Stormy With a Chance of Sunshine

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We have so many types of “weather” in our lives, and while I prefer the beautiful, sunny days during which I am comfortable and content, I must learn to exist under all types of weather in order to truly learn about myself and experience each day. I wrote this post over the course of two weeks and almost didn’t finish it; I have had a difficult time putting my thoughts into a piece that makes sense to me. There were points where I would stop and feel that the words I was writing did not reflect how I have been actually working through some recent difficult “storms” in my life. This photo is a snapshot of my heart and these words are a peek into my soul.

Photo by Studio Eiler @studioeiler

I am actually writing this post by hand in my journal.  Let me describe this moment to you: it is 90 degrees outside, and the sun is shining in all of the right places.  It makes my skin feel toasty warm, but my feet are in the cool water of Lake Michigan, and there is a soft breeze, so I actually don’t feel uncomfortably warm at all. I knew it was going to be a hot day, so on the way to the lake I bought an iced vanilla coffee that sits next to me and is cooling me down between sips. I knew I would be sitting on concrete which would be very uncomfortable for a long period of time, so I brought a thick blanket to sit on as I write.  For this moment in time, I have created a perfect experience for myself, despite the extreme heat and humidity of the day.

Weather is weather, life is life.

Rarely is weather so perfect that I am simply comfortable.  Even if I am, it usually only lasts a little while.  Then it either starts to rain and I need to run for cover or get out my umbrella, or the sun gets higher in the sky and I begin to sweat, or it becomes lower in the sky and I get a chill.  But we do things to make it okay.  We adjust to the weather. Yes, we LOVE our perfect sunny days, but every day is not going to be the weather that we need it to be, or that we are craving, and that’s just a reality.

I think that life is like weather to a certain extent. We go through different “weather patterns” in our lives; some are joyful and exciting, and then others are challenging and end up testing our strength and resilience. Both types can happen in the blink of an eye. One minute we are feeling comfortable and content, and then suddenly something or someone shakes that comfort up; that perfect feeling is gone just as quickly as it came, and we are again working hard to get to the next perfectly sunny moment where we feel that our personal world is okay.

We never know how long this fair or foul “weather” is going to last, but just as Mother Nature gives us storms and prevents us from doing some of favorite outdoor activities, hardships and challenges happen in our lives that can sometimes get in the way of our happiness. As much as we may prefer moments of sunshine and comfort over storms and heartache, our lives are made up of both. We would not be truly living without  all of these moments, the pleasant and the challenging, and both shape future weather patterns in our lives depending on how we chose to live during these junctures.

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” -John Ruskin

This post isn’t necessarily to encourage us all to look on the “bright side” of every situation.  While I genuinely try to do this, sometimes that mentality just does not work in certain scenarios, especially when I am going through a tough “weather” spell that is lasting a long time.  What this post is really about is being able to live our lives through the sunshine and perfect temperatures as well as the rain, the snow, the thunder and the high winds, and adjust our mindsets during these times in order to learn from them and continue to experience life throughout it all.

Whatever the Weather

As I said before, this post has been difficult to write; I have some struggles and decisions that I alone am working through that are definitely creating some dark storm clouds over my sunshine.  This post is basically me trying to work through this season of my life.  I am trying to help myself continue to live my life and enjoy the things that are bringing me sunshine, and at the same time adjust, change and learn from the parts that are causing me discomfort.  I want to appreciate the storm clouds just as much as the sun rays, and I don’t want my life to become less of an experience because of this turbulence, because I am truly not sure how long it will last.

Maybe you currently feel this way or have felt this way in the past.  Either way, I hope that you stick with me as I try to reason through these thoughts and current weather patterns of my own life.

Changes in weather patterns

Just as the weather can shock you and change even your most set plans, so can life.  It’s a reality, and it’s one that we should not be angry with or resent, but rather embrace as an opportunity to view a situation from a new perspective, or make a change in our lives or for ourselves.  This unpredictability could be a sudden feeling you have about something that makes you question certain choices or decisions, a major life event/change that totally shakes things up, or anything else that causes a sudden shower of emotions to fall over you.  It could even be a change in mental state or a feeling that suddenly comes over you for seemingly no reason, and you just can’t figure out why you’re feeling the way you are all of a sudden.

