The typical move people my age and younger seem to make is to leave their hometown for an adventure in a big city. It’s a cliche of the American Dream and I of course, did the opposite. Having lived in a big diverse city my entire life, I never saw the “adventure” in it. I had tasted the rural life for a few years growing up–we lived on a large avocado grove and owned a yellow tractor and rode horses and never wore shoes (although, that might just be the Florida in me because I still don’t wear shoes)–but I’ve been a city girl my whole life.
Two years ago, I began to get swallowed up in the city I was living in. My family and many of my close friends had all moved away and I was falling into the numbing cycle of work and more work. End of 2015 I began to realize what was happening to me and to crave a new adventure. On paper I was doing well for myself–stable job with benefits, new car, good living conditions, active gym membership–but something was missing. I wasn’t taking time for myself. I hadn’t traveled or taken a vacation in over two years, I made poor choices in the dating department and I had totally neglected my emotional needs. I would get up early, go to work all day 6 days a week, come home exhausted and veg in front of the TV all night. Repeat. My main companion was Loki (aka Steven if you read the last blog–little guy got a new name pretty quickly) and every now and then, when our schedules aligned, I’d spend time with my friends, most of whom had moved away already. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, my mother was right when she suggested I take a leap of faith and move out of Miami. The city was drowning me and I was losing my identity and spice for life.
March of 2016 I took the plunge: moved from the big city to a smaller town in Florida, and back in with the ‘rents. I had no job lined up and hadn’t even looked for one. I had complete faith that it was the right decision–as scary as it was. I took two months to reconnect with myself, nature, family, and I was becoming happier. Adjusting to the slower pace of life was difficult (I still struggle with it) but I needed the change. I needed to stop and smell the roses, to be in the moment. I had spent so much time in a concrete jungle and it phased me. My world was tiny in the sense that I had lost interest in the natural world, I was a victim of my own busyness and glued to technology and entertainment, I was ignorant to how I contribute to the world around me. I was removed from any real emotion or empathy. I wasn’t angry or lonely or anything, I was just numb and making a bold move to a smaller town gave me the jolt I needed to regain feeling.
After two months of doing absolutely nothing job-wise and regaining my identity, I decided it was time to start working again, but not as much as before and at a job that I felt I could grow in and be inspired. I was going to be picky. It took me a week and I had a job. Two jobs actually and they were exactly what I was looking for.
Here I am a little over a year later, and life’s been working out pretty well. Of course, it hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been adventurous. I’ve experienced some incredible things, I work with some amazing people, I’ve consciously lived in the moment and made time for myself to be out in nature, to go on vacation, to spend more time with friends and family, and to see new parts of the world. I’ve begun to feel again, to grow personally, and to be aware. I’m watching much less TV and I’m more concerned with things that matter and aware of the footprint I’m leaving on the world. Being busy isn’t a bad thing, but when you allow yourself to fall into a busy rut and you begin to grow numb to your surroundings, you miss out on so much that the world has to offer.
It’s a beautiful place, get out there and experience it. Live in the moment!