Over the years I’ve been amused by the responses I receive when I tell people the trajectory of my life since 2008.
They’re usually taken back by the number of places I’ve lived, the jobs I’ve had, and the reasons (or lack there of) I’ve moved over the course of a decade. They ask, “did you move for school?” or “did you get a job there?”
These seemingly justifiable reasons were never why I chose to move- not even once.
Truth be told, I went to school in Michigan, and life was completely fine when I left in 2008. I was engaged, lived in a beautiful suburban house, and had a job I was good at. Even though things on the outside seemed fantastic, I was lost and confused on the inside.
I was bored.
“This can’t be it!” I thought. So, for the next 10 years, I searched for the magic recipe to find contentment. I called off my wedding and moved to San Francisco. I quit my law firm job and ran off to Austin with a boyfriend. I went back to San Francisco. My drinking problems got worse. I got sober for a couple of years, and then was off to the races in New York City.
The stories continue…
What I didn’t know that entire time was that I needed to find my fulfillment from within.
There’s no bone in my body that regrets moving around so much, nor am I ashamed for all the things I did. Each and every turn in the road lead me to realize who I truly was.
I needed to live authentically to find peace. I didn’t realize I was being something different than who I was to make someone else happy, and that I knew my life was somewhere in the city- I just didn’t know which city that was.
When life gets hard, my initial reaction is to move, change things, or to run away. Today I am finally realizing that sitting still can make you stronger than you even knew you were- but most importantly, that your authentic self isn’t someone you want to run away from.
For years and years, I tried to hold onto the Kristin I once was.
I romanticized old lovers and bad habits, altered the person I was to fit with the people around me, and questioned who I was to the core. I continually ran from myself, jet-setting to a new city only to discover I was still exactly where I always was.
You can’t escape your soul.
The same people or places I tried to avoid would resurface no matter what neighborhood, city, or state I was in- they may have had a different face, but they were always the same.
Everything I tried to steer clear of would manifest in one form or another until I learned two valuable lessons:
- I needed to love who (and where) I was
- I needed a new perspective
I couldn’t change what was going on around me, but I could accept where I was at- but most of all, accept myself.
Since I started writing about my sobriety, a whole new world has opened up. I have stopped thinking I needed to sugarcoat my struggles, and I am no longer ashamed of the person I am. The quirks that make me who I am are ones I want to celebrate- not hide!
Maybe that “you” who you love isn’t new after all, but it’s one who is authentic. Embrace her- she’s worth it!
We all have our things. For some, it’s chocolate, gambling, porn, or collector’s items.
For me, it’s paper goods.
This includes, but is not limited to, books, stationary, calendars, journals, and day planners. If you can purchase it at a book store, I probably want it.
I told you that we all have our things.
The other week I indulged in a new day planner to jump start this new era- an era where I’m even more authentic, organized, and aligned with all things that bring me purpose and joy. I threw away my 2018-2019 planner (where I had already ripped out entire months so I didn’t have to look backward) and decided to move forward with fresh pages.
That sentiment is appropriate for all aspects of life, isn’t it?
Although we can learn from the past, we can’t dwell on it. My new agenda reminds me that my future is fabulous, no matter what the previous pages may have told me.