Unpredictability is scary for me.  While I love having spontaneous fun with my husband and my friends, I also like to be in control of myself and my life, and when something suddenly changes, whether that is caused by someone or something, I can sometimes feel a loss of control and it makes me a little crazy inside.  The truth that I am trying to grasp is that I am in control of myself and how I adjust and react to what’s happening around me, even though it might not feel that way all of the time.  Some things in life are more unpredictable and easier to adjust to than others, but the truth is that we are all in control of how we adjust and how we react to these situations, and when we realize that we have that control, it is easier to still live and experience our lives through all different kinds of weather.  We just have to have a plan to weather the storm. Every situation comes with choices and paths.  The times when you feel like you have absolutely no choice are most likely the times when making a certain choice actually means the most to your life’s path.

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”-Bob Marely

Okay so now this is where I am going to rebuttal against my above section and slightly contradict myself, but it’s necessary.  If there is anything I have learned over the past few years of my life, it’s that you can adjust to the weather all you want and make choices for your life, but we are human, and being human means we have emotions. These emotions are SO important to experience.  I have found that I cannot truly help myself through a situation if I do not allow myself to experience what I am feeling and let it out. Cry. Laugh. Sulk. Yell. Sing. Whatever.  Feel the weight of the rain as it drenches you, or the heat from the sun as it brings that warm happy chill over your body.  Experience every emotion and accept the way that you are feeling in that moment.

You think that you don’t deserve to have a happy moment of pure joy in a time where there is a storm lurking in the background of your life?  YOU DO deserve it, so laugh and release!!  Sometimes feeling a moment of joy in a storm can even bring clarity to a situation. I have also spent so many days feeling like I need to be stronger or act differently in certain situations. Now maybe there are some opportunities to adjust and grow in that area, but that doesn’t mean that I should ignore the way that something is making me feel just because I feel like I need to make this immediate adjustment or be a stronger person.

Experiencing an emotion can teach us a lot about ourselves, even we would rather be feeling any other way in that moment.   Acknowledge the feeling, experience it, and then see where that takes you. By doing this, you are truly participating in all of the “weather” of your life.

Find your “umbrellas”


One of my favorite things to say when I am allowing myself to experience a dark, uncomfortable emotion and I don’t want to get stuck in its rainstorm is: “I feel _____ in this moment. Now I am going to ______.” The second blank can be filled with anything to distract you from the rain, whether that might be taking a drink of water, turning up the music, texting a friend, or even just standing up if you are sitting down. This allows you to experience the emotion and acknowledge it, but then change your position in some way to move slightly away from that feeling so you don’t become stuck.  Finding my “umbrella” during these moments when I begin to feel light raindrops is a continuous dialogue for me, and sometimes I even need to say it more than once in the same setting. Ultimately, I find that this routine allows me to experience both the storm, and move closer to the sun.

Dance Through the Rain

So this “weather” in our lives that might be unpleasant can last for a few hours or days, or the timeline can be a little more drastic than that.  Sometimes it’s easier to adjust and make light of the smaller winds that might alter our day-to-day activities. These moments can be looked at as mild inconveniences that might ruffle our feathers a bit, but we might find it easier to adjust and “make the best” out of these situations.

That being said, I do also believe that everyone experiences a few “weather patterns” in their lives that are life-changing and a little more intense.  Now these can either be good, or they can be not so good. The problem arises when you have a long stretch of time during which you are very effected by an event or “storm” that is making it difficult to experience your life. I had a defining season in my mid-twenties that lasted for almost a year, and it nearly broke me.  While I don’t really want to go into it too much in this post, I will say that I was not the best at adjusting to the circumstances of that season of my life, and I allowed it to consume me, leaving a blank spot in my memory. I’m not sure if my days simply ran together so much during this storm that I simply don’t have any distinguishing memory of this time, or if I have just chosen to block it out.  Either way, that is one year of my life that is essentially blank.

