I’m sitting on the couch on the last day of January, reflecting on the past 365 days. I know what you’re probably thinking… wasn’t I supposed to do that last month before 2019 began?
Well, today, February 1, marks one year since I hopped on a plane with a one-way ticket to Florida. So, in my eyes, my “New Year” starts today.
Never in one million years did I think I would reside in Florida… but, at the tailend of 2017, life swiftly directed me east (with an epic, spontaneous cross-country road trip!). Never in one million years did I think the military would be a part of my life either, but it has been a significant aspect of my life since fall of 2015. Oh, Life, you always give us exactly what we need.
After moving across the country – literally from one opposite corner to the other – I shared monthly recaps of this new chapter of “Florida Life”. You can find those here:
But the recaps of Month 9, 10, 11, and 12 never made an appearance in due time… so here we are, officially one year later. Transitions are hard. You probably know that. We all go through transitions, all of the time. Some are more significant than others. After much of the newness wore off, I didn’t feel as inspired to share… to be vulnerable, frankly. To share while I was in the thick of my personal transition. And while I’ve been in the Southeast a for a full trip around the sun, I am still navigating through this transition.
If I am being honest, “Florida Life” has been an extremely challenging chapter, for both me and Nick. But, with any chapter, we know this is only temporary and it, too, will come to a close; so, we do our best to keep our chins up and be grateful for the experience… even if it is tough a lot of the time.
I’ll be blunt and say that I do not like living in Florida. If you couldn’t guess, it is drastically different than Northern California. City living isn’t for us (we’re in the busy, traffic-y Tampa Bay area), and that’s okay. One, of the many, things I’ve learned this year is that it is good to learn what you don’t like, and what you don’t want, because it helps to clarify what you do.
Rather than share the highlights of Year 1, I’d rather share thoughts, reflections, and lessons learned. Because, let’s be real, I, too, can be guilty of falling into the trap of using social media (and my blog) as a highlight reel.
Florida Life // Year 1: Thoughts, Reflections & Lessons Learned
1. Despite being 3,000+ miles away from my hometown, family, friends, my Chico community, my safe place(s)… my anxiety has been at a record low.
2. Officially becoming a #dogmom was one of the best things about this year. Koba helped me through the humps and hard days more than she will ever know.
3. Anything with repetition gets a bit easier, time after time. Including driving in horrific traffic on the daily.
4. Living in a sea of box stores, toll roads and bumper to bumper freeways makes me appreciate my rural, humble, Humboldt roots.
5. I am not a huge fan of talking on the phone, but long conversations with my girlfriends are everything to me now.
6. I may have overreacted by hiding in the bathtub with that tornado warning.
7. When you’re navigating through a challenging time, add things to your calendar that bring you joy: trips, self care, date nights. The little things are the big things.
8. Your environment has a huge impact on your overall happiness and wellbeing. If you are able, chose to reside in a place that meshes with your values.
9. This move has instilled in me the confidence to move to new places. But, overall, my confidence has seen better days.
10. Nick and I are polar opposites. There is no way we could have survived this year without each other. #gratefulAF
This past year I got real comfortable being uncomfortable, endured hurricane season and hellishly-humid weather, gave my best attempt at being a dog mom to the sweetest puppy, got a non-wellness related job, started a new business, switched up my exercise routine, tested my strength at Orangetheory, expanded my tribe of like-minded, driven women, avoided any alligator sightings, cherished a culturally-diverse Thanksgiving, improved my military vocabulary, laughed a lot, and became a lot more in tune with who I am at my core, and how I want to cultivate a life I love.
I don’t have a magic eight ball to know when and where we’re headed next, so you can follow along on Instagram as we explore Florida livin’ until the adventure continues!