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  • Writer's pictureMeghan McGee

Choose

Yesterday, I went on a beautiful hike with a new friend. I hadn’t been on a hike in months and let me tell you, it was incredibly rejuvenating. Smelling the fresh air, being surrounded by mountains, trees and nature was so necessary for me. I had merely forgotten how much I need nature and good conversation to ground me. Recently I moved to Denver and I’ve been having a really hard time adjusting. I came from a small town where nature was very accessible and it took less than 30 minutes to get to a trail or dirt road. I will be honest, I took that for granted and man do I miss it. I’ve realized it’s hard to appreciate a place for all that it is when you know nothing else. Change was necessary and moving somewhere new was essential to be able to appreciate the beauty of my hometown.

When I decided to move up here, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace come over me. Every cell in my body told me that this was the right thing to do. I didn’t feel any pull to stay home and even though it was so scary, everything felt right about it. In a matter of days, I moved into an apartment with people I didn't know, started a brand new job, figured out how to navigate the battle field of Denver drivers, all while trying to keep my health in tact. I think one of the hardest things I’ve had to face is having my parents so far away. There are days when I have felt so lonely it’s almost paralyzing. They have been my absolute rocks through my health journey, and not having them around every day to talk to about how I’m feeling or to simply give them a hug has been gut wrenching. Same with my dog, Chance. He has stayed by my side through thick and thin and I miss seeing him every day. Now I really appreciate and cherish the time I get to spend with them when I go back home.

This adjustment period has been rough to say the least. The highways are absolutely packed with people, I’ve almost been hit multiple times, the air quality is not ideal and everyone seems to be in a hurry to God only knows where. I took the slower pace of life for granted. I was always complaining about living in a small town where everyone knows everything about you. Here, you are just another person late for work. No one cares about you and no one knows who you are. In some respects I do like that. I wanted a clean slate and that’s literally what I got. That being said, I’ve come to realize that it takes extra time and effort to cultivate relationships and it’s especially hard to find like-minded people. Looking back, it was comforting to have familiar faces and good connections. Some days all you wanted to do was hide, but it was also nice to walk in the neighborhood and connect with someone you hadn’t seen in a while. The grass is always greener…

Clearly this transition has been rough for me, but after a few months of feeling sorry for myself and feeling like there has been no where to turn, I realized that I can make a choice every single day to either have a good day or be miserable and have a miserable day. That sounds really simple and like duh, Meghan you didn't know that??, but until it fully computed in my head, I didn't quite realize the power I have over my life. Every single choice I make affects me in some way. I chose to move up here and make a life for myself. I can just as easily go back home, but I know I need to do this for myself. Yes, some days I wake up feeling like shit with no motivation in sight, but I still have a choice. On those days I usually get out my journal and write down how I’m feeling with hopes to understand why I might be feeling like that or realizing that this is just “one of those days” and do my best to get through it. Some days I wake up super pumped and ready to tackle anything so I make the most out of how I am feeling and find beauty in each day. In this season of life, I really have to take the good with the bad and cherish them both. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but I think it’s important to realize where you’ve been and where you are now.

The hike with my friend yesterday was a big reminder for me to do more things that light me up. I made a promise to myself to do one thing every single day that will bring me joy whether that’s yoga, walking, hiking, taking a bath, calling a loved one, cooking a meal or simply reading a good book outside. I can make that choice. I have three months until I start chef school, which is really the reason I moved up here. Until then, I get to choose how I spend my days and what I want to focus on. Understanding how I feel, accepting it and making a choice is how I will get through the good and bad days. That in itself is incredibly empowering.

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