I resented this time of my life for years, and regretted the way that I shut down, but I find peace in knowing that I handled this “hurricane” the best that I could at the time. While I will never find myself in this situation again, there will be other defining seasons of my life that are covered in storm clouds because that is life, and I am determined to “dance through the rain” and see the value in these struggles.

Life is a ray of sunlight. It’s bitterly cold. It’s windy and destructive. It’s calm and breezy. Life is all of these things, and that’s what makes it life.

I think that being able to truly live through all types of “weather” and find value in even the darkest storms is the key to slowing life down and experiencing it all for what it is…. your life!!

Remember, Citrus & Sun is about shining a light on all types of weather that life might throw at you, and finding zest and energy in even your darkest days.  Grasp onto all of your different clouds and make them yours.  You were born with the strength to overcome and experience whatever they shower over your life.  Let’s work on experiencing ALL of it together.

Wishing you zest & light,
Stephanie

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52 thoughts on “Stormy With a Chance of Sunshine

  1. Great post with great insite! I love the positivity and encouragement to not focus on the negative. A good reminder for me to think differently and not think that “when it rains, it pours.”

    1. Thank you, Grace! I have days where I feel like “when it rains it pours” too. I think this is very normal. Days like this are going to happen…but I think the important thing to remember is that the sun will always come up the next day, and it can be a fresh new start. Thanks so much for reading!!

  2. I think there is some comfort in knowing not all days are perfect – nor should they be. Gray days should be felt and taken in just as much as the sunny ones. It’s how we grow.

    1. I agree, Jocelyn. Not all days are going to be perfect, and sometimes we learn the most from those imperfect days, right? We should give ourselves permission to experience those “gray” days and grow from them. Thank you for reading!!

  3. I adore the John Ruskin quotation! I’ll always remember the idea of our personal weather patterns and that “Weather is Weather, Life is Life.”

    1. I really like his quote too, Mary!! When I saw it I felt like it was perfect for this post =) And yes, weather is weather and life is life! We will make it through no matter how unpredictable both may be!

  4. Wonderful way to make sense out of this sometimes crazy world we live in. If anything I have learned from your posts, is to take a moment read them and see what applies to your own life. Sometimes you just need to take a moment for yourself and think about yourself. Finding ones own self is a journey a great many are afraid to take, for those who take it and are honest with themselves it can be very eye opening and very self rewarding. We all face different types of weather in our life, your comments give a great perspective and a wonderful approach. Keep it up.

    1. Thank you, dad!! Yes, I truly hope that whoever reads my post can take a part of it and somehow identify with it, or apply it to their own life. The journey of finding oneself is definitely an amazing struggle, and is a lifelong process I truly believe. It can be very rewarding if we are patient with the journey!! Thank you for this thoughtful comment! I love you!

  5. I loved this post and definitely am feeling a little like that right now. It has been a harder transition getting back into the school year and with so many meetings and me being in charge of so much, my mind feels too full. I am having a hard time getting things done and knowing what should be done first. I agree with you that we should allow ourselves to feel… I remember being in college and thinking I am not strong enough because I would cry about everything… but now I realize that God created me like that to be able to sympathize with others and stand in their shoes. As a teacher, this is incredibly important. I have a soft heart and that is alright… I am however still very strong. Thanks for writing about this and your experience. Praying it is getting a little brighter!

    1. I am going through this right now too, Erin. It has been a difficult transition for me getting back into the routine and balancing my time and and my schedule. I absolutely love your story about your college experience and how you reflected on your strength and realized that you ARE strong, and that you were made to have a big heart that feels very strongly in the moment with what you are personally experiencing, and for others. You are definitely in the profession to use your heart for beautiful things, and each person in your life that you encounter will also feel this warmth; I know that I do!!! =)=) Thank you for reading and for this beautiful comment. Wishing you sunshine and soft breezes this week!!

  6. What a positive outlook you have! I have a new favorite quote that would fit nicely with your post. “When it rains look for rainbows. When it’s dark look for stars.” Really enjoyed this. 🙂

    1. Awww Lacee, I LOVE that quote!! It is definitely perfect for this post! Thanks so much for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed!

