Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote my second blog post. It was absolutely horrible and it went something like this. I had just turned 27 and was not in a good place. Looking back, I was in complete denial and totally avoiding all the things that were going on. I was unsatisfied at work, had a new car I couldn’t afford, was still mad at my ex-boyfriend, and was falling for one of my best guy friends that just got back from deployment. On top of all that, my best friend and rock in San Diego had decided to move back to New York.
My family took a vacation to Florida to celebrate my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary a week or so later at the beginning of October. I had to take most of the days off from work unpaid due to the shittiest vacation benefits package you can imagine. I was pissed about it and didn’t want to go back so badly that I lied about missing my flight and stayed an extra day. When I got back to San Diego, things were just…off. I had a great time with my family and missed them terribly. I couldn’t get out of party mode. I stopped working out and taking care of myself. Every day at work was worse than the day before. I was battling to fight and hide growing feelings for my friend. I was doing things that really just weren’t me. I was lost and I was lost good. I woke up one Friday morning and had an absolute breakdown. I called my Dad crying that something had to change, that I had to move, or quit, or sell my car, or something, anything. Sounds pretty awful, right?
Well, it was. It was not a time I look back on fondly. But within a week or so, all of those events and emotions would lead me to this.
Now one year, 60 posts, and a literal trip around the world later I find myself at age 28. It was a wacky year to say the least. I survived months of that job while I kept my leaving a secret. I told the guy how I felt and lost him as a friend. I sold almost everything I owned and slept on an air mattress for weeks. I partied hard through my last days in San Diego. I drove across the country alone. I got on a one-way flight to a country that I had never been to, located on the other side of the world, all by myself. I met and made friends with people that could barely speak my language. I traveled to some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I trusted myself enough to know when it was time to come home. I was able to go to my nephew’s first birthday party and spend summer hanging out with some of the most important people in my life. I did things that I never ever ever thought I could or would do. If I didn’t have proof that some of these things happened, I might not even believe them.
But it wasn’t all romantic and enlightening either. I showered with cold water over a garbage can in Thailand while cockroaches hung in my kitchen. There were plenty more people I met that I didn’t make friends with. I drank too much Thai whiskey and ate things that made me sick. I offended people from other cultures by mistake. I doubted my decisions, said the wrong things, got on wrong busses, and stayed in some really, really awful places. I didn’t always treat others they way I would like to be treated. I was frustrated and anxious and I cried. A lot. Was it worth it?
I’m not even close to having it all figured out, but I’m in a much better position now than I was then. It was a year of some serious exploring and experiencing and living life and growing and I wouldn’t change a bit of it. I still don’t really know where I’m going but finally feel like I’m actually going – and progressing in the right direction. And all of those things that I never thought I could or would do? I did them and I’m still doing them. I’m doing the things that feel right for me. Creating my life the way that I want it. Not waiting until some magic day when I’m “ready” to do all the things I want to do or someone else says its OK. I’m starting now. I’m spending lots of time with my family. Working to save money and starting on my microbusiness. I’m getting more and more focused and writing everyday. I just spent a week in Puerto Rico with my sister partying, tanning on the beach, rope swinging in the rainforest and night kayaking in the Bioluminescent Bay. Next month I get to go to the wedding of one of my sorority sisters from college and see lots of old friends. In November I’m visiting the love of my life – San Diego. After Christmas, I’m heading to Costa Rica and will actually surpass my 2012 goal of visiting five countries. I already have so much to look forward to and I know there is so much more to come.