You read that right- I have moved 38 times. I have moved every 6 months to a year of my adult life, following years of moving as part of a military family. It’s in my blood. I’m used to it. I figured this one would be just as easy as all the rest, but it hasn’t been. So why, then, would number 38 be any different? The long and short of it is, it feels like getting everything you want, and then feeling like you don’t actually know yourself at all so therefore none of what you thought you wanted applies. Confusion. Despair. Fear.
A year ago, when I wrote my last blog, I was standing on the precipice of change. I had plans to finish my master’s, move out of the hell hole I was in, and journey across the country for a new start back in the classroom as a teacher once again. I got it all. I finished my MS in Psychology, I’m teaching in an amazing school, live in a beautiful place across the country, and brought with that move some heavy, long-avoided baggage: severe depression and extreme confusion about it.
What the hell happened? It was almost instantaneous. As soon as I got here, I became extremely blah and I couldn’t have told you why. I kept looking around at this beautiful place thinking “what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just be happy?” I realize now that part of me was grieving the familiar- as miserable as it was, part of me was grieving leaving those I love behind, and part of me was overwhelmed by all the changes taking place. I moved 2000 miles away to a state I’d never been in, where nothing is familiar. There isn’t a single part of my life that is automatic. Everywhere I go requires directions (in and out). Each store has to be figured out. Each person I meet lives in a different town- everyone commutes up to 30 minutes in every direction. I started a new job co-teaching which I’d never done in this way. It’s temporary so I have no real contribution other than my presence and knowledge (which isn’t all the time because I don’t know the curriculum yet). I commute 40 minutes to get to work, so my entire schedule was changed to accommodate that. At the school, while it’s the best school I’ve ever worked in, not even the computer system is familiar. There aren’t any stores around that have what I need so I do all of my shopping on Amazon which is frustrating. After all the work I had done, I gained a ton of weight that I can only attribute to stress and depression, which then furthers the depression and disappointment I feel about losing what I had gained and about not being happier here after wanting it so badly. It doesn’t help not having any clothes that fit.
The place I’m in is absolutely beautiful, so it hurts me when I think about not being absolutely in love with it. I look around and at times can’t figure out why I would ever want to leave, but as I continue to struggle it’s easy to see why I’d want to run back to what I know. I think this is how people end up coming full circle, ending back where they started. It’s comfortable. Though I remember how I felt there, and know that I can’t go back. So I decided to try some life-coaching as I was battling some of these questions.
I approached Rachel from Clarity on Fire since I had spoken with her before my move to discuss teaching. I sought her out initially in order to create a Plan B in case I couldn’t get back into a classroom, and she refused. I love teaching and was so sure that was what I wanted, she was reluctant to design an alternative for me to pin hopes on. She said, “if there’s no Plan B, then Plan A has to work.” It was brilliant, and obviously she was right, so she was the first person I thought of. It helped tremendously in terms of getting reacquainted with my values and priorities, something I had forgotten, and identifying those fears that so often get in the way of living my best life. However, at the end of the day this decision has to come from me, and it has to be something I feel, not something I think. Have you met me? I’m a thinker. It’s what I do. Feeling has never been my forte.
Trying to surrender this conundrum to the Universe is the hardest thing I think I’ve ever done to date, and that’s saying something. I’ve begun to wonder if that’s why I came here in the first place. It’s possible I was driven to go to a place where I would be completely removed from everything I know in order to truly figure out who I am at the core, and what it is that I really want from this life. I was brought here to do the work. Now I’m neck-deep in it and to be honest, hating it. I know how lucky I am to be in this place mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally, but it does suck while I’m in it. I’ll be better for it in the end, but right now I kind of want to tell the Universe to “stick it”.
I’m angry and I’m sad. Even more, I’m afraid. I’m scared about what this says about me as a person right now. Am I incapable of being happy anywhere because I haven’t fully embraced the hard work that needs to be done inside me? That’s a terrifying thought, and also promising as it means it is possible. It’s just going to take some time and effort.
So that’s the next leg of this journey. I’m seeking help and am going to do the work so I can figure this out and move forward to the life I know I deserve- one that’s happy and full of love. I’m in the perfect place for it…