It may seem odd to be doing a year in review in any month other than January but October 2012 was like the start of a whole new year for me.
I left my university in September after physically breaking my foot and emotionally feeling like I had broken my whole self. After a period of recovery, which meant I spent most of my time on the couch, gaining pitty weight and sporadically blogging, I decided I needed a change.
So I booked a ticket to Florida.
A one-way, not sure when I would return ticket to spend some time with my Grammy.
I knew only that I would come home when I had found some sense of solace and stability.
The quote “not all those who wander are lost” did not apply to me.
I was so beyond lost when I decided to wander.
I spent the first two weeks vegging out enjoying the Florida sunshine while catching up with my sweet Grammy. After my brief ‘incubation period’ I started to apply for jobs. A day later I had an interview at a department store and the day after that I was back for training as a sales associate in the women’s shoe department.
In fact, my very first day of work was Halloween 2012.
A whole year ago today.
I ended up staying in Florida through December and flying home to rainy Seattle on Christmas Eve to surprise my family. It was close to perfect.
I learned a lot in my few months as a one-time Floridian.
I learned that I certainly was not meant to live in a climate that means Christmas is celebrated with palm trees and 75 degrees.
I also saw where I did not want to end up in life.
I met so many strong, teaching people working alongside me in the retail environment but their lives were not easy. Mine has not been a cake walk either but Florida taught me to be more thankful of the things I have and the dreams that I very well might achieve one day.
January was the first time that I really understood that I was not going back to my university. Financially it was not in the cards and I was also overwhelmed by the thought of returning somewhere that my friends had also left. It felt like my place there had suddenly disappeared. I started taking nursing prerequisites at a local community college and adjusting to the itsy bitsy class sizes and complete change of atmosphere.
February and March were much the same.
April was when I decided I was bored and I needed a job. I knew that retail was not for me and, in fact, I had always really wanted to be a nanny.
So I set out my requirements.
The family would have to be a ‘right fit’ for me and also be willing to give me a way to attend classes at the same time. By God’s grace I was blessed with the perfect family. Two sweet as pie little girls and a caring, down to earth set of parents to tie up the clan.
My 20th birthday came and went, celebrated by my amazing friend M and her dear family. It was also around this time that I began volunteering as a ‘running buddy’ for Girls on the Run which has become one of my most cherished moments.
I got to spend some time running with a wonderful 4th grade girl and was beaming by her side as she crossed the 5k finish line. I truly believe that every woman/girl should be a part of GOTR at least once in their life.
Summer rolled around and I accepted a part-time position with the summer camp I had worked with the previous summer. The girls and I romped around Seattle, made dresses and tutus and rediscovered the magic in the simple things.
The summer also brought some not so great things.
My parents separation meant that it was time to sell the only house I have ever known. Months later and I still yearn for my cheery green bedroom filled to the top with too many quotes and memories.
I signed up for a hot yoga groupon with some friends from work and began to love something that I was so scared to do initially. Yoga became an escape for me and a good place to let everything I had stressed over that day drip down my body in copious amounts of sweat.
And that brings us to now. Halloween 2013. An entire year later.
This year I am still taking a few straggling prerequisite classes before applying to nursing school for the fall of 2014.
I traded a retail job that I dreaded for a blessing of a nanny job, where I get to go to the park and make pink princess costumes.
I continue to live too often in the what-ifs and one day world rather than making a change in the present.
The hill is starting to flatten out and a new horizon lies ahead.