Hey Babes! I cannot believe it is JULY! Where has this year gone? I feel like the days have just blurred together and here we are, five and a half months away from Christmas!
It’s been a bittersweet few weeks for me because Facebook reminded me that it’s been 3 years since I moved to Florida! I really wanted to reflect on this because it has TRULY changed my life.
Anyway, let’s go back in time. My job in 2015 decided that customer service was so important to their business and they wanted to centralize everyone who was in that role. I had a choice to relocate with a nice package or lose my job and collect unemployment. I had NEVER really moved far away from home except for in college (to the suburbs of Philadelphia) and when I worked near Allentown (only 30 mins or so West of my hometown). I was sort of dating someone at the time and that made things complicated to say the least. He wanted me to stay and I didn’t want to, especially when in his eyes, we weren’t serious. I had never made a decision for the good of someone else, let alone someone who wouldn’t even call me his girlfriend. My career was always super important to me, sometimes too important, but I didn’t want to lose my job and be useless after I had come so far in the company. It was so funny for me to think I would not be living in PA but it had become a reality and I had a HUGE decision to make.
Ultimately, my mind was made up and soon I packed up all my belongings and my precious Lily and made the 21 hour drive to my new home in Tampa, Florida! I will never forget that feeling when I got off the Interstate and started driving down the main road to my new condo. It was 6 lanes and surrounded by beautiful palm trees. Hello, I come from a one stoplight town! I was in shock and was basically like an excited child trying to look at everything as I made my way to my new home.
MY NEW LIFE CAME WITH SO MANY CHANGES! If you know me, you know that I am pretty quiet and not a social person. Well, I knew one person in Florida and it was a childhood friend of mine who lived across the street from me. Other than that, I was starting over and had to make friends. I also had this new job in a huge, fast paced call center, which was a total change from my laidback job in the sales office back home.
Y’all, let me tell you something…I was never someone who took risks. I didn’t drink until my 2nd or 3rd year at the all girls Catholic college I attended, never took a chance, never did anything outside of my comfort zone because it just wasn’t me. Now, here I was, 1600 miles away from my family and friends, ALL BY MYSELF. Over time, I got to know people that I worked with and slowly started to expand my social circle.
Over the past three years, all the good things have led to a lot of changes. I quit the job I moved here for, started a new job, was faced with losing the new job, and then got an amazing job at one of the Big 4 Accounting firms. SCARY right? I made new friends, lost old ones, partied hard, still haven’t mastered budgeting or saving money, shaved most of my hair off, fell head over heels for someone for the first time in 6 years, and dated all over the spectrum. I have spent Holidays by myself and Facetimed with my family, missing all the good traditions that I cherish. I’ve also watched my nieces grow up from far away into 2 beautiful girls who are spitting images of my Sister and I.
I have always done everything for everyone else and after my divorce, I needed peace and wanted to do something for myself. In my New Year’s Eve Facebook post in 2014, it said that hopefully next year (2015), I would be in Florida. Life has a funny way of working out doesn’t it? I truly believe that EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. God had a better plan for me, for sure, and I count my blessings every single day. This move changed ME. It changed my LIFE. I truly found myself in all the chaos that surrounded me the past 3 years.
My cousin Anthony, who lives in North Carolina, said something to me one night as we were talking about how I made friends here. He said “You moved to Florida and made new friends and started a new life. I really admire you for what you did.” That really made me feel good because I took a huge chance. It hasn’t been easy but everything good and bad has been worth it. Do something that makes you LOVE YOUR LIFE. Life is so short and we only get one chance here on this Earth so make it worth it.
I will leave you with this quote from one of my favorite new TV shows, The Bold Type. It’s about 3 best friends who navigate their lives, working for a women’s magazine. It’s a very empowering and supporting show about girl power but this quote explains life perfectly some days.
“To having adventures
To making mistakes
To sleeping with the wrong people and the right people
And to unleashing holy hell”
Until next time,