Chance, sacrifice, opportunity, risk... Whatever your perspective. I promise it is worth it.
The chance, sacrifice, opportunity, risk, that I took to move my life to a state I had never been to or nor did I know anyone in was a challenge. It was not fun. But now looking back nine months later I can say it was the best decision of my life.
Because it was one of the hardest most unwanted decisions to take, it has made it one of the best. I had to adapt, learn, and grow with no choice but to listen to myself. No friend to hang out with on the weekend, no boyfriend to soothe the comfort of being away from home, no family a car ride away... Just me. Alone across the country from anything familiar.
I had once seen it as a sacrifice, a sacrifice to give up everything so dear to my heart - a yoga job, a ski instructor job, an internship downtown in writing, a place I was so comfortable in...Why move? At that point it was a sacrifice that my heart ached to take but my mind reminded me it was the right thing to do -- to grow, to learn, to experience...
Today I look back and I still see it as a sacrifice, because at the time it was, but a sacrifice that slowly but surely transformed into an opportunity that I will always be grateful for.
I am so thankful for my mind and the strength that it gave me to pursue this unknown and unwanted journey because I look back and yes I struggled. The constant rain and cloudy days (I experienced the wettest winter EVER RECORD (9 months of "winter") in the history of Washington state). I moved here to a city that welcomed me by three car break-ins and constant cloudy days. A place so foreign to me I was nothing but bitter -- so bitter to have "given up" everything I loved and all that I had known to work for some software company I new less than a dime about.
Today I look back and I realize, wow. I was at an all-time low. Life was miserable let me say - but I knew it. And I had to change that. I had to say, "Okay. I sacrificed all the wonderful things, why? Because I will grow, learn, experience... I can always come back to yoga, ski instructing, etc. but this is a one time deal." A rare chance into the professional world, not to mention I am blessed to work for a company rated Best Places to Work in 2016. And so I had to remind myself I chose with the logical approach not the emotional one.
And it was the best decision of my life.
I would shed a tear, two, or a handle full back in the winter when I missed my friends and family and just the familiarity of a sunny day or blue sky but I did not quit. I realized the importance of my growth and that if I stay strong and do not give up in these dark moments I will start to see a positive change.
That was important - knowing this chance, sacrifice, opportunity, risk... Was a struggle because you cannot expect life to be great at every step of the way, you need to ensure challenges and struggles in order to succeed. And I had to ask myself multiple times, "Am I going to let the shitty-ness of my situation get the best of me? Or am I going to search every cloud in the sky until I find the sun in this present moment?" And yes you can. And you will, and I did.
Change your attitude to believe that this chance, sacrifice, opportunity, risk was the right decision. Remind yourself of the courage you took to take on this new path because you are strong. If you were not strong then you would have wimped out and never taken this new direction.
But no to the question,"Is it easy?" It took me months of bitterness to be back in my "happy Dev" mode. And I'm so glad I've made it. And you can too -- hopefully quicker than it took me.
How did I find my happiness, my "happy Dev" mode again? Well, it took a lot of self reflecting and honesty. Because I was alone I was able to listen to myself -- an amazing thing to do even if you surround yourself with friends and family. But this was an intimate chance to truly get to know myself as I lived independently in an unknown place and was able to see how I reacted as a human and what were my main struggles and what was a piece of cake.
From my reflection, I struggled the most with the weather. I did not realize how much I love and appreciate the vitamin D. In conclusion I took vitamin D pills and got a sun lamp. Every time the sun would peak out I would sprint outside and stare at it. I absolutely, for forever, will appreciate the shinning sun and never take it for granted again.
The second hardest challenge was replacing yoga and my typical routine of working out. I had to find a new outlet or one that could fulfill the enjoyment I got from my old days of practicing yoga. I searched and searched for a studio near me but I could not find one remotely similar. It was sad but this is when I came to the realization that you have to be flexible and adaptable - able to replace old hobbies with new and challenge yourself to find enjoyment from other things. And so I stopped searching for a studio and practiced on my own - it wasn't ideal but it was something.
I found a new outlet - I signed up for my first half marathon and started to run. When moving to Washington I did not think I would complete a half marathon there. It has been on my bucket list but on the 10 year list, not the one year list... But I did it.
I started running weekly and set a goal to finish. Then set a goal to run every mile in ten minutes, next a goal to finish every mile under nine minutes. Then to my surprise I finished each mile a minute and half quicker than anticipated. And shockingly I ended up ranking in third place for my age group.
It was a rewarding feeling to know there are other ways to workout, yoga doesn't have to be my always solution. Although it will always be important in my life and something I am passionate about but there are other ways and other challenges that can give you that same fulfillment and satisfaction you get from your other hobbies.
In the winter when the clouds start rolling in day after day, week after week, month after month, I plan to join a gym and take boxing classes. I figure I should wait to join until I have no choice but to be inside to stay dry. So that is a new outlet I hope to explore to replace my old workout routine I was so accustomed to.
It is not easy adjusting to a new place on your own or even with a few familiarities but it is a challenging learning experience that will mature you. It will give you the most insight about yourself and how you need and want to live life. It will shape you and then you will know what types of goals and aspirations are dearest to your heart and the best ways to go about them. Letting yourself outside your comfort zone will only strengthen your independence and guide you closer to finding your happy place again.
I am not saying I now love Washington state. Because I certainly do not like the weather but I have learned to cope and have found ways to overcome the gloomy days. And I still do not plan to live here for a long period of time but I found a long lost peace of mind in this new city. And that does not mean loving the things that have created challenges, like for me the weather and hobbies, -- but find a way to make it livable and enjoyable as best as you can.
It can not all be all ideal but you can work to make every situation better by opening your heart, expanding your horizons, and letting your mind learn about your body and what it needs to be happy and what can replace old ways to a degree of satisfaction. In all, it is simply listening to yourself and finding what it is that made you strong enough to make this chance, sacrifice, opportunity, risk worth it.
In conclusion, because I know most of my readers are curious and wondering why I have not mentioned the breaking and shocking news that I have met a guy... well yes I have. But I do not want anyone to get the wrong idea - Kevin, is his name (yes it rhymes with my name), is incredible and truly a beautiful person. HOWEVER, he is not what has made me happy, you can only make yourself happy. BUT he has significantly added to my happiness and lifestyle. And this will lead to my next blog which is about the people and things you surround yourself with and how it shapes you as a person. But to end, I am a very lucky gal. But let me say it took some courage to get where I am and I have full faith in whatever step you take next you are strong enough to overcome and conquer.
Until next time,