Two Years Stateside: 6 Things That Changed & That I Do Now

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Last Saturday marked my two-year anniversary here in San Diego. Mind-boggling. At this point I am more leaning toward “Wow, it’s only been two years; so much has happened in such a short period of time.” I have gone through a real transformation, mostly internal, and I wanted to reflect a little more upon what exactly has changed for me, or rather how I have changed, in the past two years. 

1) I am not restless anymore but still have itchy feet. 

During a road trip up Highway 1 back in March 2016; stop in Big Sur. 

Back in 2015, I was at a point where my inner restlessness had reached an all-time high. It was triggered by the environment I found myself in at that point, and where I really didn’t want to be. Granted, having lived in London for a year and coming back to a way smaller city I wasn’t clicking with certainly didn’t help. I so desperately wanted to go back, simply abroad, live in another country.   But that’s easier said than done. However, life took an unexpected turn and so I had the - literally life changing - opportunity of re-locating to San Diego. This couldn’t be true, could it?! Fast forward, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I feel as if I finally arrived where I needed to be. I still love planning a short or longer trip, going on day trips, or simply out exploring. The itchy feet feeling remains, but it’s not a stressful feeling of restlessness anymore. 

2) I developed a growing desire to shift the focus of traveling.

The hiking trip in Colorado with our friends Jason + Aly back in October of 2016 was one of the most memorable trips. 

When I was in college, I loved city trips. Quick and easy and a lot to see in one place. Now, my focus has shifted from city hopping to wanting to be more outdoors, active, yet slow in the sense of spending more time in one place experiencing it. Nature is so good for the soul and the one thing untouched by humans. Experiencing less hectic places is what it’s all about at the moment (I still do love a good city trip here and there, of course, but would rather opt for  a national park or quaint little town by the sea if I could choose). 

3) I understand that I cannot plan out my life but the most beautiful + surprising things really do happen when least expected. 

My handsome “partner in everything” at the Liberty Station Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony a little while ago. 

Indeed. I was prepared to leave San Diego after 18 months, but since life threw a few other things - rather a specific person - my way, the direction completely changed. Fast forward, after two years, I am still here (taddaa), being a lawful permanent resident of the States. No matter how much I plan (and I am a planner, I need to be prepared to change my route - and change comes with new opportunities if only you are open to them.

4) I went through a spiritual change (and am still in it).

Caught the super moon on Sunday, Dec. 4, in Julian, CA.

This is most-likely one of the biggest changes impacting everything else I do. Since I met Rickey and he introduced me to his church, I have realized how much more purpose in life there can be - crazy, and some people might not understand, but it’s the best thing. I am myself still learning a lot and growing in my faith, but this shift definitely has been triggered by this very special man in my life and the fact, that I simply was in the right place at the right time. 

5) I learned (rather: am learning) to approach people and situations with an open mind. 

All the feels during the annual Reindeer Games CrossFit Competition in December 2016; next one coming up this Saturday (eeek!).

This has changed my whole outlook on life, literally. San Diego  - or the U.S. at large - consist of a much more heterogenous society and you just have to be more open. I used to be more opinionated, to be honest; I used to get more stressed when things didn’t go as I expected. But I learned that it’s just not how it goes. To take my personal stress away, why don’t I just have an open mind and heart and practice understanding, more compassionate? It allows me to see things in a different light and be more accepting, understanding, and tolerant toward people, their habits, ways of living - while my stress levels have ultimately decreased.  

6) I try to take away something positive from every situation. 

Tried to get artsy and freeze a beautiful San Diego fall sunset form our backyard.

Besides approaching people and situations ideally as impartial as possible, actively trying to take something positive away from a seemingly negative situation is a real game changer for myself. It’s a mindset change. With it comes that certain situations or incidents just don’t seem so bad anymore because I keep reminding myself that there is always a learning from it. Always.

Bottom line is, the past two years, I have personally grown so much and definitely changed to the better. I am more honest with myself, which allows me to change my perspective on life, honoring my values, and acting on them. 

It is indeed mind-boggling how much has changed within the short period of two years - and those are just “internal” things. I am seeing myself in a different, better light, being more at peace with myself (most of the times, still learning that), more compassionate, and trying to follow a more meaningful life path (that can be bumpy from times, but read above: I try to take away the positive from those “potholes” along the way). 

To close this blog post, I have to say that never before have I been in a better place in my life. It feels like I am finally slowing down, seeing the meaningful things in and of life. 

Have you been at a point in your life where you realized: I changed so much - to the better? What triggered it?