Moving On – The Next Chapter

My road trip really became a defining moment for me in 2014. When I started the journey, I had hoped it would change me. I was honestly worried I wouldn’t grow as much since my Dad was crashing the journey. However, I was so totally wrong. I grew in ways I am just starting to understand.

I know it’s easy to say that there is so much more to life than just your job, but a road trip really drives that point home. I saw where the mountains stretch out into prairies, where grand rivers come to life, GMO corn that even the crows won’t touch. I met fabulous people from all over the country who were always supportive. They would always say, “I would love to do that some day, to see the world.” My response was always to do it, it’s worth every penny. But now I’ve gotten at taste that there is something so much more out there and bigger than me in this world.

The journey opened me up to my creative nature which I had been suppressing since I was young child. The freedom of the journey, being able to write about the experience, to take photographs of all the amazing things I was seeing just exploded out of me.

But I’m also not ready to stop traveling and exploring. I caught a nasty bug on the trip, I caught the travel bug. Now, you might think I already had it, but not I just liked traveling. The journey made travel become part of who I am. It is of my essence of how I see the world and want to explore. Sitting in Oakland, I crave the journey and wanting to discover something new. I still wander here, but it’s not the same. I definitely have wanderlust.

The third thing I felt on the journey was that I just let life flow and I allowed myself to experience the trip. I wasn’t worried about money, the next project I needed to complete, the food I needed to nourish myself, the exercises I needed to get just to manage the stress, and the loneliness from living alone in a big city. I could take all that energy and just put it into the enjoyment of my travels.

The journey was spurred by me being laid off after 10 years at SAP. I had a wonderful run at SAP where I got to see the world and work with absolutely incredible people. But it was also a huge amount of work. I was almost always on the edge of burnout. The stress even made me sick with an illness that still has not been defined but can cause me much grief.

I have absolutely no issue with losing my job. Things run their course and business is business, but the major change and the road trip really gave me an opportunity to really examine my values and what I wanted in life. I’ve already written about my next chapter in my 2014 review so I won’t bore you with the details here.

I came back to Oakland after the holidays enjoying a wonderful time with my family and friends. I thought I was really ready to get back to the grind a find a new job. I had planned to work in Oakland for two more years so I could use the money to take acting and art classes. But I honestly started to look at my reprioritized values. Should I really stay here just to work and make money and delay the start of going after my dreams? Honestly, just affording to live in the Bay Area is stress enough. I would need to work just to making living here remain possible.  But I quickly discovered that I’m still burnt out and not managing stress well. I don’t really feel read to go back to the corporate world I left.

I’m also really grateful for my life and all I get to do and have accomplished. However, just like the studies on Facebook say, my life is not always as rosey as what it might see if you only see my travels. I definitely don’t want any pity, this is just a moment of me sharing what makes me vulnerable.

When I left Utah 10 years ago, I had hopes of living the big life, having a great job, hanging with fantastic friends, and finding a great boyfriend. I honestly left Ogden with only the skills to have great job. I did not have any real social skills moving here, and I was leaving behind all that I knew and understood. I was just going to fight through and figure out how to fit in. Let’s just say I made a huge amount of progress in that 10 years. However, I’ve remained single the entire time and never really started to build roots.

I came out here to make it on my own and I did. I was strong and independent. Yes, I had support and friends but nothing like what I had left in Utah, and I really never was able to build that same level of support. For example, who did I have to help me financially when I got sick if I had to stop working. No one but me. It’s way too expensive here for me to ask my parents for help. So yes, I’ve been really lonely, I’ve worried if I could do it on my own, and I’ve carried that burden on my shoulders. I didn’t mind for many years, I’m stubborn and good at fighting. However, the road trip showed me how nice it was not to fight. I felt supported.

So now I’m the cliff about to jump into my next adventure. An adventure to explore my creativity and see if I can make those dreams happen. These are dreams that I’ve denied for years with thoughts like you can’t make money, you can’t take care of yourself, you need to have a powerful career, you need to be focused on science, you need to prove to all those damn sexist mormons that you can do anything. Wow, I’ve done great living up to those expectations and exceeding them, but honestly I don’t want to do it anymore.

Its time for me to dream big and see what I’m really capable of doing. But to do that, I need to stop being strapped by expenses of living in the Bay Area and I need a support system with a bit more depth than what I’ve built here. So good bye to that Bay Area chapter of my life. I’m so content with my life and grateful for the growth and experience you’ve brought me. However, I’m moving on.

Moving on in a way I thought never possible. My goals remain the same that I will move to Portland within the next two years to become a working artist and actor. However, I’m taking a little detour and moving back to Utah until I can get my parents to move to Portland. This hasn’t been the easiest decision especially since I said I could never live in Utah again. But with new priorities, being with my parents and some of my closest lifelong friends I have a support group to help me grow to the next stage. Plus, I can get a dog!

So Ogden friends, this is my announcement, I’m coming back to join you. For my Bay Area friends, I love you! I will miss you, but damn it I could visit monthly for less than I pay in rent. But my journey would not have been what it was with out you and for this I’m so grateful.

If you want to know about timing, I’m not one to move slow when I make decisions. There are still a few details to work out, but this change is going to happen very fast. But the craziest part of this all, is that I would never be writing this blog without my road trip. For that, I’m unbelievable grateful!