  7. I can sometimes be a very negative person towards myself. This post is so encouraging and so very helpful. I’m coming to the point in my life where I have to push through all the hardships and accept what life gives me. I have to learn how to dance in the rain. Thank you so much for sharing all of your insight.

    1. Hi Kasia! I am so happy that you enjoyed this post. I am definitely dancing through the rain with your right now, and am working on getting better at self love. We can do it!! I wish you well in whatever life is raining down on you right now. The storm will pass! Thank you for reading!!

  8. Steph,

    Wow! Best blog yet!! So personal & yet so relatable! Really great with so much to think about! I do enjoy your writing & you are encouraging me to start a journal. This piece is golden! ❤️

    1. Thank you SO much, Melissa! Journaling is so powerful!! I love looking back on past entries…it really helps me learn so much about myself. I am happy that this post inspired you!! Thank you for reading and sharing your feedback! It means so much!

  9. I’m going through some really rough patches at the moment. Big gray clouds are over me. I’ve never thought of life as weather but I’m from a rainforest and I’ve always enjoyed the rain. I love the smell of earth right after it rains. I love the sound of rain, specially during a nap or while sleeping. And I particularly enjoy a good thunderstorm with lots of lightning. I guess if I love all these things, maybe I can teach myself to appreciate all the pain I’m experiencing now and accept it for what it is, a passing storm.

    1. Hi Kimberly. I am so sorry that you are going through some rough patches. I definitely can relate. I absolutely love your description of the rainforest and how you are so mindful of your senses when it rains. I also enjoy a good thunderstorm with lightening and the sound of the rain on my windows. Maybe we can learn to somehow enjoy these types of “weather” in our lives and give ourselves permission to just rest and be thoughtful and reflective when we do have a thunderstorm in our life. Thank you so much for this comment; it really made me think and consider how much I appreciate Mother Nature’s storms, and the beauty that they bring!

  10. I love this post because of the great depth and emotions that I feel from reading this post. Staying positive and riding through the waves of the storms are a must in controlling our emotions and our life. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I am so happy that this post brought on emotion. I felt so much emotion while I was writing it! I even had a few tears. Sometimes it is so difficult to stay positive throughout the storms. Yes, riding the waves of our life and trying our best is so important =) Thank you so much for reading, Ophelia!!

  11. Fantastic. You really shared a piece of your soul while evoking emotions in the reader. It is so important to learn how to put a positive perspective on life. Wishing you sunshine always. (OK, with a chance of a little rain – it makes it more worthwhile)

    1. Thank you, Helene! I definitely tried to put my soul into this post, and I am glad that it was felt! =) Thank you for the sunny wishes! I’m tossing those back at you, with a little side of rain ;). Thank you for visiting Citrus & Sun!!

  12. It actually makes a lot of sense now when you say life is like weather ! Sometimes we have a sunny days in our life and sometimes those darks which we hate but we can’t stop them! I wish you many sunny days! Love this post!

    1. Thank you for the sunny wishes, Ada!! Yes, we can’t stop those dark days, but we can definitely learn from them and come out a little brighter and wiser! Wishing you sunshine as well!!

  13. This is a beautiful post, Stephanie. I love the parallel between the weather and the swings and roundabouts of life. And the Bob Marley quote is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Delphine, thank you SO much! I also love that Bob Marely quote! It’s so simple, but it really made me think about how I handle tough situations. I appreciate your feedback. Thank you for visiting Citrus & Sun!

    1. Thank you, Tracy. This was a very hard post to write and I have definitely been trying to be more vulnerable in my writing. I am so glad that it reached you in this post =) Thank you for reading!

  14. Thank you for this encouragement. I’ve been in such a “rainy” season lately. I need to learn to keep dancing.

    1. Hi, Bailey. I am sorry that you have been in a “rainy” reason lately. Whatever it is, it will pass and you will learn something about life or yourself (or both!) from this experience! I’m sending you positive vibes and thoughts. Thank you for reading, and I’m so happy that you found some encouragement in this post. Sending you love and strength!!

