Writing Challenge: Starting Over

This will be my first writing challenge tackled in the Daily Post, and what better challenge to start with, than something I am so familiar with; Starting Over.

I have spent most of my life in continuous cycles of starting overs.  I have ping-ponged back and forth across the USA, Bahamas & Caribbean since I was 20 years old. In fact, this assignment couldn’t have come at a better time for me.  The end of this month marks exactly 20 years since I packed up everything that was important in my world, crammed it into my little ‘85 Ford Tempo, named ANI (the only car I ever owned that I named by the way) and proceeded to moved from my parents’ house in Nashua, NH, 3,000 miles away to live with my sister in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Nashua, NH

Nashua, NH

The move happened 2 weeks before I turned 21, and it took me nearly 5 months to make the final decision to go.  I was in an unhealthy relationship at the time with a boy who was very bad for me. I had nothing going on and no idea what I was going to do with my life, and I needed to make a change.  My mother, although reluctant to see me go, was very supportive of my leaving.  I knew in my head it was the smartest thing to do, but it was a big move physically & emotionally.  I had a daily internal struggle with myself as to if I should go or not, some days I changed my mind on an hourly basis, and I nearly drove myself insane over it.  Finally what helped me decide to move was this thought: “I can go and try it out for 6 months.  If I hate it, I can always come back.”

Thousand Oaks, CA

Thousand Oaks, CA

And so it was; decision made.  My sister flew one-way from California then she & I took a week to drive across the country.  It was the exciting beginning of a brand new life for me, and I was a raving bitch the first day.  At 20 it was a lot for my young mind to process, as soon as we got on the highway I was doubting myself & questioning my decision.  I was sad & angry and nervous about all that I was leaving behind.  The first day was emotionally very hard for me to deal with, but  I was better on the second day, when the initial shock & sadness of day one was replaced by the excitement & adventure of day two and my first big road trip ahead.  I was starting over and I had no idea what the hell lay ahead of me in any direction.  The world before me was uncharted territory; everything I would do, everyone I would encounter, everything I would see would be completely new to me.

Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast

It was a scary time, but it was also exciting.  That the first year I lived in California was the biggest growing & maturing experience for me, and moving out West was the smartest decision I made in my early adult life.

Since that first move out of NH, I’ve repeated this cycle of new beginnings over and over.  I have now moved 15 different times between January of 1993 and January of 2013. –I’ve lived in 15 different locations in the past 20 years!  That’s a lot to fathom even for me, who has actually lived it, and I know for a fact, without that initial move; without that willingness to start over that very first time, I would not be where I am today.  Not physically, not emotionally. That’s what starting over gave me -after taking that first difficult step- a lifetime full of new adventures.

And the next 20 years?… well, I’ll just have to wait & see where those bring me.

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4 thoughts on “Writing Challenge: Starting Over

  1. Pingback: St. Barth: We Have Arrived! | My Island Life

  2. Pingback: 50th Post! | My Island Life

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