Hi there! Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends! And everyone else, I hope you’re having a fabulous start to the week.
I’ve been back home now for about 5 days – it hasn’t quite hit me yet that I’m actually here to stay! Since I had have a couple of 10-14 day long trips back here in the last year, it feels like another one of those – that this is a holiday and I’ll be heading back to Calgary in a week or two, which of course isn’t actually the case. I feel like it’ll take a few weeks for it to really sink in – I’M HOME.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on the major lessons I got from my move – from moving across the country by myself without a plan in place. Undergoing an adventure like that, you learn a lot about yourself, your needs and life in general. So today, I want to reflect on the four biggest lessons I’ve learned in the last year.
1. Work/life balance is so important.
Over my year in Alberta, I worked – A LOT. I usually worked around 50 hours a week (or more), I’d work 6-7 days a week, and I’d work weekends and holidays. Although I gained a lot of necessary work-related experience, I put myself on fast track to burnout. And I really started to feel it in the form of exhaustion, stress, and a few anxiety attacks.
I was in the position to work as little or as much as I wanted, and I definitely leaned towards the latter. I learned that making money is actually a little bit addicting – I wanted to work as much as I could and put as much money away as possible.
I think I was a little too hyperfocused on work and growing my bank account as opposed to having the adventures I went out there to have in the first place. I didn’t go on as many hikes as I wanted to, I didn’t learn to snowboard or rock climb like I wanted to. I didn’t get out and explore the surrounding area as much as I planned.
I have no regrets, but I’ve definitely learned to put more effort into ensuring that I have a better work/life balance in the future, and not let work be my sole focus in life.
2. Trying new things makes you stronger and braver.
I always considered myself someone who would stay close to home, but I changed that.
I never thought I’d be a runner, but I ran 2 half marathons over the past year.
I didn’t think I could handle overnights/shift work again, but I managed.
I didn’t think I could manage a long-distance relationship, but I did.
I tried so many new things this year, both mentally and physically. Things that I didn’t know or didn’t think that I’d be able to do. And I’m a stronger and braver person because of it.
3. Establishing independence is an essential part of growth.
Admittedly, I’ve always been someone that relied heavily on other people for happiness, usually in romantic relationships but in other facets of my life as well. And while connection with others is so, so important, happiness needs to come from an internal place.
The last year contained some of the loneliest moments of my life. But it’s also when I learned to really confront that loneliness and learn to be ok with my own company. The first few times I had a night off, my place to myself and no plans, I was at a complete loss for what to do with my time. It was an adjustment, but eventually I learned to be comfortable when I only had myself for company.
In the past, I’ve let myself become a little too involved in my romantic relationships. Usually to the point where I would compromise other facets of my life and even little bits of my personality to focus almost entirely on the relationship. But you can’t do that when you only see the other person once every few months – you have to develop your own life and maintain your interests outside of the relationship, or else you’ll drive yourself crazy. As much as being in a long distance relationship sucked, it also encouraged me to maintain my life and my independence outside of my romantic life. I feel like I can keep this going now that my relationship is no longer of the long-distance variety, which is way better both for me and for the relationship in general.
After this move, I feel way more comfortable being my authentic self – which is awesome.
4. It really is ok when you’re not certain of the outcome.
I had no idea what was going to happen when I moved out West. I wasn’t sure if I’d live there the rest of my life, or if I’d be calling my parents a month later telling them that I was on my way home. And of course, I was fine. I found a job, friends, adventures, growth, and all the things I went out there looking for.
I have no idea what’s going to happen now that I’m home. Where I’m going to work, how people and things will have changed, how long I’m going to be at my parent’s house – I don’t know.
But I’ve learned to be ok with uncertainty. I know what I want and I’m putting my intentions out to the universe, and now I wait. No matter what happens, for once I really am certain that I’m going to be ok.
It’s crazy how much things change in a year. But I’m ready for the next step.
<— No specific questions today, but I’d love to hear your thoughts/comments/experiences!