Tuesday, July 2, 2013

throwing it back: the city & my fear of settling

moving day

The day I moved to San Francisco—this picture is worth so many thousands of words.

It’s tough to even know where to begin.

The impact of this moment in time almost leaves me unable to breath—and to think I captured it with a single picture. Most of you already know the tale, but for those of you that don’t, I moved to the city of San Francisco, CA from Salt Lake City, UT early in 2012.

It had been months in the works—overall it was the solution to a problem of being extremely unsatisfied with my life and in desperate need to change. Change what? I wasn’t sure. Something. Anything. But mainly, me—not loving who I had allowed myself to become.

I wasn’t satisfied with the life I had created for myself. It was mediocre at best, and I couldn’t stand the thought of settling. Settling for life. A life that I knew could be more. I was haunted by the idea of settling for a husband that wasn’t 100% meant for me, terrified of settling for a job that just got me through the days paying the bills, nauseated over the idea of settling with little-to-no adventure…all because I was afraid. Afraid of taking a risk, afraid of leaving the bubble, afraid of leaving my past and definitely afraid of failing.

After being in and out of relationships, suffocated by a little college bubble-town that I won’t name, and escaping a culture that as much as I loved, knew was harming me more than helping—so there I stood in front of a u-haul truck, hugging my family, freezing in the icy winter wind, and ready to go—knowing it was for good.

At this moment, I felt some new exhilarating spark within me. An adjective—an emotion—that I had always blindly assumed I had in me but hadn’t felt in a long long time.


Bravery to let go of the parts of my life I didn’t want & didn’t need.

As many of us know, that’s a hard thing to do—much more difficult than it sounds. And to be honest with you, I’ve never been good at it. I’m stubborn & I don’t gracefully stumble—I fall heavy and damn hard at that. Always believing that I can make sense of any mess or fix any broken relationship. Unwilling to let go of something I was convinced should be mine.

And on this cold February day—I was letting go.

This whole change, move, quest—whatever-it-was—was all me. There was a lot of risk involved. All cards laid out on the table. No help from my parents—no money that I hadn’t earned myself and no plan I hadn’t made on my own. And I knew that I had no one but myself and my Father in Heaven to fall back on. There was only one option—to let go of the things keeping me stagnate and move forward.

Little did I know, that letting go would change my life forever.

I’ve talked to my husband about this moment in time—about the sudden spark of bravery I felt during that period of my life. I never once cried—not once—and I’m a crier people! I enjoy a solid teary meltdown from time to time, but from the moment I hopped into that moving van, no tears were shed. Scared out of my mind, but confident in that step forward.

--and I know that wasn’t all me. Because trust me—Kris alone is not that brave.

I know that a very loving Father in Heaven was watching me, knowing that this move was something I needed more than anything. Probably disappointed in some of the decisions I had made but caring SO much for my happiness that he filled me with courage, drive, and intense amounts of bravery.

Though underserving, I know that the He was by my side the entire way.

Weeks passed, I had never felt so alive, so beautiful or so able. I was welcomed by some of the most lovely, charming, and intelligent people I had ever known.

Suddenly, I felt like myself—the me that I always knew was there. The me that I used to know as a child, as I explored through the banks of the stream that ran by our house and along the yards of the chapel.

During those summer months, life was so full of mystery, imagination, and potential. It’s like I understood who I was—a fourth grade girl with crooked glasses, a deep passion for writing mystery novels, and endless dreams of my future adventures.

Somewhere along the way, I lost that girl and lost my way. And apparently that freezing cold, homeless over-run city of San Francisco was my ticket back.

And it was at this time of my life, somewhere in between breathing in that pacific air as I rode my bike over the golden gate bridge and eating one of the best Reuben Sandwiches I’ve ever had in my life —I became me again. 100% me. Seriously, you can read about the infatuation here.

and boom—enter @robc123.

That was God’s cue I guess. Kris is finally in a good place, I think it’s time.

