule and MY family’s upcoming beach vacation, we decided it made the most sense for me to stay in North Carolina until Togetherfest. Kellan will join me twice.

An hour after the decision was finalized, my schedule for the first few days before Kellan and I leave for the beach was already PACKED. Which made my heart sing because FRIENDS!

Breathe in, breathe out. I’m going home. :)


Filed under First World Problems, God's faithfulness, Home, Hope, Marriage

10 responses to “Permission to Breathe.

  1. samantha

    It always freaks me out (in the very best way, of course) to see your words in print like thoughts out of my own journal- the too-much-time-alone, needing-permission-to-breathe thing especially. Glad you’re getting some quality time in the south :) hope I see you around church! Come visit in VHQ!

  2. Leigh

    ASHLEY!! Matt and I will be in NC from August 3rd-25th! Any overlap! Man I hope so!! love reading your wonderful blogs, so beautiful and encouraging <3

    • YES! I have to see y’all! I’ll be here until about the 17th, and though I’m leaving town a couple of times for sure we can make something work. :) I can’t wait!

  3. In the words of the momastery blog: sometimes first world problems are really freaking big problems.

    I would put homesickness and loneliness up there. And I honestly think my friends in the non-first-world agree.

    • Momastery. I don’t agree with everything that comes out of her mouth, but I adore Glennon Melton.

      She’s right. As hard as it is to say out loud [at least for me, sometimes first world problems are a pretty big deal. Granted, they could be a much worse–but it’s still rough sometimes!

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