I started over at the not so ripe old age of 27. It wasn’t the first time I decided something needed to change. I can’t count on both mine and Avery’s hands the times I’ve seriously contemplated change, it’s happened a lot, it’s creeping up again, and mostly it’s because it just suits who I am. It’s less frequent these days now that the two of us require more consistent surroundings and thrive off of repetition but the thought of change…it still lingers.
We’ll skip all the other life changes prior to this story for now but you can trust that there are many to consider and we could spend hours on my deck drinking wine and analyzing each one. At 27, my change was leaving home for a new city; a bigger move than I’d ever made before when considering I’d only left home once for a college just 45 minutes away from where I’d spent my entire life. Very long story short, it’s been since this move that I’ve realized just how much change is necessary in my life and thankfully I’ve accepted that.
Change to me means growth; it means not accepting things/people/circumstances that don’t support you in becoming the best version of yourself you wish to become. I could have stayed in my hometown never having moved to a new city with new experiences and ultimately missed out on what’s made me the very person I am today (which for the sake of this article only I have to say I am very happy with). I could have then stayed in San Diego in a relationship that wasn’t working, in an environment that was not conducive to the kind of upbringing neither I nor Avery’s father wished for our daughter. Once returning, I could have chosen to remain in the comfort of the predictable day to day life Avery and I were living but yet thankfully chose to let someone else in at the risk of sheer vulnerability.
None of these decisions was easy and I mean not a one. None of them came without days, weeks, months of consideration and careful thought. Many people weighed in from many angles but it always came down to me; what was I comfortable with, what was most important for me, for Avery. She’s become such a guide in my life, the biggest reason I say she’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Lots of single parents, hell lots of parents will say that line, “they’re the best thing that ever happened to me.” I used to roll my eyes (on the inside, you’d never see me do it, well probably) because it seemed so cliche. But now I’m a part of a club, you know what club I mean… the one only people with kids can get in to. The one we know we’re a part of when we have kids and our non-parent friends just won’t understand until it’s their turn. As a member of this club when a parent says “my kid is the best thing that’s ever happened to me”… you know now where it comes from.
I digress (as usual). Change…Starting over… is difficult. No, more than difficult. It’s probably the hardest thing for any one person to have to go through. Whether it be leaving a relationship, starting a new one, leaving a job or dealing with loss. But consider this, we start over at the wake of every day. If that’s not practice, I don’t know what is. We have a choice, each of these days, to continue living the life we’re unhappy with or to do something about it. I made a choice to leave San Diego, I now live in a home that one might mistake for a college apartment. No couch, a tv and coffee table circa 1982 and two chairs that quite obviously don’t match – this all very unappealing to most. But, the upside is I get to wake up every day with the relief that my life is what I want it to be or at least on its way there. I get to go to sleep every night to the sound of the kind of laughter only a two year old can evoke and a sense of pride that otherwise would not have existed.
If you are contemplating change, I leave you with this, “It’s too late to change your mind if you let loss be your guide.”