So, as everyone knows, I recently visited Orlando, my former home-away-from-home and land where most of my best friends still live. I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t make it up to Orlando during my month-long vacation at home, but at the same time as I was extraordinarily excited to get there, I was also a little worried about possible ramifications. Namely, I was worried that I would remember how much I loved it there and would never want to leave, that I would once again be unable to see New Jersey as my new home-away-from-home and would fall back into terrible homesickness.
Quite the contrary happened while I was there. I spent some time in the UCF library, my old haunt, and walked all around campus. I revisited some of my favorite restaurants and reconnected with old friends. It was, all in all, in every way, a fantastic trip.
It was so great not only for the fact that I got to spend some time with people I have sorely missed (and continue to), but also because I was finally able to come to terms with leaving it behind. I’ve spent the last four months wondering (and wishing it were the case sometimes) what my life would be like if I had chosen to stay in Orlando. I would still be able to see my best friends on a daily basis; I would know my way around; I would have a car. I would still be living in my old comfort zone. I would not be growing and changing. (I also would not have the most adorable kitty in the world to call my own.)
As I sat beside the UCF reflection pond with book and coffee in hand, just as I’ve done 1000 times before, I finally realized that my moving away was the absolute right choice. I needed to do it, and no matter how scared I was (and still am sometimes), I know in my heart I made the right choice. I am supposed to be where I am. If I had stayed (in other words, given in to some of my biggest fears), I probably would have suffocated from claustrophobia. I’ve said it before, but now I truly believe it, I needed this change in my life.
When I moved to New Jersey, I felt that I had lost a lot of things. I worried that I would forget them, that they would no longer be a part of my life. Now, I can look at all that I have gained and appreciate where I came from. I’m no longer clinging to the past, crying over what could have been. While I was home, I spent some time trying to work out the particulars of a rather complicated relationship in my life right now, a relationship I’m not quite sure how to define. As we talked it over, the other half of this bundle of complications told me I needed to let go of things and move on. At the time, I brushed it off. I truly believed I had already done that (see here).
However, as I sat that day by the pond and thought about all the other times I had come to the very same place for solace, for peace, for comfort, for joy and about all the people I had shared parts of myself with while watching the water spill from the fountain, droplets dancing in the sun or moon, I finally did what I had been trying to do for so long (what I believed I’d already done). I just let it all go. It wasn’t a conscious decision, just a simple revelation. Something so simple, but I could feel the change in me instantly.
Now I can begin to build a new life and know that in building it I am not forgetting or forsaking all that came before, but rather relying on my strong foundation to grow even higher.