Some of my thoughts on making decisions, cross country road trips, moving in with your partner, and finding work in a new place.
It always astounds me how opportunities manifest themselves. It’s almost as if specific opportunities are always there, waiting. Waiting for you to dream them up and then peel back the cover and discover them. I remember in January I was laying on the beach in Colombia with a cherished friend of mine. I was talking to her about a fragment of an opportunity, but at the time, I thought I was just talking to her about hopeful dreams that probably wouldn’t come to life. At the time, my boyfriend Chris was wanting to finish the Spring season strong with his employer, who had done a lot to condition him into the grower he is today. He wasn’t sure what the future held, but he wanted to stay in good graces, work through the busy season with determination and then, maybe, just maybe, after the Spring season finished, go somewhere else to learn and grow, both figuratively and literally. I remember cupping sand in my hands and letting it slip through the cracks of my fingers, over and over again. I said, “Ya know, I’d love to go on a new adventure…But I don’t want to wait and wait until August to do it. I don’t want to wait through Spring.” See, the thing is, I got laid off in December 2016 and by mid-January 2017 I wanted to find a career oriented job as soon as possible. I didn’t want to get a job in Colorado and then have to potentially quit it in August (when the business of Spring has slowed down) to help Chris chase his dreams. However, I also didn’t want to get a serving job just to hold me over until August for fear that when August came, Chris’ dream job wouldn’t… There was nothing really solid for us as a couple to stand on; there was no job offer at the time. Just dreams, hopes, and ideas shared between us. Little did I know.. Oh, so little did I know back in January.
I wasn’t home for more than a week after returning from Colombia when Chris called me, tears in his voice…. He no longer had a job with his employer. And though this was a difficult and painful blow it was also an incredible blessing in disguise. Now we didn’t have to wait. We could get after flying full speed towards our goals and dreams, literally. A few days later we boarded a plane headed East. That very weekend, Chris accepted a job offer. The job of his dreams. The job he had been talking about and researching and manifesting since I met him.
Making decisions, no matter what they are, can be hard for people, even crippling. But for me, making decisions are more like following my instinct. Making the decision to leave Colorado was clear. But no one ever talks about what it’s like after making a hard decision. Telling my beloved parents I was leaving, ripping my cat away from my brother’s cat, combining my stuff with Chris’, saying goodbye to my cherished girlfriends, and knowing I wouldn’t get to spend the summer BBQing with the vW’s (Chris’ extra large and extra fun family) was the hard part. It is in the aftermath of our decision to move to Delaware that I learned one main thing: go wholeheartedly in the direction of your dreams no matter how difficult, sad, tiring, or even annoying the process to get to them can be. It’ll be worth it. So far, so good.
Side note: If I had a dollar for every time thus far that someone here in Delaware/Maryland said something like, “You moved from Colorado… to here??? Most people here are moving there.” I’d have about $16 that I would use to by a Colorado Mountains calendar to stare at when I’m missing home. Colorado is an exceptional place. Don’t forget it.
Cross Country Road Trip
In order to get all my crap and Chris’ crap cross country we had to rent a 15ft Uhaul and an auto-transport for my jeep to catch a ride behind the 15ft beast. The first day I decided to name her Consuela, for obvious reasons. She was wide and sassy yet loyal and driven. (10 points for the pun?) When we picked up the Uhaul, got the jeep attached, and hit the road I thought to myself that there was no way we were going to enjoy this insane 30 hour trip, what with the sound Consuela made on the highway (insanely loud) and the way she swayed and shuttered every time a semi passed us. By the second day, Consuela and I were like old friends. I’d get excited because once she warmed up a bit we could get up to a cool 70-75 miles an hour. We cruised in the right lane with people passing us for 34 hours, cross country, stopping at hotels each night as the sun went down and getting up early the next day to hit the road again. If you’ve never driven the route, I’ll tell ya one thing, you know you’re not in Colorado anymore when there are no more trees, hills, mountains, wind turbines, or really anything other than grass. We killed time by listening to podcasts and I did a lot of looking at the clouds. One afternoon we were driving and Chris said to me, “the clouds amongst the airplane trails looks like someone is knitting each cloud together.” I liked that. We started counting Uhauls the first day of the trip. It was one of those, if they can do it so can we/more power to them and to us, kind of thing. There was lots of road kill splattered and strewn along the side of the highway and sometimes more traffic than we had ever seen, but once we started listening to an amazing book on tape time and miles flew right on by. Finally, on a warm Thursday afternoon, we had arrived. So far, so good.
