Sometimes change happens gradually.
Sometimes change happens suddenly.
In my case, change happened gradually over a period of a few months, but hit me suddenly all at once like a tidal wave.
Change impacts us all differently.
I pride myself on being honest and transparent here on the blog and in my life, so today I want to tell you a very honest, raw and real story about the changes I’ve experienced over the past several weeks.
Life Has Been a Whirlwind
In the past year, my life has changed very drastically, starting with quitting my safe, full-time job in February to launch my business.
But more recently, change has impacted me on an almost daily basis. To give you some back story, let’s rewind…
- Moved down the shore for a month, living and working from the beach. Commuted back and forth from New Jersey to Philly once or twice a week to teach yoga and meet with clients.
- Signed a lease for my first apartment, starting August 1.
- Met a very handsome boy; went on a first date.
- Moved back from NJ to Philly; immediately started apartment shopping and by mid-August, moved out of my childhood home and into my own place.
- Increased yoga teaching from two times a week to four times a week.
- Accepted a job teaching a PR class at Temple University (note: I found out I was teaching my first-ever college level class THREE days before the semester began).
- Onboarded my biggest client yet.
- Started dating said handsome boy.
- Welcomed and onboarded second biggest client yet.
- Settled into my apartment, getting used to living alone after 28 years with multiple family members and pets.
- Taught a college class.
- Filed for my LLC and brought on my first team member.
So, yeah…quite a lot of change.
At the end of September, I wrote here on the blog about how everything in my life had changed, almost in an instant. I wrote about these changes with such excitement, hope and happiness. Rightfully so and I still stand by those emotions. Change can be a good thing!
However, little did I know, when I wrote that post, I was literally in the midst of that change…and my mind hadn’t even yet had the time to process what was going on.
So color me shocked, when at the end of October, seemingly out of the blue, I experienced my most miserable week yet.
A week where I felt zero motivation. A week filled with emotion and tears for seemingly no reason at all. A week of laying in bed with my heart pounding out of my chest, trying to figure out why I was feeling such intense anxiety.
I emerged from this period of intense change, and all of a sudden, felt like I was drowning.
It All Hit Me At Once
Here’s the moment I knew something was seriously up.
Last week, after a sweaty yoga class, I laid in savasana trying to rest quietly when I heard a little voice inside my head.
“I wish I could go home.”
Tears filled my eyes, as I realized for the very first time since moving out in August, I wished that instead of driving to my brand new shiny apartment that I was driving back to my house…to my family…to what is familiar and comfortable.
But I didn’t do that. I drove to my apartment and I went to bed, but that moment was very poignant and hit me like a ton of bricks.
The Dust Is Settling
My late October breakdown helped me realize that even though I am living through this change on a daily basis…and that even though this change, for the most part, is actually very good and exciting, that it doesn’t make it any less challenging to manage.
As my friend Brittany Policastro wrote in a recent post, “Just because something is what we’ve always wanted doesn’t meant it’s easy. Sometimes receiving is the hardest part.”
During lunch with Brittany the other day, I asked her why she thought this all hit me at once so suddenly. She reminded me that our bodies don’t let us take on more than we can handle. She told me that in the midst of the change through July, August and September, my body knew I needed to keep charging forward in order to stay afloat. Go, go, go. I was in “survival mode.”
Now that the dust has settled and I’m falling into a new normal where things don’t constantly feel so crazy, all of sudden, my body and mind are catching up with one another and BOOM, that’s when the breakdown happened. It makes total sense.
I’m settling and grounding.
Why I’m Telling You This Story
Up until now, no one in my life knows I’ve been feeling this way. Literally, no one.
Because I felt ashamed to admit that at age 28, I cried in a yoga class because I wanted to go home to my parents.
Because I felt embarrassed to share that even though I am constantly surrounded by people, I still sometimes feel lonely.
Because I felt guilt about complaining and being sad when I have so much good happening in my life.
However, I can’t keep this inside anymore. Know why?
Because I know I am not alone.
This is why I write. This is why I share. This is why we all must share our truths, even when they feel uncomfortable to talk about.
Perhaps your situation isn’t exactly the same as mine, but maybe you’re going through a change right now and you’re experiencing all types of emotions that you don’t quite know how to deal with. Maybe you feel shame or embarrassment about your feelings. Maybe you feel like you have no one to turn to.
I hope this post inspires you to share your story with someone.
To get the words outside of your own head (where we tend to make up stories and drive ourselves crazy) and into the ears of someone who loves and cares for you, who will listen and who can help bring you back down to earth.
If you’re going through a big life change, please know that you’re not alone.
Please know that someone has been in your shoes before.
Please know that there’s nothing to feel silly, embarrassed or shameful about.
Please know that your feelings are valid.
(I share this as a reminder to myself, too)
While I’d love to rattle off a list of ways to cope with life’s big twist and turns, for once, I’m at a loss for words.
Yes, there are some things I’m doing to make myself feel better, personally. I’m spending at least one day a week working from my childhood home to get out of my apartment. I’m opening up and sharing my story here on the blog; writing this post in itself has felt like a huge release. I’m making time for yoga and meditation.
But ultimately, I’m just moving through it. I’m allowing myself to feel my feelings. I’m allowing this change to feel uncomfortable and sometimes painful.
Sometimes that’s the best we can do, and for now, this is where I am.
Have you experienced or struggled with a big life change? I’d love to hear your experiences and stories. Please leave them in the comments below or feel welcome to email me personally at [email protected]essicalawlor.com.
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