Change is good. For decades I ran away from it, was afraid of it and swore I wasn’t any good at it – today, that’s different (although I’m still not at ease with it). Somehow those beginning weeks of January tend to feel as if we’re standing on a precipice and it could all go in any direction. We could turn back and head towards our same choices and habits or go forward into the unknown. We could dangle here on the edge for awhile and hedge our bets with the thought of lifting off or falling back down the rabbit hole and wait until we feel comfortable with one or the other. We could leap with the possibility of falling, but what if, perhaps we fly? There’s rarely an easy answer, a comfortable feeling or a right time – often it’s trust your gut, trust your journey and believe that the net will appear (because really, you’re your own net).
Sometimes it takes a chat with a good friend to remind you where you came from, how far you’ve come and that the current situation is not your destination. No matter the path, each one of us winds our way with steps forward and backwards, stumbles and skips, easy footing and learning to balance on that wobbly, rocky terrain. If we choose to see it, every bend seems to showcase awareness, gratitude, perspective, lessons, growth and adventure. Who knew those trails were all so packed full of curious learning in more ways than one. As we reflect upon where we’ve been, notice our stagnant spots, observe the progress and manifest those next steps – the process becomes clear. Truly, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for this entire time.
For me, these past few years have seen both stumbles and standstills, grief and gratitude, potential and progress, messy situations and mindset shifts and heaps of everything in between. Ups and downs, wiggles and wonders – you know, basically, the good, the bad and the ugly. But today, I choose happy. Today, I choose joy. Today, I choose wonder, love, laughter, adventure, kindness, light and manifesting good. It doesn’t mean all things are rosy all the time, but it does mean to look for the good, be grateful for the moment, do your best to remain in the present and keep showing up to do the work.
With all the talk of ‘is this the turn of a new decade or not’, I find myself realizing that whether we’re calling it one thing or the other – the past ten years have seen a heck of a lot of shifts in my world.
- 2009: Got married, took a one year honeymoon around the world visiting 21 countries along the way, lived in Australia for awhile
- 2011: Left summer camp life as Aquatics Director – first summer off in a lifetime
- 2012: Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath
- 2013: Traveled around the world for 3 months, left traditional education for a different path, visited 6 continents (yes, Antarctica is the odd one out)
- 2014: Ditched winter in NY and drove across the country to San Diego…little did we know it would be far longer than 3 months, set foot in Kurumba, Maldives for the first time
- 2015: Moved into our first apartment in San Diego, let go of our Long Beach, NY apartment
- 2016: Camped in Australia’s Red Desert, drove across the United States for the 2nd time (this time touching heaps of national parks)
- 2017: Lost my Dad, drove across the United States for the 3rd time and temporarily moved back to NY
- 2018: Moved back to San Diego, 4th cross country road trip, husband broke tibial plateau, became a certified yoga instructor
- 2019: Visited our 50th state, put travel back on the forefront of our journey
As a camper at sleep-away camp I didn’t even like when my counselors shifted cabins for the next encampment and I’m still not at ease when there’s a last minute substitute in a yoga class. Change isn’t easy, but it is inevitable – the best we can do is learn to embrace the shifts, welcome the different and become comfortable with the uncomfortable. What’s odd, is that often then, the comfortable becomes uncomfortable and we yearn for change. Life is filled with twists and turns.
There are moments that affect us deeply, cut us to the core and shift our entire perspective. Change isn’t easy – I’m the first one to say that. Shifting our mindset comes with setbacks that are hard to shake. Sometimes we falter, sometimes we get stuck and other times we get that meditation in, plant our feet firmly on the ground, take a deep breath and find our footing. I couldn’t have imagined ten years ago that I would no longer be teaching at a Long Island high school. I couldn’t have imagined that I’d experience life as an expat, visit 50 states or regularly dip my toes in the Pacific. And there’s no way I could have imagined losing my Dad. Life happens, change occurs – but we can work on our perspective, our mindset, our attitude and ride the waves as best we can.
Almost exactly 5 years ago today, we moved into our first apartment in San Diego. Here we thought we’d check out something new, find out about the whole west coast vibe and skip a snowy winter in New York. Five years later we’re still in the same building (be it a different apartment), have a favourite fish taco shop, have made friends and are looking forward to continued adventures in this special, chosen city. At the end of the day, none of us knows what’s really going to happen next. We have control over our attitudes, over our response and over our own choices but that’s about it. I don’t know where this next decade will take me, but I do know that I feel more comfortable in my own skin than I did 10 years ago. Whether it’s filled with smooth sailing or bumpy waves, know that you can get there, will see the other side and it just might be even more beautiful than you ever expected.