Monday, January 23, 2012

What January Teaches Me

This blog is not yet a year old, and obviously many things have happened prior to the start of this blog which brought me to where I am today. I’ve mentioned before that the holidays are a big time of remembrance and reflection for me. I had many big things happen around that time last year. Same goes for the month of January. There’s one date in particular.

January 22nd.

Last year’s January 22nd was very significant. Maybe this time next year, I’ll have some deep reflections about it to share. However, today, let’s talk about 2010. On January 22, 2010 I got into my car, as packed up as it could possibly be and drove across the country to Utah. I had been there once before. I did not have a job set up or any furniture. Nothing. Just myself, a couple suitcases, a 6-month lease, an air mattress, a few acquaintances, and my GPS. Most people found it hard to believe or even understand. I’m definitely not known for being a risk-taker and that was probably one of the riskiest things I had ever done before.

I knew while I was still in college that I needed a big change and that the change would most likely happen with a big move. California was the ideal place. With money and economy the way it has been, California was looking a little too dangerous at the time. I knew I wanted to be out West. So, I considered Phoenix and Salt Lake City – each with decent costs of living. I ended up deciding on Salt Lake City after I made a 5-day visit out there in the Summer of 2009. I knew a few people there and the large church community out there would certainly be a huge help in making new friends. So, I did it. I moved.

The drive out there was amazing. I traveled through states I never thought I’d see {Wyoming} and felt so ridiculously excited for what was to come next in my life. It was the newest chapter I had ever started. After two days of driving, I had finally arrived in my new home. With the help of two guys {one of whom later became my husband} my car was unpacked, my air mattress was blown up, and I was ready to start life in Utah!

The next few months were some of the most unpredictable, live-in-the-moment months that I have ever experienced. I went totally out of my comfort zone and tried meeting as many people as possible through church and other activities. About two weeks after settling into my new home, there was a retreat up at a cabin in Idaho that I was invited to. Idaho? Never been! Clearly, I had to go. So, I did! It was a fun, snowy weekend full of playing games, watching movies, and adventuring out into the snow… in Montana.

Yes, Montana. One day, we ventured off to West Yellowstone for a day of walking around, shopping, and sightseeing. The roads were covered in ice/snow and most people got around by way of snowmobile. Pretty cool, huh? The town itself was very quaint and friendly; exactly what you’d expect of a little Western town :) Check out that snow drift in the last picture!

A couple of us left Idaho Sunday morning at 6am to make it back in time for a meeting before church. While at church, a friend of mine {from Orange County, CA} mentioned that he decided he’s going to go home for a few days and told me I should come hang out {he knew how much I LOVED California!} I knew I had to go. How often do you get an opportunity like that?
So, that night, I did my laundry and re-packed my suitcase before leaving for Orange County the next morning. It was exhilarating. I felt so alive! {Want to see pictures? Perhaps I should do a future post on that!}

I knew that there would only be certain times in my life where I could live that way – like a free bird :) It was crazy and amazing all at the same time. I had just moved all the way across the country and then I was driving and jetting off to surrounding states, seeing this beautiful country of ours and learning more about myself and what I want out of life.

That was two years ago. Thinking back to that time really helped put things into perspective for me. I think lately I had really taken the backseat approach to my own life. I was sitting, waiting, hoping for things to happen. I was unsure, undecided, and timid. That’s NOT who I was two years ago and that’s NOT who I want to go on being. I decided it’s time to take control of my own life and really go after the things I want and become the person I want to be.

With the new year and with my most recent birthday {all within the past three weeks} I’ve made some big steps and I’ve seen the changes in my life taking place.

Today is January 23rd, and marks another new start in my life. Maybe that’s how every January 23rd is. The day after. The fresh day full of the beauty of another new start.
Whether you have a significant date each year or not, remember that every day is a new start. It’s a chance to turn things around or start living the life you’ve always wanted. Chase after your dreams. Go on that trip, even if it’s last minute. See the world. Do a favor for someone just because. Smile. Live.

{Also, you can find me over here today talking all about one of my biggest guilty pleasures!}


Noelani said...

It's amazing where God often leads us, huh? :)

lsaz said...

Wow, I did the same thing in 2006. I packed up everything that would fit in my jeep and drove across the country to move from Michigan to California! I can relate to you on how exciting and significant that is!


andersa9 said...

I love this post. I wish you the absolute best in your future!

Jax said...

Love this post and love teh 23rd being the fresh start day! I admire you taking such a big risk! I often wish I would have done something like that. I'm happy NOW, but I spent a few years wishing I had the guts to just up and leave. But I never did it for whatever reason I made up. Proud of you, girl!

Daisy said...

Great post! It seems like you had an amazing birthday :)

Allison said...

Love this post and the beautiful pictures!

Holly said...

Wow, that move sounds like a huge change, and the photos of all the snow are really beautiful!
Just dropping by from Hollie's linkup. :)


Sophie @ threetimesf said...

Love this post - sometimes we all need a moment to step back and realise what we need to do going forward - so well done!

Love those Idaho pictures - the snow looks amazing! :)