The End of an Era

It’s day 26 of this new year, and instead of looking at the other eleven months that are ahead of me, I’ve been reflecting on what last year meant to me. And, for me. This time last year, I was just about to awaken to the disaster inside my head and heart that had been looming for quite some time. And, as I look through old blog posts, I journey through some of those emotions again – some good, some not so good. But, all necessary.

It’s really easy to belittle ourselves and think we could always do better, or do more. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I felt like I had accomplished quite a bit. In 2016, I wrote more in one year than I’ve written in my entire life. Much of what I posted, I even enjoyed reading again. I would say that is a success!

This year, there will be some big changes in my life. The last 14 years have been devoted to following my husband’s career and keeping myself occupied enough to stay sane. (We can debate whether or not I was successful at achieving that goal another day!) This summer,  our tour ends and we will leave Hamburg; our home of three years. Three years that my kids grew physically outward, and I grew on the inside. Much of the previous eleven years, I spent feeling at odds with the world. Trying to defend myself. During some of that decade, I even surrendered and thought, the world has won. I’m defeated.

The events that unfolded during my time here in Hamburg have been some of the most challenging and heart-wrenching moments I’ve had in a long time. Probably since I lost my grandmother about seven years ago. These moments have also been some of the most inspired and rewarding. I feel like I finally stepped up to the plate, sometime in the second half of last year. I felt focused on the ball, not the pitcher, and ready to take my swing. Even though I don’t think I hit a Home Run, I know I didn’t strike out either. I kind of feel like I ran a double, and as the next one is up to bat, I’m figuring out how to steal third.

With all the uncertainty of what lies ahead for me, I feel confident in myself. In knowing myself, who I am. I am a writer. I write. I want to write some more. Writing will carry me through the next phase, as I leave behind the charming and quintessential experience of Europe and venture into the suburbs of Washington, D.C. I will survive my son starting high school because I will write to feel young. I will unleash my own thoughts and emotions as I cry with my daughter when she feels lonely in the transition. And, I will honor the calling to live ‘raw’ in a culture that promotes concealment.

I may not be the most loved within my communities. I may be too melancholy and pensive for many people’s tastes. But I am me, and I’m all I have to offer.

My Favorite Posts from 2016

Poetry – The Girl Who Lost Her Smile

Flash Fiction – Game Day

Memoir – A Tale of Two Blogs

Nonfiction – O.M.G.G.,

Blog Post – A Sneak Peek at my Novel

Is there a post that really resonated with you last year? I’d love to hear about it; tell me in the comments!

Until next time –

Simply live,


4 thoughts on “The End of an Era

  1. breatheintoday says:

    I can sooo relate to you, Carla! I love following your journey–thanks for sharing it! I got back this past weekend from burying my mom and climbing Machu Picchu. Once I get over the craziness of starting a new career (I think I will love real estate, BTW!), I hope to get back to writing as well. I’m just finding it too much to focus on right now to learn all I need to learn, that it’s too much to try to write as well. But writing definitely helps me process and feel alive. Hopefully soon. Just wanted to say thanks and I get it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carla Gray says:

      So exciting! Congratulations on the new role in real estate! I’ve heard there is a lot to learn with that; best wishes, I’m positive will you be great! You have the perfect personality for that career! Plus, what I’ve learned is that all these life experiences add to our writing. I look forward to the day you can return to your blog and I’m sure your expedition to climb Machu Picchu and this new line of work will only enrich your message! Thanks for taking a moment to check-in and say hi! xoxo


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