We were an instagram couple from the start. Robert’s good friend gave him a ‘shout-out’ on one of my early instagram posts while in the city—awkwardly tagging his name in a comment left on one of my photos. And honestly, I didn’t know his friend all that well either, but thank heavens his social media game is consistently on point because it’s making ish happen (thanks muffin)

Soon after, we were introduced in person. A few weeks after that, we were on our first date…and the rest…you all know. If not, read about it here. And even if you already know, feel free to read it again. I may be biased, but it’s a pretty damn good story. Romantic as hell and hopeless from the get-go.

 Romantic as hell & hopeless from the get-go.

See. Right there. That’s what I always wanted. That’s what I had dreamed of as that little 4th grade girl playing adventure in those woods. Something magical. Something that would sincerely take my breath away. A life with possibility and air to fill your aching lungs—and a relationship with no games, no hidden emotions, no side-giggs, and no settling. We were 110% crazy about each other from the beginning, and that love gets crazier by the day. Just like I had prayed and longed for.

I remember a moment, that day I hopped into that u-haul—I had this thought. That for the first time, in an extremely long time—I had a fresh start.

No ex-boyfriends to fall back on, no predicting what housing complex I could move into after my progression from King Henry, to Belmont, to Arlington, and absolutely no clue what was going to happen next. Out of my comfort zone and into the unknown.

Why? Because I had finally learned to let go.

And that—that right there—is what it takes to never settle. Because it’s when you can’t let go, that you end up stuck. And to all of y’all that ever entertain these thoughts. Thoughts of needing more and feeling like you’re allowing yourself to settle—DON’T.

Borrow some bravery like I did and head out on a new adventure. And not just a trip to SoCal or a steamy weekend to Lake Powell with the in-crowd. Something real. Something substantial. Something that may change you as a person—forever. It may be moving countries, states or zip codes. It may be pushing for that new job that you want so badly but feel intimidated by. It may be mending relationships that have been left broken or wanting.

And it may not necessarily lead to your dream man/woman but it will lead you to a better place. A place where you can feel confident about your abilities and happy with who you are.

It just takes a little bit of bravery.

“One new perception, one fresh thought, one act of surrender, one change of heart, one leap of faith, can change your life forever.” Robert Holden

my valentine 5 My valentine 6 IMG_0972 IMG_9000

What you're afraid of


  1. My goodness I want to be brave like this. Kristen, you are so inspiring. Thanks for posting, xoxo.

  2. Loved it! That city is something magical, that's for sure. :)

  3. Kris, you have a way with words! Thank you for talking about when you can't let go. I needed that. Can't explain, but it did make me teary no knowing certain things I really need to change and why I need to change them.

  4. Such a great story, and you said it even better.

  5. Paige darling, you need to keep me updated on your life! I need to hear about your date with the attractive-dentist-man ;) xoxo!

  6. It really is! I love that place :) it will always be special to me!

  7. Shaylee, you are absolutely such a sweetheart. I am happy to hear that my story/words could speak to you in their own way. I truly know how impossible it can seem to let go & how much heartache is attached to it. But the best part is--you know what & why! And that is a fantastic first step! Loves! xx!

  8. Thank you dear! I love that we can 100% relate to each other Mandy. I know that we both have similar stories & that we both ended up being blessed for letting go of things not meant for us! xx

  9. Seriously you are such a good writer. You really are gifted, and I promise I really mean that and am not just biased because I am madly in love with you.

  10. You are an incredible writer and this is EXACTLY what I needed to read tonight. I'm moving from blessed Utah to Seattle for graduate school in five weeks and I am scared out of my mind, but I know it's going to be the fresh start and leap of faith I need. Thanks for putting my heart at ease with your beautiful words and story--it gives me hope!

  11. Catherine, thank you for sharing that. I absolutely love hearing from people that can relate to my experiences. You are so much braver than so many people out there, and I think that is amazing! I am sure you will absolutely love it up in Seattle! I'm a little bit jealous--Seattle was definitely on my list of places to live! Please keep me posted. Let me know how it goes :) Good luck girl! xx

  12. Kris I love this!!!! It almost made me cry :) You two cuties were made for each other and I'm so so glad my sister is so happy!!!