I just got a new tattoo; technically, it's two tattoos, actually, but I got both in one sitting, and with the intention of them being seen as one piece. On my left forearm, I got the word free, in simple, pretty, wispy writing. On my right forearm, I got a hot air balloon, with a bird cage in place of the basket. The message with this tattoo, is a reminder that I need to always focus on being free, and not being caged or stuck in one place. I pride myself on my ability to make a decision and go with it, without having to consider what anyone else wants me to do. This is a new thing for me, and I have spent a significant amount of time working through my inability to choose for myself - the fact that I am now succeeding in following my own heart, is a big deal for me.
A few weeks ago, my therapist and I were talking about seasonal depression, the fact that I hate the rain, the fact that I have always lived in Oregon/SW Washington. She asked me, if in ten years I wake up and have never moved out of the state, would I regret that.
My immediate answer was, yes, of course.
If I never leave Oregon (or Vancouver), I will regret it. I don't want to live here my whole life. The more I think about it, the more excited I get about other places. The more it rains here, the more I complain about it, the more I wonder why I've never left before. Why I didn't to to college out of state, why I didn't move somewhere new when I was working for Old Chicago. I wonder what it is that holds me here. And the obvious answer is, my family. I have a huge, loving, fun, great family, and the majority of them live here in the Portland area. It would be hard for me to move away from my parents, my cousins, the toddlers. And yet, in my recent efforts to do what it takes to make myself the happiest, and to satisfy my own wants over anyone else's, is the physical proximity to my family enough reason to stay here?
When I took my most recent promotion, I committed to 12 months at the property; that will carry me to next fall. I am considering a move within my company, out of state, when this time commitment expires. I think it would be good for me to pack my stuff, buckle the cat into her crate, and hit the road to somewhere new. My homework in therapy this week is to Google 5 pros and 5 cons of living in my top choices: Phoenix, Boise, Denver, and Montana (I haven't narrowed down a city in Montana at all yet, nor have I looked up our properties there). So that's where I'm starting. Right now, it's an idea. A thought. Something I'm considering carefully. Something I'm listening to myself about.
If I never leave home, I will regret it. And I don't want to wake up in ten years and realize that I have those regrets. I am a free soul. I can go wherever I want, do whatever I want. I deserve to be happy and fulfilled, and I definitely deserve to choose my own adventures.
Whether it's moving out of a city, out of your state, out of the country, or whether it's something else entirely, I encourage you to think for yourself, and look for what satisfies your heart.
And then do it.