The Long Road to Change
During these last few months I have been doing a lot of thinking on my hikes. As I’ve mentioned on here before, music is a big part of my life. I’m usually attracted to songs first by their melody and then, if they stand the test, the lyrics, which take me deeper into the song.
Well, recently I started to listen to Florence + the Machine’s new album, especially their new single Shake It Out. The lyrics have a positive message about shaking off your demons and making decisions about what baggage you continue to carry with you. The melody gives you a feeling of strength, leaving you with a sense of empowerment. It speaks to taking inventory of the aspects of yourself that you don’t like and making an active decision to change.
This had me thinking about the amount of change that has occurred in my life in the last year. I thought about the year during the MBA course, about the new friends I had made, the experiences that I had been through and what all of this had taught me. But, I quickly realized that this last year was not when this current metamorphosis began. I started to think back through the last couple of years to pinpoint when this latest change started. I believe I found it.
November 2009 was a very bad month for me. I had fallen into a depression due to a broken engagement (my choice, but still tough) among other tough events that had occurred throughout the year. What made it worse was that I wasn’t aware how much of a fixture depression had become in my behavior. Luckily, I had a boss who sat me down and explained to me that while it was understandable that I was going through a hard time, I needed to sort some stuff out because I was bringing this baggage into work with me and it was starting to be noticed. Tough conversation, huh? I will forever be grateful that she had this conversation with me because it made me realize that I needed to take an active role in my life. I had wallowed long enough; it was time for a change.
It was then that I started searching for what I wanted in my life. What was a priority? Did I still want to live in NYC? What direction was my career taking and was I happy with this direction? It took a project at work to make me realize that I wanted to go back to school. I started researching programs and settled on two, one in the US and one in the UK. The submission date for enrollment in the Fall of 2010 for the US program had already passed, but not the UK. I figured I would apply there and if I didn’t get in I would go for the program in the US. Low and behold 7 months later, on my 30th birthday to be exact, I was accepted into the MBA program, or should I say programme, in the UK. Everything was falling into place. The next big hurdle smacked me in the face harder than I thought it would.
Leaving my friends in NYC was one of the saddest things I have ever done. I think it’s hard for me to explain how close I was and still am to my friends there. See, I had lived in New York for 8 1/2 years, these were people who had been through so much with me. They were the family that I had chosen. To walk away from such a support system was something I didn’t ever envision myself doing, but here I was doing just that. I tried to comfort myself by saying that I could always come back, but in my heart I knew that my time in NYC was done.
During the MBA program I hemmed and hawed over where to move to after the program was finished. I was deciding between New York City and San Francisco. I was still keeping NY on the table because I was worried I was making a mistake by leaving my life there. I wondered if I was making this too hard on myself and was it necessary to put myself through so much. In February of 2011 I went back to visit NYC and had a feeling that visit would help me make my decision. The suspicion I had held was turned out to be true. I wasn’t the only going through quite a bit of change. Almost every single one of my friends discussed with anticipation the changes that were going to occur in their lives in the next year or two; marriages, babies, and new cities. The life that I knew would not be the same if I should return. The decision was made to continue on the path that felt right for me. On to SF.
So, here I find myself, still living with my Mom and Step-dad; they have been amazing, as have my Dad and Step-mom. I count myself as extremely fortunate to have so much unconditional love and support around me. So, I am inching closer to a new job and a new apartment, and, hopefully, new friends! I haven’t been this happy and content in a long time. The journey has been a long one, but definitely well worth it!
Happy New Year! May you have your own journey in 2012 and beyond!
Thanks for sharing this journey. You have made some tough decisions over the last couple of years and I am glad to see that you are beginning to feel the fruits of your efforts. I think you are right, that you can’t go ‘back’ to New York because your New York is no longer what it was when you were there. It’s hard to let that go though, I understand. I’m very proud of you and your active role in your own life during this period. Keep it up! I cant watch/listen to the video cause, well, my internet is shit, but I’ll keep my ears open for it at some point. And when I hear it, I will think of you.
Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. It warms my heart to know if you hear that song you’ll think of me! You have also had a long journey and it has been great to follow your adventure as well! A long way from when we met, huh?