My life has been a whirlwind of change and challenge since moving away from New York City 2.5 months ago. I willingly stepped into a vortex that immediately took me away from an existence I’d spent two years building, into the heart of a changing family dynamic, through a tense month and a half of unemployment, and on to living in a city I’d only ever experienced at a distance. “Life comes at you in waves.” It’s an insight of my Mom’s that could not have rung more true these past months. Life came at me. It demanded I pull my big girl pants on, look at myself in the mirror, and believe that the light at the end of the tunnel does indeed exist.
A couple of days ago, as I was walking through my neighborhood in Saint Paul, I had an overwhelming feeling that this whirlwind was dying and I suddenly found myself in the middle of…my life. Imagine a tornado whirring out of control, and the funnel cloud suddenly retracting into itself as fast as it formed. I felt, on that walk, that the change and challenge had begun to retract into themselves and I was left with a life that offered a promise of feeling settled. The world around me seemed still, and beautiful. I could hear myself breathing.
While a tall, deep wave of change is never easy or fun to swim through, I have to say this was probably the most rewarding swim I’ve ever taken. For the first time in my life I felt I was fighting battles I found truly important. I was forced to put myself first, and toss aside parts of my life I’d been clinging onto unnecessarily, but keep those that mattered close. I said no to a dream job so I could live in a place where I’d feel content in more than just my career. I stepped into a long-distance relationship armed mostly with hope. I drew boundaries in places I’d never thought I’d have to. Heck, I even asked for a toolkit for my birthday. Often I notice the ways in which I changed over the course of a year or longer, but these past two months were a definite catalyst towards a better version of myself.
I don’t believe change or challenges ever fade from life, but I think I’ve finally just accepted that, even in their midst, things are going to be okay. I look at my life and realize how very much I have to be thankful for. I have a family who loves me unconditionally and backs my goals and dreams without pause. I have a boyfriend who supports and inspires me even from 1,000 miles away, and dear friends who do the same from their own distances. I live in a beautiful apartment with an incredibly thoughtful roommate. I have a job that pushes me to keep my feet planted and my sights set on bigger goals at the same time. And I finally live in a city where it feels good to smile, better to walk slow, and easy to be me. I mean really, what more could one ask for in life? (Besides more cowbell. And ice cream.)
I feel something good has just begun. I see the beauty around me.