Little did I know, back in June of 2015, that moving to Florida would CHANGE EVERYTHING. I remember making the 1600 plus mile drive from the country in Northeastern PA to Tampa. I packed Lily and all of my belongings in my truck and said goodbye to the little one stoplight town I grew up in. I had never lived more than an hour and a half from my family and here I was moving where I didn’t know anyone to start a new job and more importantly, a new life.
Let’s be real here…I had ups and downs the last few years. Professionally, I loved my job in the Insurance industry and that was the reason why I moved to Florida. I made friends quickly because I wasn’t the only one who left my family and hometown behind for a new opportunity. However, a year and a half later, I realized that this new job wasn’t for me. I quit and lived on the edge until a recruiter called me about a contract job at one of the Big 4 Accounting firms. I was hired in a totally new industry than I had ever worked in. It was then that I learned my job would be eliminated 6 short months after I started. I interviewed and was offered a full time role and started on a brand new team. This change wasn’t easy! I had taken a few steps back in my career and struggled with what I wanted to do next. Everyone on my team was the same level and the promotions at the next step up were few and far between. It was important to network and branch out because, let’s face it, I am pretty quiet and reserved and wasn’t one to take risks. However, I soon began to make new friends on different teams and forged new connections. Well, well, well…Wouldn’t you know that those relationships would lead to a new opportunity.
Personally, my divorce ruined me. It seems like so long ago but getting over that just doesn’t happen overnight. Try almost ten years later and it’s still the reason why I am so guarded. My heart has been off limits for so long and I ended up falling hard for someone who didn’t appreciate me. You know the kind of falling where they have this hold on your heart and no matter what you do, you just can’t shake it, even to this day. Simply put-I gave the wrong person my time and I will never get that back. I had disagreements with friends and had to learn to walk away from toxic relationships. I ended up struggling with my feelings and emotions and went to a therapist to get my mind right. This made me realize that I needed to put MYSELF first and prioritize self care so I could move forward.
Who would have thought that through all of this, at 35, I would still be learning SO MUCH about myself. I’ve watched my nieces grow up into spitting images of my Sister and I from miles away. I’ve watched my Grandmother (Noni) celebrate her 96th Birthday and realized how precious life is. Both of my parents have now retired (my Dad is semi-retired) and I have hope that they will enjoy these years of their life and get to spend some much needed time together. When you grow up in a town with pretty much your entire family all your life, you realize how important and dear they are to you when you’re thousands of miles away. I learned that people don’t keep their word and will let you down more than once, even if those are the ones that make your heart skip a beat. I even came to terms with understanding that I have a weakness for those who don’t deserve me. Last but certainly not least, I’ve I learned what the true power of friendship really is. My support system is very near and dear to my heart, even separated by thousands of miles.
Looking back, I took a big leap when I moved to Florida because I was hoping for a fresh start. I was praying that I could finally find my place in this thing called life. But you know what? It ended up being SO MUCH MORE than that. I am so blessed and grateful to have gotten where I am today.
I’ve been so focused on my career and 2018 showed me that I had to be confident and take a chance to get to the next step. Sometimes, the universe just knows and opens a door for you. A door that will make you step out of your comfort zone and leave everything you’ve known up until that point behind, so you can be your BEST YOU. Tampa, I will miss you so much. Thank you for almost 4 amazing years of my life. It’s time to move on…TEXAS IS MY NEW HOME!!!