Friday, December 30, 2011

Chocolate and Gratitude

"Every day I OD on chocolate and gratitude." Such apt advice from my sparkly friend. Who wouldn't pick chocolate if given the choice? And who doesn't feel satisfied and grateful after such indulgence?

But, do you ever feel like you've made a hasty decision that changes your life forever? Or it could even be well thought out with hundreds of crumpled "pros & cons" lists littered around the trashcan. I fully realize now how every action or inaction I make has an impact. There's really no "right or wrong" choice, only consequences. Well, I've made a huge change recently...I moved from my home for the last 11 years in the DC metro area to the west coast. Hello Powell's, yummy coffee and constant rain...welcome to Portland, OR.

I didn't make the choice lightly. My family & friends all live on the east coast. I owned a condo. I had a great job. I had a comfortable routine. But I wasn't happy. I knew in my gut that DC was no longer right for me. And ever since my first day in Portland back in 2009, I sensed that this was my new home.

I've relocated before. Left Florida for DC back in 2000 without knowing a single solitary soul. It wasn't easy and it took awhile to build a strong foundation. I finally had a core group of friends that were my family. So, I knew it would be a challenge, but that I could handle it.

But what made the decision next to impossible was my brother. He just relocated to Baltimore, his girlfriend (who I absolutely adore) the year before. I loved having him in my backyard. We hung out all the time...AFI Theater, restaurants, sports events, concerts. Sometimes some of the consequences are painful, like the tummy ache when you consume too much chocolate goodness, but I knew that distance would not come between our friendship.

So, left the Saturday after Thanksgiving and drove cross-country with my fabulous friend. Plowed through 11 states (MD, DC, VA, NC, TN, OK, TX, NM, AZ, CA & OR) and every weather scenario possible (hurricane force winds, snow, sleet, rain, blazing sun and fog). At our final destination we were exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally, but SUPER excited to be in Portland. I was home.

Once my friend left, reality sunk in. I was in a new strange place where I knew NO one. I felt my lightness spiraling into darkness. Thankfully, my sparkly friend who just relocated to LA came for the Christmas weekend. We reminded one another that despite the fear (which will rear its ugly head time and time again), we are strong, intelligent, intuitive, creative and passionate. We know what we want to do and that it not only feeds our soul, but serves a larger audience and a greater cause.

Every day I choose to OD on what is right for me by tuning in (and tuning out outside distractions) and express my gratitude for all those blessings. So ever grateful for chocolate.

with gratitude,