  15. This was such a wonderful post, I felt like I could relate to your words on a deep level! Some days I don’t enjoy the weather, and nothing can make me feel better about it. I think during those days I need to feel what I feel just as you said. We can make the best of certain weather changes and that’s also important! Emotions should be felt and they are quite like the weather, aren’t they? Thank you for the inspirational read! xx

    http:/mylovelierdays.com

    1. Thank you, Diana!! I definitely have those days too when I just don’t enjoy the “weather” and what life is bringing me. I try to be mindful of the way I am feeling and work through those thoughts. And yes, emotions are definitely like the weather =) They come and they go…we just need to recognize them and work through them. Thank you so much for reading and for your thoughtful comment!

    1. Thank you for reading, Aimie. I hope the weather in your life gets a little brighter sooner than later. These seasons are sometimes long, but they will pass!! Wishing you sunny days and warm thoughts =)

  16. What an encouraging post! Feelings are so important to feel😊
    I feel that it’s when we step out of our comfortzone we develop ourselfs an reach a happier life. Maybe not at the moment but in the long term.
    PS. The weather in Gambia is perfect. Cloudy but warm!

    1. Hi Lina!! Yes, feelings are so important, and we can learn so much from them if we pay attention =) I agree, sometimes we do need to step out of our comfort zones and embrace those uncomfortable emotions and feelings. We can definitely learn a lot about ourselves by doing so! Thanks so much for reading! And I am so happy that your weather in Gambia is perfect =)=) Woohoo!!

    1. Thank you, Chen. I am sorry that you have been going through some stormy days; I am so glad that this post brought you some light. I hope that your storms pass soon!! Wishing you well! Keep in touch!

  17. I LOVE this! I’ve never thought of life as weather before. This post shows such a positive outlook, even when the days are rough. I’ve had a stressful week and you’ve definitely encouraged me to find the rainbow in it! Thanks for sharing.

    Sydney Meek | meeklyloving.wordpress.com

    1. Thank you for reading, Sydney!! I also had a stressful week the past two weeks actually and I have been working on finding rainbows in my rainstorms as well =) I wish you well with the coming week, and hope your days are filled with more sunshine!! Thank you for stopping by Citrus and Sun!!

  18. This is an amazing message! I find it difficult sometimes to just “dance in the rain” because I tend to think of the negative. But I am finding ways to cope with the changing weather also 🙂
    You’re doing amazing, keep it up!! 😊

    1. Thank you SO much, Halley, your comment warmed my heart!! Sometimes negative thoughts to creep into our mind…and that’s okay, as long as we don’t get stuck in those clouds!! I wish you well, and hope that you keep dancing through the rain of your life! Thank you for reading!

  19. Absolutely loved reading the post, some great quotes there. I feel if e look at the brighter side of every situation it gives us immense strength and courage to look forward.
    XO
    Shreya

    1. Thank you, Shreya! I am so happy that you enjoyed the post! Looking for the value of any situation good or bad can bring some sort of bright side to our hearts that can help us through even the toughest rainstorm =) Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Wishing you sunny days!

  20. The first thing I do when I’m in a storm is to try to block it out. The problem is, I end up soaking wet and don’t know why. I try to find all the other reasons, maybe there’s a leak, maybe I’m not really wet, anything other than the storm that is soaking me. You are so right: accept, acknowledge, then keep moving, even if it hurts. Because not everyone day needs to be sunny for it to matter.
    I’m finally allowing myself a few minutes of me time at night and I’m starting with catching up on your blog. This one is exactly what I needed tonight <3 xoxo

    1. Stacie, I can totally relate to this. I sometimes find myself just trying to block out what’s going on instead of acknowledging and accepting. Our talks help me with this and allow me to talk about what’s going on rather than just keeping it inside, so thank you for these!! I am so happy that we are there for each other on the sunny days, the rainy days, the stormy days and the snowy, cold days =) I feel truly lucky! Thank you for reading and for commenting! Love you!!

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