When I packed my bags months ago for a week-long trip to Seattle for treatment, I didn’t know that it would be the last time I would call Austin “home”. It just happened. A series of unexpected events unfolded and various delays postponed our plans to go back. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, but my husband and I remained in Seattle.

Had we sat down at the kitchen table in our Austin home at any time in the last few years to consider the logistics of a cross country move, and the implications for our family and my business, we would have talked ourselves out of it in no time. But the challenges and crazy events of our lives this past year, though seemingly random and inconvenient at the time, now created the opportunity for us to consider it.

But it was also the support of family and friends that helped us to get to this place where we could imagine the possibility of starting over. Beginning with a text message to my daughter: Is this okay? With her encouragement, I would sit with it. Yes, we can do this.

Months later we are doing this. As I sit cross legged on the floor near the fireplace in our new downtown Kirkland apartment, the sound of church bells chiming in the background, I see in retrospect that in the darker hours of my life, I was vividly owning a different reality for my future. This one. Years ago, when I imagined my life was over, I was essentially just starting a new one, a life painted more richly because of what I had survived. When I thought I had lost it all, I was actually deepening my connection with others, launching a new career, and developing ideas I had for building a community to connect others to resources for healing, mind and body, a community that would also become my extended family.

And while I am sitting here, and with everything I know about overcoming difficulties, I can experience the absolute joy of this moment more profoundly because of all the moments that came before it.

With love,
Stacy Shuman


Words, Well Scent

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