In 2020 I made several large changes to my life. As many of you have noticed (and pointed out) I “blew up” my life this past year and “somehow” landed on my feet. Personally, I don’t think it’s a “somehow” thing. This life wasn’t random, I chose it. I never felt like I was blowing up my life, I felt like I was making intentional, well-thought-out decisions that would hopefully push me in the direction I ultimately want to be (even if I didn’t have a clear picture of what that was).
I gain a lot of security and safety from
planning overplanning aspects of my life. Planning itself is a coping mechanism for my anxiety. Knowing the next move makes me feel more in control and if I can plan out the next one, five, ten years then I can, theoretically, control those years/outcomes better and ultimately reduce my anxiety.
Complete transparency, it has never worked, but like a hamster on a wheel, I have kept running. It’s not that my plans haven’t worked it’s that having these plans has rarely resulted in lowering my anxiety in the now. So maybe it was the personal losses of 2019, maybe it changing career paths, coming to terms with something I had been hiding from for a long time, or maybe it was realizing I had already met the right person. Maybe it was the synergy of all of these things and more. I wasn’t looking for something or someone else, but what happened was that I had a moment where I realized that I wasn’t actually risking one thing for another, what I was doing was making two separate decisions, simultaneously.
I made the decision to leave a relationship and move cities because that’s what I wanted to do. I owed it to myself and that person to give us each the space to be in relationships where we were equally loved by the person we were in love with. I love New York City, but the need to be closer to family outweighed the desire to live in the city I love. Making the decision to leave the relationship and city was one move.
The second decision was where do I go from here.
Back to a city I knew and loved: DC. A place where not only would I be close to family, but where a close friend lived. A friend that was also newly unattached. For the first time in our four-year friendship, we had the space to look at each other in ways that as friends we previously didn’t allow ourselves to. Corey wasn’t my forever person, because technically he couldn’t be, but then in one moment, as that changed he just was for me.
It wasn’t a choice, it was simply loving. I don’t think love should be complicated. I think sustaining a loving relationship through thoughtful action, personal growth, compromise, and more is complicated. But when someone asks if you love your partner I don’t think that question should have a complex answer. The beauty of love lies in the simplicity of “yes, I do”.
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Several months ago my writing took a back seat. Let’s talk about why, because the more I think about it the prouder I am of myself and I think that pride comes from having taken a risk. It was the first time in my life that I’ve come into a relationship as an adult. I came with my own beliefs & expectations, with the knowledge of how to articulate and trust my intuition. I didn’t enter it as a girl who was going to follow a partner. I entered it as a woman who was and is fully prepared to go it alone. The thing is, entering a relationship, engagement, and life with someone else comes with a learning curve, with compromise. In my first month in DC I didn’t post on Instagram, I focused my energy & attention on my doula career + 2 (!!) jobs + very new relationship. And so, unintentionally, the blog took a backseat.
I took a risk in coming here.
A risk in starting a relationship with my best friend.
A risk in moving in within a week of a first date.
A risk in agreeing to marry someone I had known for years, but dated for only six weeks.
Every step was an unknown, every step was a risk.
I owe myself and those risks the energy, space, and time to work, to try. To not just accept, but embrace the failures along the way. When taking risks it’s important to know that while it doesn’t always work out there’s beauty in “blowing up” your life. So much beauty in a clean slate without knowing what’s to come.
This life is so special because of the risks that got me here. I had safety in the previous iteration of my life, but that safety itself was a risk. Every day we take risks. We put off time-sensitive projects. We text them first. We make the first move. But few people recognize that sometimes taking the “safe” option is the biggest risk of all. Staying safe, playing inside the lines, is how you end up living a life of unmet potential.
Everything you could be is in the details of the risks you aren’t willing to take.