when you (unexpectedly) find yourself back on track
It's no secret that it's been a struggle for me since moving to Grande Prairie, almost 2 years ago. Isn't that what people say? That it takes a good 2 years to settle into a new city?
Boy, were they right. Albeit, somedays it felt like 20 years.
How can I explain? Well, there is nothing like the feeling of pure euphoria mixed with the feeling of melancholy. Its like my brain was confused because one day I was on cloud nine, the other day I was deep in the bowels of what I felt was a depression.
After 3 years long distance, I was FINALLY starting my life with the person I'd chosen to spend the rest of my life with AND I became a mother for the first time, to the most wonderful, healthy, happy baby boy who I cannot imagine life without. I know what some of you are thinking, 'wow, she's lucky, so why is she complaining so much?!'
Well it's not as easy as it looks (famous last words). With life's highs comes it's fair share of lows. Leaving my life behind in Vancouver, quitting a job that I loved, saying goodbye to my friends and family, not to mention the city I j'adore was very tough. Let's not ignore the fact that I was moving to a city (population under 100,000) that was so very different than what I knew, and what I felt, had little opportunity, options and culture.
But, I'm starting to understand now why I made this move - beyond love - and why it was likely a healthy shift for me to make.
Financial reasons aside (and yes, contrary to popular belief, you can get ahead financially in this city), I've slowly come to learn that there is more untapped territory to Grande Prairie that I am only now discovering. Had you told me this a year ago, I would have laughed in your face.
I owe part of this transition to a very dear and close friend of mine who called me out on my complaining, identified some observations she noticed about me since I moved and offered some perspective on things that may help. Apparently, that's all I needed. As I laid in bed, weeping and reading her email, I realized that she hit the nail on the head. I had to shift my perspective about where I am in life and why I chose this direction (because let's be honest, I chose to make this move), but also find what really makes me happy. I was the only one who could get me back on track in order to find my true happiness again.
Kinda like how Stella Got Her Groove Back.
Because as much as we hate to hear it, we all know that we are the change that we want to see and no one is in control of your destiny but your damn self.
I was going through one of the biggest identity crisis' of my adult life and I was so very lost as to what this new identity was, so I had to do a little deep dive into my own soul and highlight what my strengths were AND to be honest about what I truly wanted in a career. Andrea's Career Version 2.0 that is. I came to realize that what I thought was a good set up for me, was really not.
Here's what I did know for sure:
I'm a successful, talented business woman with a great resume.
I'm a natural at connecting, socializing and building relationships.
I have a partner who supports me 100%
I'm determined to achieve what I deserve and never settling.
What I didn't know was how I was going to achieve this Andrea Version 2.0. I knew that I needed balance in my life more than ever. The balance of work that fulfilled me and the the balance of being a mom and spouse. It's never a one-size-fits-all scenario because all moms find balance in their everyday, whatever that looks like. It's a lot harder than one would think.
But through all of this, what I came to realize was that I needed to be fearless in the pursuit of my own happy. And I realized that this new happy was not going to be the same as it was before and I had to be okay letting some of that go to let the new stuff in. My life has shifted, my career has shifted and so has my personal life. I had to stop competing with myself because there were more important things to focus on than getting to that next career level. I had finally achieved everything else I had so desperately been looking for and I had to learn how to make room for that.
I'm still a work in progress. Everything is not perfect, contrary to what people think, but I'm learning to take it all in stride. One step at a time because the end result is totally worth it.