In 2012 I moved to Colorado and lived in the basement of a home that was more than 100 years old. It was cold, there was barely any sunlight, and I was miserable. This sort of aloneness was at first liberating but soon began to echo like a canyon, and I realized I had things in my heart of hearts to address.
Imagine what you will. A grown woman wrapped in fleece blankets, sobbing about eating too many Hot Cheetos? (This happened.) Colorado was a tough but important time in life. In the final eight months of my tenure, a coworker invited me to her Crossfit gym and, desperate to make friends and feel good about myself, I threw myself into (yet another) workout regime.
The discontented feeling was back, again, despite I struggled to feel at ease, even after losing 30-something pounds. I turned to my career, which felt a bit stuck and started working on making changes there, too. My friend (whose boyfriend owned the gym) was frustrated alongside me -- why wasn't life carefree and easy going for me? And her boyfriend said:
"The day Amanda decides who she wants to be, everything in her life will immediately begin falling into place."
I laughed to myself, "What if I don't want to be a Crossfitter?"
Soon after this conversation, a series of events unfolded in my life.
Within a month's time I was sitting in a downtown San Francisco studio surrounded by a few friends urging me to move cross country and take on the big city life. The week before I had been in Michigan attending my grandmother's funeral, which was a perfectly timed opportunity to reconnect with family and think seriously about what life should look like next.
The glitz and glamour and allure of a city like SF would've won me over years prior, but this time, I stared at the ocean and felt a resounding "no." The first no, in fact, to chasing yet another job opportunity. My first no turned into my first yes to living life for the people who mattered most.
Four months later I was moving back to Texas to start my business and re-engage life in Dallas. Six months later I went off all diets. Six months after that, I met my future husband. And six months after that I began making friends with a new way of life, the life I'd always wanted and thought I had to concoct and distort myself to find. Funny thing is, it was living in me all along.