One year ago… I did the best thing I have ever done for myself. I moved home. Into my childhood bedroom. I literally drove a 26 foot U-Haul with my car in tow 2,250 miles, staying at interstate hotels and living off gas station coffee, alone. As an adult who had owned homes, who managed a career and applied for mortgages, I leaned into the feeling of failure and starting over and moved home.
I did not tell anyone. I kept a huge secret. Because moving meant alone, and alone meant people would know I failed. I also did not tell anyone, because I did not want to hear their opinions. Here is why:
- I heard myself. I shut myself up for so long and told myself to power through for years. I was trying to hear myself, not what others expected of me and not what I needed to do for approval and I put myself first which is something that is against my grain – I have tried to always put important people above all else in my life. I heard myself say, ‘please, go home, please stop the act, and please know quitting does not make you less.’ I have never been a quitter. Moving felt like quitting. It felt shameful and weak. But this one time, I listened to myself instead of fear and I learned how to love myself really, really, really late in the game.
- I went home because I needed to feel unconditional love. I needed to be able to be a monster and be depressed and be broken and wake up the next morning to people who loved me still. I needed the honest feedback from my family and my team. I needed them to tell me the truth and for me to hate the way it tasted, and wake up again continuing to make the decision to take one more step forward. I needed to test not being perfect. I needed to test my new self somewhere safe and somewhere that would hold me accountable. Home was the only option.
- I learned the hardest lessons last year about people who truly love you. Not only from my failed relationship but the aftershocks of the people you trust and confide in. The amount of people who told me I was making the wrong decisions, the people who talked before they listened or passed judgement, just the sheer number of ‘friends,’ who accidentally hurt people when they need the most love… still makes me stop in my tracks. I will never forget the angel voices of my sweet friends saying ‘duh, go home girl… you belong there.’ I wanted Seattle and mountains and evergreen trees and the feel of home to define me. I wanted home to be a huge piece of my puzzle. I wanted to raise my children (let’s hope I actually get there someday… but whatever not this blog) home in the rain. I rejected who I was for so long to be who I thought others wanted me to be, so I wanted to run to my true self… that meant home.
Look, I did not tell people forever. Because it was weird going from owning a three bedroom two-bathroom home with marble countertops in a hip neighborhood all on your own to moving your beanie babies with your best friend to fit your shoes somewhere… anywhere (thank you Chelsie). Moving home saved me. Saved me from the darkest corners of my brain that would wash a thick shadow over every inch of my body at night whispering to me about my life’s worth. My mom said to me, you can always come home, always come back… I just took her advice for once.
I said in the other blog it changed me for bad too. I think I am now afraid of moving too far away. I think I have now associated being close to them as being close to my authentic self. I am afraid if I am away for too long I am going to lose myself. I am afraid of the deep end. I used to jump off the high dive and squeal with joy. Now I tremble. I hope I can reclaim fearless confidence, but who knows… and I hardly care, I am just thankful to be here and feel a little bit alive again.