December 2018 marked a period in my life where I realized that the only way I was going to live a life that I wanted to live was if I created that life for myself.
Two and a half years prior to that, I had left my husband because every fiber of my being told me I needed to break free from a situation that prevented me from growing or evolving in my own right. I had married for love but somehow found myself a suffocating marriage, where I was secondary in my own life.
When I left my husband, I fled to New York City to escape the pressure, judgment, and influence of my family. I found myself alone, in a cold and expensive city, where anxiety and stress are as pervasive as the roaches and rats that call New York their home.
I loved and hated my time in New York. I loved it because it offered everything an aching heart needed to distract itself: an abundance of single men, a vibrant party scene, and a buffet of life experiences that will either break you or force you to grow up.
New York is where I broke myself down, where I destroyed what was left of former self and clawed my way into the woman I wanted to become. It was a place of firsts for me: dating, drugs, salaried jobs, crippling loneliness. All in the gritty glory of the Big Apple.
It was where my depression tried to eat me alive, and where I learned to fight it back. Where my PTSD (the side effect of childhood trauma) beat me down to my bones. It is where I was forced to grow up, where I saw the power and strength I had within, waiting to rise up inside of me, bursting like the flames of a phoenix to burn away the years of self-doubt, emotional instability, and insecurities my childhood gave me.
Before I could heal from both my past and my divorce, I had to mourn. To grieve. To hurt. To come undone and fall apart. And I chose to do this in New York.
When I was ready to come back together again, I could not do it there. I was living in a city where I had experienced the darkest nights of my life. And all the coping mechanisms I clung to in the city would not serve me as I transitioned out of my pain.
The place I went to break was not the place I could come back together again. I could not heal in the same place I got sick. Medicine, once it is no longer needed, becomes toxic.
And so, I quit my job, packed my bags, said goodbye to the transient friends Id made. I flew to California. And it is here that I have truly come into myself. I have found my new beginning, and it is more glorious than I could have ever imagined for myself.