I know it’s a cliché, but I also know that it’s true… life is short. Before you know it you’ll be pushing 30 years old wondering where the last decade went. I know, because I just celebrated my 27th birthday last month (what?!) As many of you know… we packed up our home in sunny southwest Florida and moved out to Colorado on a whim 6 months ago. I was 8 months pregnant with our 3rd baby, our oldest had just started kindergarten, and we didn’t even have a house lined up. And ya know what… I don’t regret it one bit.
We lived in the same small(ish) town that we went to high school in, I worked for the same company that I did in high school, and I looked longingly at photos of, well, pretty much anywhere else. I know that this world is big, and while Florida’s beaches are beautiful and so many long to lounge on them as regularly as I have the past 10 years, I just knew that I wanted to experience something different too.
I almost giggle when people ask me “what brought us here.” Probably because I don’t really have a good answer. Sometimes I say “the mountains,” and it’s not a total lie (in Austria I learned that I’m obsessed.) I mean sure, Josh landed a job here before we left but it wasn’t some life changing career opportunity that he didn’t have back home.
We moved here because we felt like it.
If you’re not in love with your life…change it.
There are a lot of things and people that I love and miss in Florida. But sometimes life leaves you feeling stuck, like you’re living the same day over and over again. It wasn’t a bad day to relive… it was just the same day. But it wasn’t a particularly exciting day either. Having somewhere so completely new to explore makes for way more exciting days than not.
“If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.”
Challenge Yourself to Meet New People.
At the end of the day, life is all about personal growth. Now, I had the luxury of maintaining an entire circle of friends that I made in high school. This is half awesome, half self-limiting of my ability to meet people as an adult. Staying in the same place forever has perks, but steep downsides as well.
Meeting people as a grown up and outside of your “hometown” is a completely different experience than it was as a high schooler / baby-grown up. Mostly, I think, because you know yourself better by then, and have no interest in wasting your time on people that don’t serve a purpose in your life anymore. New people bring new experiences and a richness to life that wasn’t always there. You never know what (or who) you’re going to find.
Meet People that Don’t Think Like You.
I am learning how regionally diverse our country is. The culture and lifestyle here is very different than it was in the South. Now maybe it’s because I was born in the Midwest, but I could never totally jive with the culture in the South. It feels really cool to suddenly be surrounded by so many people that think differently than the majority back home. It challenges perceptions that you were once so sure about and opens your eyes to things that you just didn’t see before. People in Colorado just “go about life” differently than people in small-town Florida. The culture is just different here and it’s been a super neat experience so far.
Meeting people that think differently than you do inevitably changes the way you think as well, if you’re willing to listen.
Or Maybe Meet Some More People that DO Think the Way You Do.
Sometimes some place new feels more like home than the old place ever did in some aspects. Remember how I said that I just didn’t jive with “Southern Charm?” I totally DO jive with Colorado charm. As much fun as it is to meet different people, it’s also really nice to be surrounded by so many people that share your values and suddenly you feel understood. It has provided me with much peace of mind knowing that there are entire regions of the US that passionately stand behind my ideals.
The community here and the community that I moved from are so so different. And I am sure that there are a million other variations of different in communities around the world. I know one could never hope to experience them all, but it’s such a cool potential that just blows my mind. Challenge your perceptions of community… it hasn’t let me down yet.
Change Up the Environment.
I spent most of my youth on the Gulf Coast, 20 minutes drive from the ocean. I don’t even really know what it’s like for the ocean to be this exotic entity to long for. It has always been at my fingertips… or between my toes, I guess. It was wonderful. I’m totally not knocking the ocean here, but now I live 30 minutes drive from the Rocky Mountains. And they are surely a sight to see as well. Don’t fool yourself into believing that one environment eclipses the existence of all the others. I miss the ocean everyday, but now I know that if we leave Colorado, I will miss the mountains too.
All the different regions of the country (world, really) have unique environmental wonders to offer. The also affect the lifestyle of the region (see reason #4)… which is pretty cool too.
Don’t let fear of change or contentedness with mediocre control your life. Just go. What’s stopping you?