Welcome to Ryley Writes, a collection of thoughts, stories, and work from deep in the heart of Texas.

Home Again

shoutout my iPhone

shoutout my iPhone

Hello, loyal blog readers/my mom.

I didn't post last week, and that's because...

...I moved back to Austin!

SURPRISE surprise are you surprised I'm still surprised and I'm the one who did it so that's pretty surprising I'd say.

When I graduated from Liberty a year ago, I had a short-term plan neatly in place but no real long-term vision beyond it.

Then my short-term plan promptly fell apart and what vague, long-term vision I had quickly followed. And despite all my intense and stubborn efforts, it refused to be put together again. Like Humpty-Dumpty on steroids post-falling-off-the-wall.

I wish I could say I handled it all graciously, but the fact is you never want your first year of adulthood to be comparable to a children's rhyme about a dead egg, and more often than not, I responded like a child myself.

The good news, though, is my messy year matured me.

Odd jobs and freelance work allowed me to get all sorts of experience and find out what I liked and was good at in practice, not just in theory. I found out more about myself than I had in the entirety of my undergrad. And when I prayed for God's will to be done in my life, for the first time, it wasn't cursory — kind of thrown up to the sky like, "Your will be done, man, but also I'm definitely just going to be sitting in JOUR 484 every Wednesday for the next four months so actually my life doesn't require much direction or trust." For the first time, I really, truly needed to know and follow His will, because nothing else was working.

Life after graduation became a cycle of my plans falling apart, and me freaking out, then being okay with it. I always got right back to trying to control everything, and it always fell apart again; but every time, I freaked out a little less and learned to surrender a little more.

Somewhere in the midst of it all, I began interviewing for a job in Austin. For the first time in a year, things lined up.

To say I was initially hesitant is an understatement. Not because of the job — it looked pretty much perfect — but because while I loved the city, I really came into my own when I left it. I had never intended to go back. It didn't seem like progress to me, and I felt I'd come so far.

At some point, though, I got tired of digging my heels in. Instead of doing everything ALL BY MYSELF and insisting that promising God I'd do anything surely meant He'd call me to something new and different, maybe He really just wanted me to go home again.

I got the call in which the position was offered to me February 16 and accepted it that same day. I started packing literally hours later. By February 29, everything in Lynchburg was settled and my car was stuffed with clothes and books. I rolled into Katy, Texas March 1, ransacked IKEA with my mom, arrived in Austin March 5, and started work March 7.

Current mood: overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed with the pace and scale of the change, yes. With the thousands of details that got crushed into what some days felt like an impossibly small time frame. With the free-fall feeling I imagine everyone experiences when they really, truly have to be an adult for the first time and they're not at all confident the proverbial wings they're spreading will operate as intended.

But also overwhelmed with goodness.

With the love and generosity of so many people who welcomed me back with open arms and helped me accomplish what I would not have been able to on my own. With the warm familiarity of roads I've driven and trails I've run and places I've known since I was a kid. With an unshakeable peace that comes from knowing that I am exactly, exactly, exactly where God wants me to be — and how kind of Him to make it home for me, in spite of me.

shoutout my iPhone

shoutout my iPhone

So, in conclusion: I am in Austin, God is good, and I will continue blogging away from here on out, just with slightly different content than my usual during this transition period.

P.S. If you're disappointed when you pull up a Monday post and it's not about sports, just look at it this way: that free-fall thing I mentioned about me trying to adult (a verb, yes) is kind of like skydiving! Which is an extreme sport! So reading my posts will be like an inside look at the extreme sport of skydiving as paralleled by my life! "Will the chute open or not?" *Cut to me crying while trying to set up some kind of insurance, probably. "Tune in next Monday to find out!" Totally the same thing. Perfect.

High-Five Friday

High-Five Friday