thanks for the reminder

IMG_3589This pic from 10 years ago popped up in Facebook today.  Loads of memories and heavy feels came back.  I think in some ways how I felt then is similar to what lots of folks are probably feeling now:  frustrated, down, tired.

Summer 2010 was frustrating for me.  I felt stuck.  Stuck in my career, stuck in a town I wanted to leave, stuck in my overall situation, and despite all my efforts to move forward, the universe just kept flicking me back.

I had a good job, but I dreamed of working at an international company, and those opportunities seemed to be in bigger cities.  The housing market crashed and I couldn’t afford to sell my condo to move.  Desperate, I rented my condo and stayed with a friend while I looked for jobs in other cities.  I was OBSESSED with creating change in my life.

Running was my stress release, my outlet.  I was getting faster and going farther, until I literally couldn’t.  At the end of what was an otherwise incredible 8 mile run, my foot gave out.  I crawled the quarter mile home.  Stress fracture.

I took my dog Bisou to the park near where I was staying and just sat there for a bit feeling sorry for myself.

Thinking back though, it was also during that time that I got real clarity on what I wanted for the next steps in my life.  I spent those months hyper focused on visualizing where I wanted to be in 6 and 12 months, and I resolved to inch myself forward on that path.  I reluctantly accepted help from others, and I realized what an incredible support system I have in lifelong friends.  

I opened up with my boss about my career goals and desire to move.  It felt like potential job suicide at the time, but because I was clear in my goals, and honest with my boss on what I wanted to achieve, he was able to be a more helpful and effective mentor.  

Six months later I was on a Southwest flight headed to San Francisco.  I had 2 suitcases of stuff, a 2 day hotel voucher, no savings, and was arguably in financial distress – but I was inching forward along my path.

Lots of awesome happened in the 10 years since I sat by that creek with my busted foot.  Challenges and heartbreak happened too.  During tough times I am particularly grateful for what that summer taught me:

Stay stubbornly focused on goals, and recognize and appreciate the positives along the way.  They’re always there.  

View album “Recents”

This is the 2010s reflection I posted at the turn of the decade.  Admittedly, 2020 is not what I expected.  Pandemics, amirite?

Still I am super inspired by the resiliency of local shops pivoting their business models, and by friends and family members who have up and made BIG life changes recently.

I am reminded and encouraged to keep dreaming, setting goals, and striving to step forward no matter what the universe throws my way.

Thank you, next.

– ash

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