Every year as the New Year and holidays approach, I reflect. I quite literally evaluate every aspect of my life and the previous year so that I can approach the next year better. Although I’m not the best at confrontation, or the biggest fan of it… I do enjoy confronting myself and being open and honest with myself and my life. I meditate over what I’ve done, learned, loved, and what I want to do, learn, love next year. From goals to relationships to career path to self-care, I allow myself to not only sit with it all but feel it all so that I can give gratitude to the past year, while preparing for the next.
If you have been an avid reader of my blog (hi mom), you may have noticed that I was MIA for the month of November. I can list off plenty of excuses as to why that happened, but instead I will acknowledge my shortcomings and promise to not miss blessing this website with one of my blogs EVER AGAIN! All joking aside, I am very excited that I am finally able to create part 2 of my move out journey blog! Sit back and relax because this blog is going to take you through a rollercoaster of emotions, but let’s start off positively with the emotion of excitement.
This time last year, I was preparing for my big move to South Florida. I signed a lease in three days, packed up two suitcases, and booked a one way ticket to PBI. Looking back, I can physically feel what I felt at that moment and it overwhelms and excites me every time I think about it. If I could bottle that feeling, I would. In some ways it feels surreal to say I’ve been a Floridian for a full year, and in other ways, it feels like the most natural part of me, like it’s where I’ve been and belong forever.
“Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold”
I grew up really believing in that one line from a Girl Scout song. Believing that IF I was able to remain friends with the people I grew up with, while also expanding my circle by making new friends, that I would have all the silver and gold one could get. However, the older I got, the more I realized this one-liner expresses a nice ideal of an ever-expanding circle of friends, but ideal is not reality. Not for me anyways. I know that’s not the case for everyone and that sometimes friendships do turn out the way the song intends, and I commend those whose do, but my experience within friendships is not the same. This doesn’t mean I have had friendships end in tragic ways each time, though. Most of the ended friendships I’ve had have fallen victim to the unavoidable result of growing up and growing apart. Of course, I’ve had a few friendship breakups that were more traumatic and ended in blocking each other on all forms of social media and well, life. But every friendship I’ve had at every stage of my life, has made me the person I am today. Luckily, I have lost more friends due to growing apart than any sort of betrayal or falling out, but the constant change of friendship happens to majority of people during their lives and that’s just that.
In the past couple of years, I am sure we all have learned many lessons that we hold dear… the value of being kind, the value of life, the value of health, the value of freedom, and the value of time with our loved ones are some of the most common things I am sure we all share.
You may or may not have realized last month I didn’t write a blog. I started and deleted my writing about four or five times, and felt disappointed and overwhelmed with it every time I began. For better or for worse, I happen to be one of those writers that if I’m not 110% confident and happy with it, it’ll never see the light of day. Maybe it took me a whole extra month to finally start and commit to this piece because it’s the topic that I hold dearest to me and affects me on every level, every single day.
When I look back over a year ago, to college, I tend to sometimes wonder if and how different my life would be had my plans worked out, without being interrupted by a frightening pandemic world take over. If you were to ask me when I was a senior in undergrad, where I would be today- you would get a different answer. Before Covid-19 destroyed what was left of those graduating college in 2020, leaving us in limbo between still being last semester college students and real adults, I had different plans for myself. Way different. Let me preface my previous statements by clarifying that I am not disappointed that the predictions of my adult life that I envisioned for myself in college are not what they are today. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason- the good, the bad, and the ugly. And just because I thought I had a different path in my direction of post-grad life, it doesn’t mean it was the right one.
There was an assignment I was given one year in College (I wonder if it will ever feel normal to talk about college in the past tense, even though I graduated a year ago?) It was called “Unplugged” and it challenged me to turn off my phone and any form of social media for 24 hours. I enjoyed the assignment so much, that I try to attempt the “Unplugged” challenge once a year or so. I know, that’s not much, but it yields great internal results even if I only do it 1/365 days of the year.
I’ve always had complicated feelings about disclosing my autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Which, I suppose, makes the fact that I accepted a role as panelist on last Monday’s Creating Change Conversation on Neurodiversity, Disability and Accessibility, led by Momentum Stage, somewhat noteworthy in and of itself.
This month’s blog is going to be a bit on the short and sweet side. I am directing the summer camp at the Delray Beach Playhouse, and our musical, Elf Jr. The Musical, is moving along full steam ahead! We are only in our second full week of camp, but these kiddos have already stolen a big piece of my heart.