What a Difference a Year Makes

Today I turned 35, and in the past few weeks, I quit my job, sold all of my belongings, and moved across country.  I don’t have a new job, I luckily have a place to live, and the ocean now kind of looks like these big, pointy things sticking out of the ground.

Would this scare most people?  Yep.  It would.  But not me!  I’m not your average, run-of-the-mill type, and any time someone tried to place me in that category, I hip checked them, causing them to lose both their footing and their perception of me.  I don’t fit most molds, and I don’t much care for boxes.  I much prefer the winged life, taking flight and finding new places to land when the ground looks inviting.

But this took me a while to understand about myself.  It didn’t happen overnight.  And to those who call me “brave” and who are “proud of me” because you couldn’t do it, you could if given the right circumstances.  Trust me.  I was once you.

But life took me in another direction, one that I assumed, in the beginning, involved Chris, but later found out that it had nothing to do with anyone but me.  When he and I first talked about our life together, I thought we’d live in Massachusetts for a bit and then I’d come to Colorado with him.  I didn’t think I was strong enough to move here on my own, and at the time I wasn’t.  But I knew that there was something pulling me west.  I just couldn’t admit it to myself, although if you ask a few of my SoulSisters, they will tell you that they all knew!

After we split up, I mourned the thought of moving here.  I tried desperately to let go of this life, and be happy with what I had in Massachusetts.  A career that paid well, a great place to live that I owned, amazingly supportive friends and family, and I was never in lack… except my heart was yearning for something else.

Hopelessly trying to fill a void, I sold my condo and eventually moved to the beach, got a car I had always wanted, switched jobs, left some friends behind, and consequently got closer to some that were standing by.  I also became a frequent flier, taking to the skies at the drop of a hat and the swipe of a credit card.  Home was out there, I just knew it.  But where?  And with whom?

It wasn’t until last summer when I decided to give Colorado another look.  I knew that the signs were there, and had been since I was in Africa, but tried to ignore, ignore, ignore.  I realized I could no longer ignore, and set forth on my last frontier to find “home”.

I spent some quality time with Chris, only to find out what I already knew – he wasn’t home to me – and I let him know before I moved on down the mountain.  I wasn’t sure what to anticipate from our reunion, but it was clear to me that we had completed our karmic contract, and it was time to move beyond our connection.

I spent a few days out hiking with my uncle, and some delicious moments with dear friends, and it wasn’t until the last night I was here that I caught a glimpse of what was missing… and it was so simple. It was laughter.  Not the giggly kind, but the uncontrollable, silly, tearful kind that makes your heart leap into every syllable you utter.  And it came unexpectedly with people I barely knew.  But it was there.  And in that moment, I realized then that I hadn’t laughed like that in a long time.

Is laughter a reason to move across country?  No, but that night was where I felt free from myself for the first time since my second Colorado trip.  And my first.  And all of the times in between when I had flashes of times when I was here and felt free.  Because that is the word that kept coming up any time I considered this move: FREE.  That was the feeling I felt any time my heart hurt from trying too hard: FREE.  That was the emotion I was longing for that was actually home to me: FREE.

Why couldn’t I get this kind of FREEdom in Massachusetts?  I could list a million reasons, all of which I have worked through on every level possible.  But I still didn’t feel that FREEdom I knew I could embrace here in a new way.  It was obvious to me that something had to change, and it wasn’t long before I knew that making the ultimate move was the right choice.  The signs all pointed here, and all year long, I prepped for this transition.

One year ago, I celebrated my 34th birthday with friends here in Colorado, wondering if I could see myself living in this part of the country.  Today, I celebrate my 35th birthday as a new resident, feeling a calm I haven’t felt in almost three years.

I don’t know what is in store for me here, but I’ve been guided to this place, and wouldn’t have made such a drastic move if I thought it would be the wrong one.  In fact, nothing feels wrong about this, despite the questions that filled my head just a year ago about making this move.

Looking back, I can say that this has been one of the more transformative, difficult, painful, exciting, life-affirming years I’ve ever had, so if this is the difference a year makes, imagine what life will be like in another 365 days…

Free

Free

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