When I first moved back to Riverside,
I was having this recurring surreal experience, not really feeling like my life was my own. Almost like when you’re waiting for a vacation to end so you can go home to what you’re used to. Wondering when my life was going to go back to normal.
I guess that’s what happens when you take every fear you have, and decide to smash it and move on with your life.
New job, new apartment, and a decision to be real about what I needed in my relationships. I decided to go looking for the most honest and powerful version of myself.
In September of last year, I dissolved my business and went to work as a product developer for the original plant company I started with my sister back in 2012 and had left in 2014. In March, I moved out of the house my partner had bought for us three year prior. The house where I grew my little business, found balance again, and healed. The house I thought I’d rock my first babies, and maybe come back to one day to retire in. It was in a neighborhood I parked my car in during my freshman and sophomore years of college and used to dream of living in. On paper I had it all.
But, somewhere along the line in those 6 years, we stopped pulling together and started drifting apart. Regardless of a deep mutual respect and care for one another, I’ve never been a person to glaze over anything that wasn’t working.
It always seems to just… pour.out.of.me until I just cant take it, and I go.
I’ve felt like I had tunnel vision since I made the decision. I kept meaning to write out my experience, but kept feeling like I had no time... because I continued to fill my days to the brim, too busy with work and my family for all of the emotions that come with all the changes I’ve made in the last year. Feeling too raw and too vulnerable to share.
I moved back to my hometown because something has been pulling me back here for the past year or two. My mom said something I haven’t been able to let go of, and that was that I needed to come back to wrap up some things, and I think she’s right. My emotional bonds to this city are crazy strong, and I had no idea how I’d feel being home, but it honestly couldn’t feel more “right.” From the moment I got here, I haven’t looked back a whole lot. Even if some days I get a little caught in the “what if” threats that the fear of failing usher to the surface, honestly, I just push that shit out of my mind because now I have no safety net, and I’m almost convinced that THAT is the secret to actualizing your potential. Self-reliance.
For all of my early twenties, I dealt with crippling anxiety and depression and by 24 was working through the underlying physical effects that were causing it. I never really believed I could do life on my own. I never really saw past the reality of my intense co-dependence. When I started to experience health and happiness in 2016, for the first time in about 5 years, I simultaneously started to grow my business and experience some personal success and confidence for the first time in a long time. I also gained radical perspective on dealing with the fear and sadness that had been standing in my way for so long. I spent my early twenties transmuting the years of trauma I had experienced in my younger years, and I did it in a relatively short amount of time. I learned the ways of my body, emotionally, physically, mentally, and I payed attention until I had enough clarity to release all the pain I had been carrying. I let all of the internalized fear I had come to be so close to, go, on the basic principal that whatever happened would be okay. Even, the worst possible case scenario.
When you shift that much in your mind and your body, you create space. Space to re-build, space to re-think, and re-create.
I started to wonder if I was clipping my own wings with a life resolved to never having come into my own power by fully stepping out on my own, just me, vulnerable as hell.
Was I depriving myself of something extremely important to my growth and self confidence? It honestly felt like I was. How could I live my entire life and never have lived alone, or proven to myself that I really am that bitch. I knew I was… I just NEEDED TO KNOW, you know?
When my dad left when I was a kid, he left my mom to care for three kids and she hadn’t worked outside the home in twenty years. She figured it out like every strong single mother, but it leveled her. I needed to know I’d be okay, that I could do life on my own no matter what. Her experience wasn’t a fear I was willing to live with. I needed to know that I was doing everything I could to set my life up for success regardless of the choices other people in my life decided to make.
I knew the full experience would really only be possible if I decided to leap into the dark. The dark being that unknown place on the other side of your comfort zone where most of you dreams that feel unreachable, live. There was no amount of counting and budgeting and planning that would clearly tell me if I could manage it. I’ve had roommates before, I’ve just never lived alone. This was the real deal. Like I could fuck up, and really fuck up. And I was scared sick over it to be honest with you. I could have let my life run its course. Gotten married, had a regular and wholesome home, but something in me was nagging me.
Telling me that
I owed it to my heart to find someone who saw me, someone who was going to continue to see me, and choose me, and I knew my current situation just wasn’t it.
So for the second time in my life, I left, and I chose myself. After all the work I had done to heal my body and my life, how could I leave my heart untended? That seemed fucking crazy to me.
In February I found the apartment I wanted. I waited three weeks, and then I applied. As soon as I got the call that I was approved, I left work mid day, drove straight to the bank, got the cashiers check, and went back and sat in my car with tears rolling down my face. I could have thought it over for months, but I chose to literally put one foot in front of the other and just drive there to sign the paperwork. The signs were everywhere. I saw angel numbers on everything all month. I got offered a side job a few weeks before to sell crystals in LA on the weekends, which covered all of my moving costs. It was just, all there. So I did it.
I moved in March. And I had nothing lol. No bed, no table, nothing. I had a couch, a 32” tv, some plants, a lot of clothes, and my vintage dresser that’s been with me since my first apartment in ‘09.
Starting over, dating again, acquiring the basics. Re-inventing my life, my identity. Creating something of my own. Taking myself, and my new job, with grace and loving myself even when I slip and fall into old habits. The self-sabotaging kind, the deep-seated kind that tell you, you can’t do it. But, these are the kind of habits I made this life changing decision for, because I needed to push myself to grow enough to finally put them to rest.
I had all these plans for what my life was going to look like by now. I honestly thought I’d be married or well on my way, and settled. And when I first moved out, I immediately thought I’d be chasing those same things, marriage and kids. But it’s funny, over the last few months I realized that what I want is to meet the love of my life, in whatever time frame that looks like. I want to be real with myself, but most of all,
I want the chance to never sell myself short again and to grow into the best woman I can be. The rest can wait.