Looking Both Ways

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“Happiness depends on ourselves.”
[Aristotle]

I recently took a week-long trip back home to Sunny Arizona. This was my third visit since my move to New York over a year and a half ago. I could feel differences during this visit for a plethora of reasons. In a way, the visit felt overshadowed by the fact that my sister is moving back. It seemed that was all everyone could talk about. Then I began to approach it with more of an understanding and as I previously stated I only want what is best for Tiffany and do support her decision. If this is what she needs to find herself again, I am all for it.

I found it more difficult to plan time with my friends this time around. Could it be possible that the longer I spend away from my home town, the less important I become to those I was once the closest with? I know everyone is busy with their everyday lives but it would have been nice to see more of my close friends. I certainly felt bummed about it. It is always a challenge to plan a trip back home as I feel I have so many things to fit into such a short while. I am striving to fly back home more often although there are so many other new places I wish to discover.

No doubt that there were plenty of wonderful moments during the week. My entire family gathered together for a late Christmas celebration of sorts. Being around them always reminds me of how lucky I am to be supported in my decisions, no matter what they may be. I was on a definite high as I sat around my Aunt and Uncles fire pit on a windy but mild Phoenix night. My love for my family is endless. No matter where I end up I am comforted by the fact that they will be there through my successes and to lean on in my times of need. I did spend some time with some lovely friends as well. It was amazing to see them again.

While in Phoenix, we stayed with my father. I have never had what I would call a close relationship with him. But in the last year we converse often. I like my Dad a lot more as an adult and we have become quite close. He is the one who offered my sis a place to stay and a vehicle to use if she wanted to move back. He only wants what is best for us. He made sure to let me know that if I ever feel like I can’t survive here anymore that I can always go back home. I made me feel so secure to hear that and I am eternally grateful. But despite that offer, I know that I am not ready to return to Arizona. Especially not now and possibly not even in the future. Once I picked up my life and moved to the east coast I unleashed a completely different women in me. I crave more adventure and constantly desire and feed off of new surroundings and experiences. Every visit is such a reminder of my new independence. I appreciate where I came from and respect every life lesson that I learned while in AZ but it also represents nothing but the past. Certain streets, buildings, locations and landmarks even have the ability to make me sick to my stomach at times.

This leads me to the here and now and certain changes that are about to happen in my life. I decided a while ago that I would settle down in Columbus for the duration of my schooling. I have begun the beginning stages of figuring out all the details. I’ve said I was going back to school many times in the past but this time is different. I applied for financial aid and found out that I will most likely receive a Pell Grant. This last year of barely making money and struggling has finally paid off!! I am beyond ecstatic! So next week I plan to meet with a guidance counselor to figure out my next steps. The great thing is that the same nursing school I plan on attending here is one that I was interested in Phoenix years ago, so I’m already somewhat familiar with the process. School begins in July so I have much to get situated before then.

Everyday life has been a struggle without a car during this winter season. I am currently on the search for a vehicle and looking forward to simplifying my commute from work to the gym and home again.

I am still marathon training, although I can’t say that I am the least bit proud of any of my current workouts. I am working at getting myself back on track in this new week. Running has been much more painful on my body lately and my excruciating leg cramps have seemed to return during the nights. Sneaky bastards. It’s unbelievable how difficult it can be to recover from a week-long vacation with little exercise. Regardless of obstacles, I am still at the gym six days out of the week giving it my all. I have a little over 4 months to get myself conditioned enough to run those 13 miles that I’ve been dreaming of for months now…

So I’m going strong on this path of self-improvement and each day continues to teach me some new lesson or bring out more strength from within. You know that saying out there, about everything happening for a reason? Well I believe it and, in fact, I am living it. I would’ve never guessed I would end up living in Ohio at thirty, finally getting my shit together to build a future for myself. But here I am. Now that I am here and finally understand how to regain complete power over my life, I am in full speed. All I need is to believe in my dreams and nothing can ever get in my way.

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