Why I Left South Florida
| June 16, 2016 |
I just told you I love South Florida. Yet, I left. Why? Basically, I got comfortable and lost my desire to explore. I was too comfortable at work, home, and my social life. I didn’t feel I was learning or growing. I was content – not soulfully happy.
I felt a shift inside of me – a yearning for something more.
After taking my life’s biggest leap and leaving my home in New York to live the Salt Life in South Florida, I knew I could do it again. My year of living in a new state for the first time and adapting to the “real world” gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams, no matter how big or small. There was no turning back on my commitment to fulfillment. Florida became too small for me, and I was ready to face new challenges.
Realization #1: I’m Unsatisfied.
[bctt tweet=”My happiness is my priority.” username=”kconnwanderlust”] I first identified my dissatisfaction a few months ago when life started feeling mundane. Every day (week day or weekend) felt exactly the same. I was lost. I had grown to love the Sunshine State, my friends, and the life I created so deeply, yet my intuition told me I needed to open myself up to new opportunities. My mind and body were superfluous with frustration, and I felt like I was going to burst. In all areas of life, I started feeling a lack, and I strongly disliked my mental shift. I didn’t know the source, and I certainly didn’t like the backdrop of frustration behind my emotions. Daily life lost its “umph” and my energy level plummeted. I knew a change was needed, but couldn’t identify an action step toward feeling more vivacious. I figured my overpowering frustration was clouding some judgement, so I didn’t make any rash decisions based on emotional turmoil. All of this was at its peak prior to my life-changing trip to Tanzania. I had no idea why, nor how I could remedy my sickening emotional roller coaster. I didn’t know how I could get back to me – passionate, enthusiastic, vivacious.
My catharsis was in Tanzania.
Every day in Africa, I was reminded how big the world truly is. It was unreal (trippy, really) to imagine how life continued as normal in New York and Florida. I thought of what I’d be doing, and how I would be feeling if I was in Florida, and almost felt nothing. I wasn’t angry with my routine back home, but also wasn’t overjoyed with returning to it. During my two weeks in Tanzania, I felt my horizons exponentially widening and started feeling small. I felt jittery excitement building in the depth of my heart as I recognized how much I truly DO NOT know and HAVE NOT seen.
This feeling of being small and having uncharted territory to discover was the spark I needed.
The funny thing is, on the plane back to Florida from Tanzania, all I genuinely wanted was to land back in New York to be surrounded by my family and close friends. Although I recognize my Long Island home does not currently fulfill my desires, I recognized I was in need of a refuel. I hadn’t been in New York since the holidays, and I certainly needed some R&R and frustration detox. In Tanzania, I felt a release of my pent-up frustrations with my Florida routine and faced my emotions head-on. I knew I was being dragged by my unsettling anger/resentment/etc., and left Tanzania feeling inspired. During my long travels home, I promised myself:
I will not go back to doing what I’ve been doing.
I knew it was time to leave the job I loved (and patients/families I still adore deeply) and continue pursuing my dreams. I not only realized Florida is not my ‘forever’ home, but maybe I’m not ready to have a forever home. I couldn’t see a future for myself in the Sunshine State, and felt time was slipping away. The longer I stayed, the harder it would be to leave. I recognized my journey was shifting, and I was ready to confidently follow my own path.
Realization #2: The ‘Salt Life’ Isn’t Enough.
Before moving to Florida, I thought I was 150% a beach person. Sandy toes, no woes, I thought. All I need is the beach, right?
I realized, I need the mountains. Some of my favorite past times naturally drifted away with the nature of Florida landscapes. I was no longer hiking and rock climbing because, well, Florida is quite flat. I once drove five hours to Gainesville in hopes of a landscape change that would afford reconnection with nature in the woods. Though I found a wooded area at San Felasco Hammock Preserve, it didn’t nearly satisfy my need for the mountains again. I found I was hiking (well, walking in a circle) on sand, and I would reach no peak. In New York, I was lucky to be in driving distance to incredible hikes and mountainous areas. I didn’t think I’d miss it so much, but I did.
The heat and humidity of South Florida also started dragging me down. My energy level plummeted as the seasons remained unchanged, as I craved JUST ONE DAY to wear a sweatshirt. I noticed a difference in my immune system – always stuffy, always sleepy. When I went home to NY for Christmas, I was actually disappointed by how warm it was (around 65 in December?) as I was craving cold weather. It sounded blissful to have summer year-round, but it was too stagnant for me, and the lack of seasons was really tough on my mind and body.
Simply put, it was time for a change. I took the courageous step to leave my comfortable life in Florida and transplant myself back to New York. I moved out of my amazing one bedroom apartment, packed up all my stuff (WOW, I accumulated a lot – more on that later), and embarked on my journey to rejuvenate with family and friends in my hometown. Though I felt sad leaving Florida, I know my future will be bright and I received overwhelming support/encouragement from my coworkers, patients, and loved ones. My heart and intuition are telling me I made the right decision, and I am genuinely excited for my next challenge and transition.
Realization #3: I Don’t Know What’s For Me.
So what if I don’t have a “place.” I don’t need one – not now. I’m completely satisfied with not knowing where I am going to end up, settle down, and live the “American Dream.” Right now, I have bigger dreams. I want to connect with the world, and deepen my knowledge. I want to feel small, and learn more so I can realize how much I truly do not know.
All I know is that I know nothing.
– Socrates –
Well, I know I have family and friends who love me in New York and Florida, and I can now call them both my home. I wonder how many more places I will be able to call home…
To new adventures, Fellow Dreamers!
Florida Finale: Line Dancing Adventure
Thursday, July 7, 2016 @ 11:38 PM
[…] One chapter closed, and another opened. Florida changed me. I realized I can achieve all I desire, and life is incredibly colorful – filled with love, passion, enthusiasm, and beautiful people/places. […]
Friday, June 17, 2016 @ 1:50 PM
Do not forget that you have family in other places too! But honestly, this is a wonderful summary of your feeings and emotions during your last few months in FL. As soon as you told me NY wasn’t cold enough, I knew you would want out of FL soon! I’m so excited to hear about your new adventures!!
Sunday, June 19, 2016 @ 12:21 PM
Yes, family everywhere! And we just keep expanding. Can’t wait to share more 🙂 thank you for your support! You’re the best.