If you know me at all, you know how much I love Oklahoma. So I was just as surprised as anybody when we packed our life collections into boxes and moved to Utah. Although I’ve lived in five different states and enjoy the adventure of exploring new places, I had a really difficult transition this past year. The thing about moving to a new city where you hardly know anyone is that you get to spend time getting to know yourself and expanding your limits. There has been a lot of journaling, a few tears, and months of interoception, or looking within.
Sometimes leaving means saying goodbye to all of the things that are good in exchange for situations that are hard. And sometimes leaving means letting go of your anchors in exchange for the sea. Perhaps it’s the staying in a place you’ve outgrown that’s hardest, or maybe for you, the difficulty lies in letting go of your comfort and routine. At different times and in different places, moving has meant has all of these things to me. And this time, arriving here has been a new lesson in navigating discomfort, of staying even when things get hard, and re-learning that situations are as beautiful as you make them out to be.
What I know about staying- whether that be in a location, relationship, job, or even belief- is that we can find our comfort here. That if we are lucky, we have strong support systems and beautiful relationships that bring us fulfillment and keep us tied to where we are. Staying might mean working at a place that fuels your creativity, engaging in activities that fill your life’s purpose, or in developing a routine that is nourishing to your soul. Staying can be as equally beautiful and transformative as we make moving on to be. And in all the ways that staying can be wondrous, remaining in places, situations, and relationships that are no longer meant for you can also be difficult, limiting, and contracting. Sometimes staying is a choice we make not because it’s best for us, but because we doubt our abilities to adapt to what might come next.
And when it comes to leaving, what i know is that change can be overwhelming. All of a sudden, our fears begin to sneak in and make us question whether or not we’ve made the right choice. Moving, letting go, or changing your direction often creates uncertainty about our ability to belong, to navigate our way, and to redirect our path. I think we leave places with the expectation to grow, change, evolve, and accomplish great things, and maybe we go to new places and do just that. But you might also crumble, fail, or change your mind. You might find the very thing you were running from is waiting for you at your next stop.
I don’t necessarily think either option- staying, leaving, letting go, remaining, – is better than the other. There’s not one option that is right and another that is wrong; there are only life experiences that show us more about ourselves, teach us lessons, and land upon our plate of experiences in ways only meant for us. I’ve learned that we can only learn from what we are willing to open to- and that might mean in your hometown or across the country in a place foreign to you.
For me, moving here was a lesson in being my own friend which meant learning about my limiting beliefs and habitual thought patterning. In the same way you get to know a friend, I started looking within my own heart; I hadn’t done that in a while. I spent some time touring my internal landscape and uncovered thoughts patterns that based my worth on a sense of accomplishment and level of confidence on external approval. Spending more time alone helped me to get clear about the types of relationships I would like to have supporting me, as well as the ones that tend to drain my energy and make me feel inadequate.
In moving, I found that I had a lot more time to fill up and so I reconnected to the things I am passionate about and wanted to improve upon. I attended yoga workshops alone and invited strangers out to coffee. I looked people in the face and smiled, I started conversations. I created a sense of community by doing the things that made me feel most alive and said yes to opportunities that were outside of my comfort zone. And in the midst of trying to build relationships with others, I also dove into the uncertainty of being alone and dedicated days to spending time with myself. I shifted my perspective a lot and spent reframing difficult situations as opportunities and lessons.
If you find yourself in a situation with each option contrasting itself against the other, I hope you know that regardless of where you go, you’ll take yourself with you. That if you can find comfort in who you are, wherever you go will be beautiful. And that if you can be accepting of all of yourself, you’ll be able to be gentle when you stumble and forgiving when you fall. You’ll be able to reach out to meet new people even if you are unsure. And whether you stay or go, you’ll be okay.
You’ll land exactly where you need to.
And then you’ll fly.
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p.p.s.s. thanks for being here, it means a lot to me.