Sunrise into day


Things look different here (you might need to refresh your browser). After 6 years, it was time.

I loved that photo, the one taken in a Kansas field, sun-drenched and vibrant and glamorous – because who wears heels in a meadow? That girl was a great girl, bold and impulsive. She had so many wonderful things ahead, things that she couldn’t have dreamed even if she tried. She was running full speed into the unknown, and the latter half of her 20s was sensational, to say the least.

She was happy, and she didn’t know it.

But then again, her life was censored. She didn’t know that, either.

The field was eventually plowed over, and townhomes went in. That flowered chair ripped apart, and so did her family. Her free spirit was trampled into the dirt. Her skinny thighs got a little bigger, while her confidence got a little smaller. And one night, the left stiletto on those red high heels snapped right off.

Uncensored reality can be ugly. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that the last several years have been dark for me. You’ve tracked along with what I now know to have been seasons of crippling depression and despair. And when the struggle got to be too much, I just went on auto-pilot, choosing monotone over minor chords through a variety of anesthetics.

But Brené Brown says, “We cannot selectively numb emotions.” She’s right: when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb joy, love, and compassion. And what kind of a life is that?

So I’ve taken that idea to heart, and have spent the past year plowing forward into the darkness – which, by the way, has been about as fun as venturing into my spider-infested cellar with nothing but a Zippo. But at least I’m seeing things for what they really are, or at least closer to the way that they really are. These days, the veil is lifted, for worse and for better – and there is a “better.”

So it’s time for this space to be fresh.

Life is quiet these days, and largely uncomplicated. It’s also lonely, although that’s probably mostly by choice. If I told you the last time I went on a date, you would cringe. I have more questions than answers, and the things that are unresolved – the broken relationships, the questions of purpose, the nagging insecurities – peck at me from time to time.

But somehow, there’s an element of contentment. I am rooted – not necessarily geographically, but in who I am and what I’m willing (and not willing) to wait for. I can’t say exactly when it happened, but I feel a simple confidence that just like there are good things behind, there are good things ahead.

The light is soft, the colors gentle, and the good hair days abound.

Thanks for being here through the slow, slow changes. Here’s to more light and laughter in the midst of the quiet unknown.

Change comes slow,
And sometimes you don’t notice
The twilight into darkness,
The sunrise into day
-Jill Phillips, “If You Were Here”



  1. Shanna on September 23, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    I like the change. I like these thoughts. I like the way hard days and darkness have propelled you, so obviously, to be walking in the light.

  2. Angie N (@angnik26) on September 23, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Annie you have such a way with finding the perfect words to acknowledge the not-so-great parts of being a late 20 (or early 30)-something girl just trying to figure it all out. It’s so easy to relate, in a way I never thought it could be with someone I only know on the internet.

    Thank you so very much for being real and raw and honest, it means more than you know.

  3. Christina on September 23, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    I love you. I love this writing. I love these pictures. (You’re so freaking pretty.) Lori McKenna played one mile from my house over the weekend and it made me miss you and wish we could have put on our cutest clothes to go see the show together, have drinks after and stay up too late. That’s all for now.

  4. Bree Jeffries on September 23, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    The sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning! Love you, friend. Excited and eagerly anticipating all that is ahead!!

  5. lyndee on September 23, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    annie – a woman who speaks the words of my heart! let’s (for real) get together soon!

  6. Chelsea on September 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    you are beautiful and so is this post

  7. Whitney on September 23, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    A beautiful, thoughtful post. A beautiful, thoughtful change in design.

    Brene Brown gets life, or rather, that authentic living that is so right and so hard and so good.

    Here’s to the next slow, quiet changes.

  8. Michael on September 23, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    She is beautiful in joy and sorrow, this woman gracing us with her presence here. Grace and peace, dear Annie

  9. Mandy on September 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    You write your heart. That is rare and refreshing as heartwrenching as it sometimes is. I look forward to the joys to come.

  10. Katie on September 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    This is so lovely and wise, Annie. I love the new look. xo

  11. Catherine on September 23, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Love you, dear friend.

  12. Janelle from Canada on September 23, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    I’m always incredibly thankful for you. You are always the heroine I look up to – a woman noted for courage and daring action. Even when the days were dark, the flame was still burning inside of you. Let the flame burn brighter. Love you big sister :)

  13. Meg on September 23, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Thank you.

  14. Pamela | Girl Gone West on September 23, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Love the new header, Annie! Your photos are so beautiful.

    Hang soon?

  15. Julie's Mom on September 23, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    You are a gifted girl, a great friend to my daughter, and an amazing author and song-writer. You are a teacher to all of us that resist or deny change. Thank you for your eloquent lesson.

  16. Laura on September 23, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Good for you. I’ve been reading your blog for years and years and I’m so excited for you.

  17. Hilary on September 23, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    You are a bright light, Annie Parsons. Shine on, my friend. I’m so thankful to get to know you–and I’m so delighted to discover that the person who helps me sop up spilled wine is the person whose wise words I read here. Truth, sister.

  18. mrs. chesney on September 24, 2013 at 3:28 AM


  19. Elizabeth on September 24, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Hi, I’m a long-time reader, rare commenter. But I just wanted to say, I love your writing. It is lovely. And so is your new design. Thank you for writing.

  20. Joey on September 24, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    I hope you picked up your keyboard after your wrote this so that you could drop it on the ground and walk out of the room.

  21. kimberly on September 24, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    I cannot tell you how much peace it gives me to read about the parallels in our lives. xo.

  22. Greta on September 24, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    You are prettier now than you’ve ever been. And that prettiness has nothing to do with good hair days.

    Love you and love the new look of the blog.

    Can’t wait for Saturday. :)

  23. Paul Parsons on September 24, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    I love to listen in on your long journey, Annie. I love to see transformation in you, something only God can do. I love the hope and especially the maturity to be able to see that there was good and there will be good. I am so very proud of you.

  24. erin, your erin on September 24, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    in the world of the interwebs highlight reel, your realness speaks. Our journeys are navigating similar paths these days, and I think of you often.

    p.s. i got my hair cut today, and i’d be lying if i said i didn’t feel just a tad sassy.

  25. hootenannie » Blog Archive » Out loud on September 25, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    […] Sunrise into day […]

  26. Leigh Kramer on September 25, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    This is so good to hear and see, Annie. It makes me wish we lived closer so we could grab coffee and discuss All The Things. You are a wonder and I’m glad you’re looking to the light.

  27. The J to your AM on October 2, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Fun to catchup tonight. After reading this I keeping hearing “Annie! Annie! Annie!” in my head accompanied by strong fist pumping.

  28. The J to your AM on October 2, 2013 at 10:58 PM have a great ‘bite’. Teeth too:)

  29. Miranda Warder on October 13, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    “And when the struggle got to be too much, I just went on auto-pilot, choosing monotone over minor chords through a variety of anesthetics.”

    So amazed by your words and your bravery.

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