Moving in with Someone
One of my mentors in college once told me that she didn’t move in with her husband until they were married. She said that she wanted to have an entirely new chapter after marriage than she did with her partner before marriage. I kind of always liked that idea. I am not super traditional by any means or measure, but I thought it was romantic, her way of seeing it. So I adopted that same idea as well. I am independent. I love to be alone. I am highly organized and like to my space be clean. I like my space to be..well…mine. However, Chris and I were already spending countless nights together, and it made seriously no sense to move cross country together to live and pay for separate places. So, I adapted my view and created a new one. One where Chris was not only my boyfriend but also my best friend, someone who I have already shared my life with. So why not move in together? We talked about the implications of doing it and asked his older brothers and sisters for their advice. We got tips like, give each other time to spend alone in the house. Don’t be shy talking about money. Discuss expectations. That kind of thing. We signed a year lease, put together our apartment jungle, and held hands into the next chapter of our lives together. It’s only been a week living together, we can’t know what the future holds, but so far, so good.
Finding Work in a New Place
I struggle with my working life. I struggle because I have a degree and I did well in college, yet it’s so difficult to find a good job in my field. I got a break by getting my opportunity last year to work at HPE and I could have worked there gaining experience and networking for years had I not been laid off. But I was laid off. I had an idea in my head that I was NOT going to serve/waitress once I got to the East Coast. And I struggle because I only don’t want to waitress because I have so many other diverse skills and I want to apply them to my career field. I struggle because, on the other hand, I love to waitress. I am a good waitress, quick on my feet and calm under pressure. But again, I struggle because I feel like I can be doing more. But that’s where I am wrong. What is more? More money? More benefits? More, more, more… I am learning that it’s not all about doing more but about feeling like I am worth more. Why is it up to a 9-5 career job to make my worth go up? Other than having more money, having a career job does NOT equal having more worth, harmony, and self-love and care. It’s been really, really hard for me to realize that. Working has been a corner stone of my life since I was 13. I always thought that once I graduated college it would be such a snap to get a job in my field, climb the latter, and celebrate years and years of success with one company. And that wasn’t wrong of me to think that and still want and strive for that. What was wrong of me, I guiltily admit, it thinking that I was worth less if I was waitressing instead of working in my field. It’s not that I’m disrespecting the profession of serving, many of my friends and my older brother are fantastic servers that thrive in their environment and wouldn’t change it for the world. But me, personally, after having worked so hard for my degree…I just felt dejected to have to go back into serving. But that feeling, that feeling of self-pity, that’s the feeling that brought me to the conclusion that I find myself having today…And that conclusion is this… Whatever I am, I am going to be a good one. I am going to take pride in my work and let go of the standards I set so high for myself so many years ago. I can still actively pursue my field, but if I don’t get a job using my degree, you better believe I am still going to be working. And with that said, it is with great happiness that I have accepted a job waitressing at a local Buffalo Wild Wings down the road from my apartment. Not only is it an incredible opportunity to make friends it’s also a great opportunity to make the money it takes to, ya know, pay bills, buy food, and live life. My original plan was to hold out for a perfect job in my field here on the East Coast. It took less than one week of me being bored during the days, spending money without any money coming in, and searching for a job in my field with no success. By the end of that week I had a realization. Do something. Anything. It’ll be worth it. A few days later I was hired at the restaurant. I couldn’t be more grateful for this position. It may not be perfect forever, but it’s perfect for now.
With great happiness I exhale a sigh of relief and smile… Because moving from Colorado to Delaware wasn’t easy….. But so far, it’s so good.
Love to my friends and family back home reading this. I cherish you all. Stay tuned for more updates on my life here in Delaware.