Oh 2022, what I am going to do with you?
This whole thing actually started back in December of 2021. One evening after work, my husband walked in the door of our house in Michigan and said, “You won’t believe what I did today.” I smiled up at him sweetly while I was making dinner and replied, “What dear? What surprise do you have for me now?”
Just kidding. Let’s be real. I hardly ever cook and I was an elementary principal surviving through December. I probably looked up at him through the dark bags beneath my eyes and wearily said, “What?”.
He told me that he applied for his dream position in Augusta, Georgia. “But,” he laughed, “they will never ever call me.”
“You just dared the universe, my friend. They will call. And we are not moving to Georgia,” was my response.
And here I sit, a year later, in my office. In my house. In Georgia.
People ask me if I am happy in our new state, our new town, our new home, my new job. I tell them that I am happy. I love my house, my work, my family, palm trees, and no snow. But, I always give a caveat. “Just be aware,” I tell them, “I pretty much love everything.”
Don’t get me wrong, I do have favorite things. Like spending time with my family, helping educators feel positive and strong, laughing so hard I snort, and shopping. I love learning about how to serve our students better, and I love reading juicy historical fiction. But I wonder if my superpower is finding the best in everything and everyone, because it seems like I am pretty good at that.
Let me give you an example. If you know me or are connected with me on social media, you may know that until this move to Georgia, we have always lived in Michigan. In fact, we had a cabin in Northern Michigan specifically chosen for the enormous amounts of snow they get in that area. I loved that place in every season. In the winter, I liked short snowmobile rides, having friends and family visit, playing games, and watching movies. It didn’t matter that I don’t really like snow and I am pretty much a scaredy-cat when it comes to snowmobiles and ATVs. I found things to love about being in arctic cold and mountains of snow. Because that is what I do. I find things to love in every situation.
I sometimes wonder if I find the best in everything to a fault. I know that it is part of my Enneagram 7 nature to avoid bad feelings and to figure out how to make lemonade out of lemons. Through therapy and introspection, I have learned that I need to sit in my negative feelings rather than bury them. I certainly am a work in progress with this, but I guess that I prefer that I err on the side of positivity. In reality, we all live in a world that mostly exists between our own two ears. My world is pretty sunshine-y and rainbow-y and, overall, I am okay with that.
I have learned many lessons through the process leading up to the move, and through the move itself. Here are the top three lessons I learned, in order:
- Hold things loosely. My whole life I have been a master of trying to control the world around me. But, it takes so much work to try to control everything. And then, after everything is said and done, things turn out how they are supposed to turn out. Not necessarily how I want them to turn out. This move to Georgia was months in the making, between my husband’s numerous interviews, to us visiting the area to see how we like it, to all the logistics with selling two houses, etc. It was a huge ordeal full of ups and downs, and I didn’t want to manipulate it. I wanted it to end up like it was supposed to end up. We did the work, step by step, and then let things fall into place. And, it turns out, that feels so much better than trying to force things.
- What is for me is for me. Just like so many people, I am a frequent sufferer of imposter syndrome. I am always asking myself these questions: do they like me? am I good at my job? do I belong here? am I good enough? I cannot say that those questions never enter my mind anymore, but I have made progress in letting go and recognizing that what is for me is for me. And, what is not for me is not for me. And, that is okay. Want me to speak at that conference because you think my messages will resonate with attendees? If I can make it work in my schedule, I will be there. Don’t want me to speak at that conference because for whatever reason it doesn’t work right now? I totally understand and wish you the best. And then, I let it go. I finally trust myself enough that I know I will be okay no matter what. Whatever the next step is, whatever the future holds, I will be okay and I will support my family.
- It’s pretty easy to get a driver’s license in another state. Whenever Jim and I questioned what in the world we are doing, I thought about how easy it is to get a driver’s license in another state. And guess what that means? It means that it is pretty easy to get our driver’s licenses transferred back to Michigan if we ever decide to do that. We also reminded each other that part of this adventure is the unknown and the journey of discovering what it means to move across the country. People looked at us like we were nuts to make this move and they still don’t understand. And, that is okay because most people would never do what we did. It’s not for them. But, it was for us at this time in our lives. Losing loved ones , illness and pandemics have taught us that nothing in life is guaranteed nor is it forever. If we stay in Georgia for the rest of our lives or end up moving to Hawaii, we will be okay.
2022, you taught me to trust myself, to believe in myself more than ever, and to have faith that things work out the way they are supposed to. You were a rollercoaster adventure, and I am really looking forward to the ride that 2023 will bring. Because that is what I do, I look forward and up.
For the past several years, I have created a New Year’s Playlist (check out last year’s post HERE) rather than a goal for the new year. The first song going on my 2023 playlist is “Anywhere” by Passenger. Here is how the song starts:
If you get out on the ocean–“Anywhere” by Passenger
If you sail out on the sea
If you get up in the mountains
If you go climbing on trees
Or through every emotion
When you know that they don’t care
Darling, that’s when I’m with you
Oh, I’ll go with you anywhere
I absolutely send these lyrics out to my husband, my sons, my family and friends, and my colleagues. But, you know who I also dedicate them to?
I am with me, anywhere. Finally.