Changes

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Today marks a change not only for me, but for my entire family.  After several months of dealing with my dad’s death, we were put in a situation to sell our childhood home.  I was never quite sure how I would feel about the house being up for sale, but here we stand with a house full of 26 years of memories on the market.

Looking back at when we first moved into the house 26 years ago, I still laugh at how unique our house was. While most people got the usual two story home or single family home, my dad opted for the only house in town that resembled Pizza Hut.  Along with a strong resemblance to Pizza Hut, our house had a consistent Michigan State green paint coating on the exterior from top to bottom.

Moving into the house, our family had just experienced some massive changes.  My mom had just passed away, my dad remarried, and we went from three kids to five kids (twins).  Our family would eventually grow and double in size by adding three more brothers, and three amazing sisters.

Throughout the years, we had some of the greatest moments of our lives in that house.  We had newlyweds, new drivers, new friends, and grandkids for my parents to spoil.  Along with so many great additions, we also had so many great family gatherings and events.

Unfortunately, we’re in a much different spot today.  From losing my mom before we first moved in, we lost our dad and have now all moved on to new homes, new cities, and new beginnings.  I used to always look back at our childhood home and wonder why my dad never sold it and moved on.  Returning home to bury him in November and clean up the house, I’m glad he never sold it.  While I never appreciated everything that we experienced in the house when we all lived together, going back I can’t help but recount and reminisce about all the memories that we had in the house.  While he wasn’t there to yell at me to clean the garage or take out the garbage, the fact that I could go there and remember the times we shared together was priceless.

In conclusion, our house wasn’t the best, and certainly wasn’t what you’d see on HGTV.  However, our childhood home was special, unique, and everything that we needed to grow up in.  We may have lost our dad and moved on from our childhood house, but I’m glad that we got to share 26 years worth of memories in that home.

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Play it safe or take a Risk?

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Today marks a year and two months since I left my home state of Michigan.  I enjoyed some of the best times of my life in that great state, but I always felt like something was missing.  I constantly traveled across the US and to countries close by, but I always ended up coming home with a sense that something was missing.

Like most of my peers,  I held a stable job for over 5 years.  Along with a good paying job,  I had great benefits and was thriving in the city that I was born and raised in.  However,  after 27 years in Michigan,  I decided it was time to stop playing it safe. Sure,  I had family, friends, and a great job; but I just wasn’t happy anymore with being safe and stable.  While I enjoyed my work to an extent,  I saw no room for growth,  no room to challenge myself,  and no desire to continue in my line of work.  Looking at my coworkers,  I realized that if I didn’t make a change, I would be trapped at my desk job for the next 40 years.  Sure,  I would collect a nice salary until I hit retirement age, but I would be a grumpy worker wondering why I never made a change or took a risk.  I can honestly say that I hit my midlife crisis.  Yes,  I was a hell lot younger than most who go through this process, but I reached my limit. 

After some careful thought and consideration,  I made the decision to go back to school. Pursuing a completely different field,  it would allow me to pursue a job that would best utilize my skillset and give me a chance to do something more fulfilling.  Schooling was initially a challenge.  Having been out of it since getting my Associates degree,  I simply just wanted my free time back.  However, after finally engaging with my school work and pushing through everything,  I found that I needed the work more than it needed me.  Going back to school would push me to think again,  and to actually set goals that would help me succeed.

Once I neared the end of my Bachelor’s journey,  it was time to make the career change that I so longed.  Doing so left me with another decision,  as the job market for my field would be dictated by the major cities in the US that had a need for someone of my skillset.  Putting me in a position to take another much needed risk,  I chose to take the leap and move to Austin, Texas.  Being the best city for job growth in the US, Austin was a city that I simply had to check out.

Being in Austin for over a year now,  I honestly don’t regret the decisions that I’ve made. My career and life had hit the point where I was losing a part of myself for the sake of being safe and avoiding any potential risks at losing my safety net, which was my job.  The risks that I’ve taken have helped me jump right into the digital media field,  meet some new people, make some lifelong friends,  and try new things.  Moving has finally given me the chance to clear off my treasured Bucket List, which I wasn’t able to do before. 

While Michigan will always be home,  sometimes what we need in life is a nice change of pace, and also to just open ourselves to new things and experiences.  Now I feel younger, energized, and I feel like I serve a purpose in what I do.  I look forward to more challenges, changes,  and also hope to eventually take my hand at living abroad as well.  I encourage anyone who feels like their trapped or lacking motivation to take a risk and throw caution to the wind.  You’re missing out on some great experiences if you don’t.