A dear friend of mine posted a photo on Facebook of her and I from timehop from four years old. The photo was of her and I at a birthday party for myself. The night was perfect. I had my closest friends around me for a dinner and bar hopping after. She captioned the photo “wow, I can’t believe that was four years ago!”. When I opened Facebook and saw the photo I thought the same thing, how could that have been four years ago? It feels like yesterday I was surrounded by my friends, making plans for weekends or hosting wine and vodka parties at my house.
This made me think of a couple things. One, where has the time went? Two, how much I have changed since that wonderful night. How much the things around me have changed as well. I no longer live in that location with all my friends. I left several years ago looking for something I wasn’t getting in that area. I left behind so much more then I thought at the time. The best people, who I am still in constant contact with.
When that photo captured the two of us I was very lost in the world. I never told any of my friends how I felt. I walked around so self-conscious of myself I would often make myself sick. Back then I was a shell of who I am now. I was so unsure of myself. I had been pushed down and put away by so many people my whole life that I didn’t start to come alive in my own skin, my own being until well into my late 20’s. And even then I felt extremely insecure about who I was. I never felt I measured up to the people around me.
When I look back at that time I realize it wasn’t the people around me that I wasn’t measuring up to, it was me. I wasn’t living a genuine life. I was going through the motions, waking up everyday, going to the gym, going to work, coming home, cooking food. Living day to day with no real direction. I was at a job I had been at for over ten years and was burnt out from it. I was so unsatisfied. I knew I wanted a major change in my life but I had no idea what I wanted to change.
What I began to realize was that I had outgrown the north east. There was nothing left for me to accomplish there. I needed something new. I needed a challenge. I needed the energy of a big city but somewhere warm. I had to get out of the cold, I had to head south.
The list I had was pretty small. I wanted a big city without the feel of living in a big city. I wanted a low cost of living and I wanted long hot summers. Without really knowing, I had already unconsciously picked Texas. The idea of Texas has always lingered in the back of my mind. When I was young I flew out to Houston to visit friends of my mothers and something about that trip stuck with me. I had this fantasy of living in the big state and having this carefree easy way of life.
It’s been almost three years now that I’m living in Texas, I didn’t pick Houston, but the choice that I made has not been a regret. It is very much what I pictured in the fantasy I had growing up, along with things I didn’t foresee, like traffic. Being out here, so far from what I called home for so many years, has been a rollercoaster of emotions. There have been many times I felt alone and helpless. Other times I felt like I was making strides in the right direction. Through all of the ups and downs I never regretted my choice.
It is a beautiful place to be and the the area is blowing up with people from all over the country. There is so much diversity I strived to find in other places. The area is filled mostly with kindness, and some hold on to their southern politeness. Through it all I’ve become a stronger more focused person. I have discovered what I truly want out of my time here and take steps towards that everyday.