and a coach) and also make the move back home to Chicago. These were two major life decisions made very quickly but with a ton of thought. They were things I had been thinking about over the last year and I finally had to pull the band-aid off and do it. Were they the right decisions? I don't know. Were they the smartest decisions? I'm not sure. But did they need to be made? Yes.
Teaching is the only profession I know and New York is the only place I have lived as an adult, so to say that this decision was difficult and heart-wrenching would be the understatement of the century. It was one that I hemmed and hawed over for many months and shed many tears over. It was one I knew that had to be done, and would eventually be done sometime down the line, but I don't know if the "right time" would have ever come to do it. If it wasn't done last week, it was bound to happen next year or five years down the line, but it was inevitably going to happen. Saying goodbye to many of my students, especially the girls I taught in class and coached over the years was incredibly difficult. We all cried a lot and it was really tough explaining to them why I was leaving, especially because they had zero indication that I was unhappy and this was going to happen. I explained to them how I wanted to be closer to my family and as much as I love NYC, I always knew it was never going to be my permanent home. After twelve years, it is now time to say goodbye to a city I have fallen in love with and that is no easy task.
Those of you that know me well and/or follow this blog know that I have not been happy at work for a while now. You also know how much I absolutely love New York City, but how much I miss my family and how lonely I am all the time. The combination of these things have really been a struggle for me and I needed to finally take a leap of faith and do something about it. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to have a job that I love going to everyday. I needed to stop thinking about the "what ifs" and start actually making something happen toward my happiness again.
At 34 years old, I know I am taking a huge leap of faith by making a career AND location change, especially all at once. It is a HUGE risk and one that I hope pays off. People keep telling me how brave and courageous this decision was and how they admire me for doing it, and that feels great but it also doesn't help squash any of my fears. Change is a fucking scary thing and this is an enormous change for me. There are just so many unknowns but sometimes change can lead to something magical and that's my hope.
I feel that in this next year, which I am calling my "adult gap year," I have so many options to explore; writing, group fitness instructor, social media, adolescent fitness consultant for schools and even just some bartending, waitressing, athleisure retail, etc... I'm not totally sure what I want to do but the beauty of this year is that there are so many avenues that I can test out and see what the right fit may be. Perhaps after a year of doing a few things and seeing what's out there, I will look to teach again, but just not now. At this point in my life with not much tying me down (no boyfriend, no house (mortgage), no car (payment), etc...) I didn't want to be someone who felt "stuck." Because I don't those things, I feel I have a bit of freedom to explore my options. If I don't do it now, when will I be able to do it?
Although I have already got an apartment in Chicago (Thanks mom for doing all the legwork!) that I am ridiculously excited to move into, I still have a ton of other things to worry about besides finding a job. I need to get movers, tie up a bunch of lose ends here in NYC, start a bunch of new things there, figure out my health insurance (huge concern), and get to know my new hood and make some new friends. Again, although this all new and exciting, its terrifying. I know I am a smart girl with a good head on my shoulders and will be able to take this on. I am sure there will be some growing pains at first, but I am proud of myself for being brave enough to make this leap. I have the support of my family and friends and a renewed sense of hope for what's next. I have about one month left in NYC and I plan to make the most out of it as far as eating, exploring, and just having some fun. My time here isn't done yet, but as this chapter ends, I am looking forward for what the next one has in store for me. Stay tuned.