It’s been one whole year since I started this little weekend series of mine, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.
Originally, I started this series because I have a natural tendency to be pessimistic. I’m usually a cynical, glass half-empty kind of person.
I wanted to change that as much as I could. Having that kind of perspective on life can be warranted at times, but it was as if I had cast a permanent cloud over everything.
The practice of gratitude can put things into perspective, as you learn to focus on and be grateful for the things you do have, rather than focus on what’s lacking.
After a year, I can tell you I think it works.
Even in my worse moments, I can realize the situation for what it is, and overcome it by reminding myself of the things in my life that are going great.
I also figure that in a month, this will just be a microscopic blip on the radar, and I won’t even remember it. It helps me let go easier.
That wasn’t the case over a year ago, where I stressed out over every little thing constantly, worried constantly, and always thought the worst was going to happen anyway, so why bother caring.
After I (mostly) overcame the horrible depression I endured in my teenager years, I realized that life was not worth living in such a dark light, but still didn’t reach the point where I am today.
I fully believe that we each deserve to be happy. To wake up every morning and be thankful that we’re still here. That there’s still another day waiting to unfold.
Tomorrow is never guaranteed, so what’s the use of living each day with such a crappy attitude?
There really isn’t any, and I’m glad I’ve made a huge stride in that department. I’m not perfect at all, but I am grateful for the change in perspective this series has brought me. It’s become ingrained in me to be grateful.
So with that long intro out of the way, here is a recap of all the things I am being grateful for in 2014.
Our Dream of Moving Came True
Let’s start with the biggest highlight of the year – that was our move.
R and I knew we wanted to leave NY at some point (I wrote that over a year ago!), simply because where we were was expensive. We couldn’t afford much beyond what we had. That needed to change in order to make any headway on saving or paying off our student loans.
Long story short, R got a job that would allow him to relocate after a year, and he would also get promoted in the process. Win-win.
As his first year approached in April, he started looking at the available openings. Ideally, we would move closer to my parents, because I missed them and worried about them. =)
He got an interview for a position in SC, but unfortunately, the guy ahead of him got the job. It turned out to be a good thing: after his interview, they told him to go to another store just 15 minutes away, to interview for a different type of position, which happened to involve a raise.
We didn’t need any time to think about it. R accepted the next day once we got home, and we started packing. The rest is history. We’ve been here for 7 months now, and it both does and doesn’t feel that long. I still sometimes can’t believe we made it. Moving seemed like a pipe dream when we were first together, yet here we are!
I’m very grateful all the pieces fell into place on this one. While we’re not sure if Charlotte is where we’re going to stay forever, we’ve enjoyed it so far.
I Left the 9-5 Behind and Started Freelancing
With the move came the loss of a job for me. Because we didn’t know where we would end up until the last second, it was impossible for me to search for a job.
In full disclosure, I was making less than $15/hr at any job I ever held in NY. I majored in Criminal Justice in college, with the thought of eventually getting into the FBI, and obviously, that didn’t happen! I ended up working entry-level admin jobs, which didn’t pay very well.
I figured it would be the same story here. I decided to give freelancing a try, as I saw so many fellow bloggers rocking it, making more than I ever had in a month!
I am really happy to say after many, many difficult months of self-doubt, fear, slight depression, and all around craziness, I made the right decision. I won’t write off returning to the workforce fully at some point, as I know there are some really cool companies out there. But for now, this is right.
I never, ever thought I would be a freelancer, or a solopreneur. There are no entrepreneurs in my family to speak of, and I didn’t recognize it as a possible career path. It’s been quite the learning and eye-opening experience.
Being Grateful for Blogging? Yes!
Which is why I am so very grateful for blogging. It has opened my eyes to all of the possibilities available for those that want to take advantage of it.
Without blogging, I don’t think I would have fully known that side hustling was a thing. I wouldn’t have thought of doing half the things some people to do earn money.
I never thought anyone would be willing to pay me to write, or manage their social media.
And without blogging, I wouldn’t have met some of the awesome people I am happy and grateful to work with. I also wouldn’t have become acquainted with my awesome readers and blog friends!
Weekend Trips to Visit Parents
When we moved, we essentially left behind all of our friends and family. My parents are the only ones that live down south.
You only get one set of parents, though, and I happen to be really close with mine. As I’ve gotten older, I realize my family isn’t getting any younger, either.
And while I worry about my grandma (especially since she was in the hospital twice since we left, which had never happened when we were there!), she is retired and can come visit at any point.
Besides that, freelancing allows me the flexibility to go back home.
For the most part, we have been visiting my parents one or two weekends out of the month.
To put things into perspective, I decided we couldn’t miss Thanksgiving with my parents last year. We drove 12 hours down, and 14 hours back, just to spend 3 days with them, because that’s all we could take off for work.
This past weekend, we drove 3.5 hours, with our cats, and enjoyed 4 days with them. Coming back took 4 hours because of torrential rain, but it’s still way better than 14.
For Christmas, we’ll spend 6 days with them, and none of us will have to risk driving in the snow to get there (hopefully?).
That’s the perfect example to show how things have changed for us, and all I can say is, I’m being grateful upon reflecting just how much things have changed this past year.
What are you being grateful for this Thanksgiving? What’s changed for you this past year?