This past week was the one year anniversary of me leaving everything and everyone I know to go on the adventure of moving across the country and living in a brand new state. A lot of people have asked me over the last few months if I regretted it. If I wished I just stayed home. Or, on the other end, how I was enjoying my best life. How did I not just gaze in wonder at the beauty around me.
And the truth is – almost all of those thoughts and/or feelings have run the gambit of my emotions over the past months. Some more than others. The one that hasn’t? Regret. And for that I’m supremely thankful.
Was it uncomfortable? Better believe it. Was it awkward? Damn straight. You try and make new friends when you’re 36 and completely out of your element and tell me how easy it is. “Putting yourself out there” is a term I now understand. Completely. But then again, I’ve met some pretty amazing people and I’m working on building those friendships. It can be done.
Work was it’s own story. There were highs and a whole lot of lows. I haven’t felt like such a rookie since I was 18 and looking for work. Things were just so different. Not bad, just different. I’m good at what I do so there were a lot of assumptions that I understood how this particular company worked. Talk about awkward. I was screwing things up and didn’t realize it. And I didn’t understand how much more mental strength I needed to lead a bigger team – how much more time it would take. On the flip side? It was so worth it. I have a great group of people who work hard and try their best. They rise to the occasion when I ask them to. They let me know in little ways how they appreciate things. It’s pretty rewarding.
Then there were people who didn’t understand me and didn’t try to. There were people stabbing me in the back. And I didn’t exactly know how to handle that. But I figured it out. And the truth eventually came out. It always does.
But again – I don’t regret a single thing from this past year. You want to know why? I wouldn’t trade the growth and the experience I gained for the easiest job in the world. I am so looking forward to working this job in 2019 simply because I learned so much and I understand more of how things work here. So take that 2018! All the stress and long hours and awkwardness were worth something.
My personal life was almost the same way. A lot of highs and a lot of lows. There were some Saturdays I never even left the house. Or left the bed for that matter. So many people had told me how brave I was in moving by myself and starting a new life on my own. I just said thanks and moved on. I was so busy doing all those things I never even processed the whole experience. I went out and explored and saw all the sites I could. Until about two months ago. Then the enormity of my situation hit me. I was a mess. Depressed. Stressed out. Home sick. Friend sick. Lost relationships sick. Hated this state. Hated the weather. Hated my job. Hated everything. It was rough and sure as hell wasn’t easy trying to navigate that alone. But, guess what? I found strength and help in unexpected places. And the expected ones – I just needed to reach out for help. Took me a bit but I finally figured it out.
The growth I experienced both personally and professionally over the past year was difficult. But necessary. I do not have a single regret about leaving or starting this life. (Although I miss everyone like hell and it stinks missing out on things. That’s just reality.) Every experience, good or bad, helped shape me more into the person God wants me to be. And I wouldn’t change that for the world.
And there were awesome things. Like people coming to visit and exploring this gorgeous state. Like going home for hockey games. And family vacations. And holidays. Sporting events. Concerts. Hikes. Meeting new people. I went to Europe! It was a fantastic year.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that 2018 sucked for a lot of people I know and love. For me, it had its sucky points, but the good outweighed the bad by a long shot. Learn to see when you’re experiencing stress and depression and reach out to someone. It’s a hell of a thing to go at alone. And it will effect your health. Don’t ask me how I know.
If you have a chance to do something that could be life-changing but scares the heck out of you – do it. If it seems like it was a bad idea – hang on for a bit and leave the emotions aside. If it really is bad – turn around. There’s no shame. You won’t have to wonder anymore. But if it is good – really good – then you gambled and won out on your best life. There will be no regrets.
And then you can stand on top of the mountain of all that junk and say “I did it. I’m on top!”