It was Erics birthday on Friday and for his present last year, I started a photo book to capture all of our adventures up until that point and I have made it a tradition to add to it every year. As I was pasting in pictures, I was forced to reflect on this past summer and all of the hardship and growth behind the beauty of the some of those photos. And I thought now that the dust has settled and I have had some time to reflect, it would be a good time to talk about everything that went down and why I am now so, so thankful for all of it.
Many of you may know that I was laid off from my job back in April. It was one of those things that completely numbs you..that completely throws you off guard. I will never forget walking down the stairs from my CEOs office, seeing tears coming from my coworkers, my friends as they too started packing up their desks. A flood of emotion filled my body as I made my last bike ride home from the office and woke up the next morning realizing I had nowhere to be.
I was really surprised with how well I had handled the first week, it was almost as if I had blocked out any negative emotion trying to make its way through. “I have more time to study for my personal training exam, I can sleep in and go to the yoga classes I can never make it to.. I can clean the house and listen to endless amounts of podcasts.. I can get ahead on stuff I have been putting on the back burner, like starting my blog.”
And for about a week, I did all of those things. But as the fear and anxiety started to sink in, so did I. I went inward. I started sleeping late, binge watching Netflix, hiding out so I didn’t have to face the reality of the battles in my head. How was I going to pay the bills, I still have to find housing for next year, where was I going to get my next job, was unemployment going to be enough to live off of until then? And while I had my friends and family reaching out to help me, I still woke up every.single.day with a pit in my stomach so large that I couldn’t focus on anything. My mood started to jump around. I went from sadness, to anger, to a complete mental breakdown in a matter of minutes. There were days I didn’t want to get out of bed because I felt like I had no purpose and my anxiety was so bad that I couldn’t bare to face the day or any of the feelings that came with it.
Having this much alone time every day gives you a lot of time to think, maybe too much at times. I had to learn how to deal with my thoughts in a healthy way rather than just shove them under the rug like I was so used to doing my entire life. I learned how to be gentle with myself and that sometimes there were days that I ate a pint of ice cream and watched an entire season of America's Next Top Model. I realized in trying to deal with all of my anxiety, I couldn’t put 100% of my focus into studying and that it was OKAY, it was all okay. I needed to stop comparing myself, that what everyone else was doing didn’t matter, and I needed to step away from this beautifully planned out map I had created for myself because life doesn't always go to plan.
I needed to figure out what was best for ME, one day at a time.
Eric and I decided, even among the craziness, that we were definitely going to move to Park City. Searching for housing and jobs in a new place kept my motivation going. I decided that there has to be something more and that I needed to stop making excuses for myself. To get my butt into gear and do something with all of these dreams I had floating around my head. And while it was so hard, and while there were days I wanted to say f*ck it and just throw in the towel, I kept pushing..“just get to Park City.”
In my gut, I knew that Eric and I were going to be okay, that I was going to be okay. And I used that feeling to get me through the months. I used that feeling to just ask for what I needed, knowing that the answer could be no.. But that it could also be yes. Some of those yeses included negotiating and signing a lease for our dream apartment in Park City, deciding we were going to go on a month long road trip until we were able to move into that apartment. Landing a job a mile away from said apartment because I was determined to find something in Park City, and Eric scoring a job at a dream company, even with a career switch, because he didn’t let anyone tell him “you can’t.” I feel so at home in my new home, I am pursuing the dreams and adventures I once put on the back burner. And I honestly do not think I would be doing the things I’m doing today if it were not for being laid off and going through that summer. Looking back, Eric and I are better people because of it. So much was learned.
Of course we struggled, of course none of this came without hard work and determination. Our relationship was tested as we went through some of the most stressful months of our lives. But what helped me make it through everything, was the belief through my entire being, down to my core that we were going to make it through, that something good was on the other side of all of this. And to believe that even on the days I didn’t want to face my thoughts, my anxiety, or my fears. I think that is the key to getting through any difficult situation in life, the core belief that you really can handle anything.
Understanding that the way it is handled doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect
Because if you are determined and if you can learn to pick yourself up and just keep fighting, you truly can make it through anything.
While it may seem like an endless fight as you are walking or crawling through the battle field, remember this: trust yourself, lean on those who offer help, ask for what you need, and even when things seem impossible, keep your faith high. Because there is a light at the end of the tunnel and because I guarantee there is something you need to learn from all of this and you will be thankful for it 2 months, or 2 years down the road.