It seems like yesterday I flew into Logan Airport for the very first time. On that early December morning, I gazed out the window with excitement as the plane flew along the Atlantic coastline. With three checked bags and pure faith, I had arrived to my new life.
Now what? The possibilities were infinite.
I didn’t have money, a job, or an apartment prior to my arrival. I did have help from my mother and a whole lot of optimism, though. Unlike my moves in the past, I was starting over- no loose ends, no exes to bump into, no old haunts. Boston was brand new.
I lined up an Airbnb for the first couple of weeks while I learned the area and looked for work. On my first days I went into the city for job interviews, explored the waterfront, and visited the historic Freedom Trail. There was a special feeling from the moment I landed; something felt right, like home. I still don’t know why that is. Although it’s been an amazing (and tough!) year, my journey has just begun. I feel 100% more free, more alive, and finally, I feel at home.
I’ve been shedding who I was over the past 12 months and stepping into the person I was always meant to be. Damn, it feels good! When I start being hard on myself for where I am at, I have to remember that the past year was meant for healing, growth, and self discovery.
It’s been a joke among my friends, family, and acquaintances that I never stay in one place for too long. That’s true; I didn’t in the past. However, I don’t live for someone else’s expectations or concern myself with judgement. As I looked all over the country to find myself, I finally stopped and began to look within; it only took me a lifetime to learn.
I’ve always had a strong need to experience all life has to offer- “settling” has never been an option. I’m always striving, always seeking. Although my running streak was caused by a combination of a curious spirit and a tortured soul, feeling uncomfortable in my own skin ended up as one of my biggest gifts. Funny, right? Re-creating myself, meeting new people, and learning confidence for the first time seemed much easier than sitting still, surrounded by painful memories and old traumas.
So I set out to learn who I was- not what my hometown, my parents, my teachers, or my classmates said I was. I had no idea who I really was when I finally left Michigan and moved to San Francisco in 2008. Instead of looking at my trials and tribulations as failures or instability, I view the past decade as my time to live life to the fullest- before real obligations, like a mortgage or kids.
Not only can I look back without regrets, I was able to spend time living in great cities (San Francisco, Austin, Charlotte, New York, Chicago, Boston), meeting amazing people, trying out different types of work, and, of course, gathering endless stories along the way. I don’t know how many women can say they lived in 6 major cities and 6 states in the period of nine years without having a steady job, income, or partner. Perhaps I do have a nomadic soul… I can make a home anywhere I go. Impermanence was ingrained in me from a young age. Although I never saw a need to set up “roots,” these days I have been thinking differently. Something shifts when you’re at peace. Now that I am happier within my soul, I feel I can finally stand still, relax, and make a physical home- not just the home I have inside myself.
I caught up the other day with a friend from my NYC era who has known my struggles… especially the ups and downs of my old Manhattan life. He actually knew me before I moved to New York- he tweeted me after finding my old blog back in 2013. This past evening we chatted about our new cities, healing gemstones (I wrote the jewelry descriptions for his website last year), and how we could work together again in the future. After reflecting on how much our lives have changed these past four years, he told me how glad he is that I am finally happy. I didn’t tell him that; he just knew. The rat race is finally over, the mask is off. I’ve let the past go and opened my arms to the future. Although I can look back and laugh at my hot mess days, I know that this good life could easily be broken by no other than me if I begin thinking I don’t deserve happiness because of my past.
He shared one of the best messages I have heard in a while: