A few wise friends have said to me – Make a decision. If it is the wrong decision you will know it soon enough and then you can change it. Nothing is permanent except your way of looking at a situation and even that you can change.
Some of you might not know that I cried the entire plane ride back to Alaska from San Francisco. I didn’t want to come back. When I left here in December I was distraught, depressed, and I felt broken. I wrote this piece on the plane on my way home on Christmas… Did I Just Break Up With Alaska? I was planning on leaving Alaska the moment I could either ferry out or the snow had melted so I could drive out. I wasn’t going to stay past May. Nope.
I just reread that post and no, Brandon and I aren’t dating, but remain great friends. It is good to have friends who I can hang out with and talk to. He also helps me with some of my workouts, which I need!
A couple days ago, I wrote this piece: That’s NOT the Announcement I Thought You were Going to Make, But I Like This One Too. In this post I made a few announcements, none of which was me being pregnant, which a lot of people seemed to want. Not gonna happen, my friends!
Ok, so you’ve read those two pieces, and that brings me to why I had to stop working and write my thoughts down. I realized something last night talking with a friend.
I am happy. Truly happy.
Not because of someone else in my life (still have a horrible dating track record), but because I have spent some much needed time listening to my soul and my wants and desires out of life.
In January, while traveling in Las Vegas and San Francisco, I wrote down what was making me so unhappy and stressed the eff out. The list was short and sweet.
- Lack of financial security
- I miss my friends and family
- I’m not surrounded by like-minded people while in Alaska (more on that)
- I miss having a home
So now three months later after I struck out to tackle each of these, this is where I am. First off, before I go on, you have to know this about me… There comes a time when you stop blaming everyone else for where you are in life and take ownership of your own path. If I am unhappy, I am the ONLY person in the world that can change that fact. Others may impact it, but only I can decide to be happy or loved or whatever. I am the Captain of my ship. Ok, now we can go on.
Lack of Financial Security
Shocker to hear that I am a born entrepreneur. From lemonade stands to paid entry into keg parties back in the day to my first big business at just 20 years old, it is what I was born to do. Once you own your reason to be on this earth, you can move forward. I am not one of those people that is good at just one thing, but I succeed at many. I can think up 5 new businesses in under an hour and not even blink. It’s just the way my brain works – which was one of the announcements in the above piece.
One of the reasons I was struggling financially was because I lacked confidence in my writing because of one bad review and a denial on a query letter I had sent out. Then I sat back and looked at what I have done in a year – I have written over 500+ content articles. One of those has been pinned over 125,000 times on Pinterest and made that blogger a lot of money. I obviously was doing something right or people wouldn’t keep ordering from me. That made me feel good.
I started working with another blogger and we scheduled weekly meetings, wrote down our goals, and get this… helped each other to achieve them. That was the key. I always do better knowing I have someone to talk to. Being a solopreneur is tough. I don’t have an office to go to and talk through ideas with coworkers. This one simple change has helped me to focus (which is SO hard for me) and realized what I want and don’t want.
For the first time, I hit my financial goals in March 2015. And that, my friends, makes me happy. I’m still working on the long-term strategy, but you have to take the successes and savor them. March was a writing success for me!
I Miss My Friends and Family
This one is harder. I don’t live close. I am no longer just 20 minutes away from heading over to my dad’s for tacos (I really miss those among other things!). I am an 8 hour plane ride away. 8 hours – that is roughly 8,000 miles. Spending January with my friends and family really helped me to reign in those feelings of being distraught.
Just a little throwback love to the family
Living in a place where no one really knows me is not for the faint of heart. Instead of constantly missing my friends I knew I needed to strengthen those I had started forming in Anchorage. I’ve been reaching out and hanging out with a few girlfriends, going to lunches, and grabbing beers. I still do so many things alone but now I try to reach out and invite others to join if possible. I don’t feel as alone anymore. I also know now that if I get depressed or homesick I can make a couple calls and go hang out with people and get away from just having a cyber existence.
My birthday is this Sunday, on Easter. It will be the first birthday in my 41 years that I will be away from home. Did I mention it is on Easter? That means that most people will have plans with their families. I am prepared to spend it alone, and that is ok. I will go hiking, maybe color some Easter eggs and be thankful for all that I have been blessed with.
Last year – what an awesome day! Look at how tan and thin I was!!
I created a little gardening group with some friends and we are getting together on Thursday over wine – two of my favorite things! Mani/pedis with the girls on Friday – my birthday tradition. Then on Saturday, I invited those that I have met in Anchorage for a Brew Tour through the city. I was stunned when I was inviting people on Facebook because I hadn’t realized just how many people I have met here! In that moment I felt like I was becoming part of this community and that made me happy.
I’m Not Surrounded by Like-Minded People
When I sat down and thought about this stressor, I realized I was messing this up. I have met many, many amazing people in Alaska that are super smart, courageous, and empathetic. Every time I am around them I feel at peace. When I was the most distraught in the Fall I realized I had been living with someone who made me nuts in the way she thought about the world. Well, it was because she reminded me a lot of my ex-husband. That was a strange correlation to make.
We can all be negative and have bad days, but if everything you say is negative… change your perspective. When I feel constantly dragged down by being around certain people, I know that I have to limit my time around them. I know some people probably feel the same way about me!
When I hang out with giving, loving people who are intelligent to boot, that is my sweet spot. Those are my kind of people.
I Miss Having a Home
After being on the road for over two years and essentially living out of my car, I really missed having a home. When I lived in Eagle River I never unpacked. Everything was still in bags and boxes, I never truly felt welcomed or wanted there.
I love where I live now. My roommate is pretty awesome – she reminds me a lot of my besties in Phoenix. She is funny and gets out there and does stuff. I love her tenacity and it reminds me of how I used to be at 30. And guess what… I unpacked. Everything is out of my car and put away. Can you believe it?
She doesn’t yell at me, doesn’t put me down, and handles some of my quirks. There is a lot to be said for those three things. Living in this space for a few months has allowed me to hit my Reset button and breathe. And for that, I am extremely grateful.
I’m Happy. Truly Happy.
I’m living my life as a professional writer. I’m creating another site that means a lot to me – AlaskaBreweries.com – because I want people to know just how awesome the beer scene is up here. I have friends here that have accepted me. And everyday I do something that makes me insanely happy – I get out into nature. Whether it is for a walk, a run, or a hike, being outside makes me a happy girl. I’m glad I have made the decision to stay in this beautiful land for a bit longer. I love Alaska.
Now if I could just see a polar bear. 🙂