Round Trip Ticket To Texas
Part 1. Dream chasin' & risk takin':
This part is simple.
I had always wanted to move far away from home and create a new life. I always dreamed of having a nice office with a director title behind my name. I always pictured myself with a nice salary - being able to buy whatever I want. So, I decided at 3 AM one morning that I would never be this young, free, or brave again and I decided to take a leap of faith and go for it. I put in my notice at work and two months later I took off for Texas. A week after that I landed my dream job and I lived happily ever after...
or this was just the beginning of me learning that 25 year old you chasing 15 year old you's dreams only leaves you unfulfilled.
Part 2. The ugly truth is so loud:
At my best, I was praying, begging God to not let me see tomorrow. At my worst, I was drinking a bottle of tequila straight on an empty stomach and sobbing as I packed my things. There were so many nights I went to bed at 7 pm after crying my eyes and begging God not to wake me up. There were days the loneliness devoured me whole. I felt like a robot. I felt numb. I've never felt lonelier or more insignificant in my life than when the 7 months I lived in Texas.
But, I put on a front. I didn't want the world to see that I was falling apart - because tweets about loving my life and Instagram filters work wonders for making falling apart look sexy. I didn't want the people I love to know how deep in darkness I fell. I couldn’t let the world know that miss-put-together was unraveling at the seams. I couldn’t let the people that were depending on me to be their reminder of all the good in this world know that I forgot what beauty even looked or felt like. I was clinging on to the facade of being happy so tight that my hands were bloody. I couldn't let anyone know that Ms. Over Achiever failed at finding happiness. Failing had always been my biggest fear and I convinced myself that me not creating this fabulous life in Texas somehow made me a failure. I didn't want to admit that I got it wrong. I didn't want to be the girl that couldn't make it in another city.
Until one morning, I looked in the mirror one morning and didn’t recognize myself. The light in my eyes was so dim I couldn't even find it, my smile had disappeared, and I couldn't find beauty in anything. Something had to change - something had to change because I missed myself so much that I was willing leave everything behind to find her again - The day I quit my job, I had no idea what was going to be next for me. I had no back up plan. I hadn't even looked for other jobs. I just knew if I didn't have the courage to leave then, I'd never have it. I knew if I didn't make a change then.. that I'd be accepting the unhappiness and darkness I was living in.
Part 3. Moments of clarity:
I was so disconnected from myself and God that I thought the only way I could find myself and him again was to travel.. Alone. So, the morning after my last day at work, I packed up my car and took off on a solo road trip to find myself again. When you’re traveling across the country alone, you have no choice but to get acquainted with the most uncomfortable parts of yourself. Each mile I drove a new uncomfortable truth hit me in the chest. With each state line I passed, a new lie I had told myself unraveled at my feet. And with each new restaurant I explored, a different truth I had been denying surfaced. I came to realize that while I did move to chase my childhood dreams - at my core, I was doing more running from than running to.
I was running away from the realization that I fell out of love with the field I was working in. I was running away from the man that broke my heart and moving thousands of miles away seemed a hell of a lot easier than picking up every shattered piece off the floor. I was running from everything in my life that made me feel trapped or caged in because leaving is so much more fun than staying when things get stagnant.
I did all that running only to discover that when you try to out-run yourself - everything eventually catches up to you and crashes into you like waves.
I exhausted myself running only to learn that sometimes you have to take a few steps back before God can move you forward. And sometimes you’re given everything you want just to show you how much you really didn’t want it. And sometimes you have to move 2,000 miles away from home, fight the hardest mental health battle of your life, and travel alone for 3 months to realize that dreams change too. And sometimes you have to drive thousands of miles alone to realize that the view you love most of your own house with familiar cars sitting in the driveway. And sometimes.. Just sometimes you have to be at your darkest to finally see God’s light.
Part 4. Redefining failure:
Finding God's light made me realize that I was so engulfed in darkness that I confused the opportunity to start over again as failure. I was so caught up in what everyone else would think of me moving back home after not even a year in Texas that I forgot how much of a badass I was - I mean I landed a new job - drove back to Texas the next morning to pack my things - said goodbye to the few people that would miss me - drove through 5 states in one day - and started my new job the next morning. I hadn't failed at anything. In fact, the only failure would've been me unpacking and forcing a home out of someplace that was never suited for me.
The only failure would've been be not realizing that people change, dreams change, and you can't out-run yourself... that people grow, purpose becomes clear, and home is wherever you make it. I could never be a failure for loving myself enough to leave and start over.
I didn’t have a plan when I moved to Texas. I didn’t have a plan when I decided to move back. And to be honest, I still don’t really have a plan. I’ve never had all the answers and I’m learning to be okay with that. I’m learning that I’ll never have all the answers, but having a lot of faith and an unwavering trust in my ability to always be okay will always be enough to sustain me.