There are 6 days until my physical journey begins, until I leave the place I’ve called home, and venture out into the unknown. I say “physical” because the mental and spiritual journey has already begun. It started when I moved to Tucson, AZ about 3 years ago.
I moved for a promotion, leaving my boyfriend at the time back in Iowa City, IA. About 3 months after I moved, he ended our relationship and we haven’t talked since. At the same time, I was bombing at my new position. I was a sales supervisor and I quickly realized that the training I got back in Iowa hadn’t prepared me for the position. I didn’t have the emotional or technical support that I needed from my new coworkers and boss and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I was unhappy.
One day, my boss told me that he had taken away my sales team and I was given a choice of looking for a position in another department or going through training again. It felt like a lose-lose. I figured even if I went through training again, I still wouldn’t have the support that I needed to truly succeed. Previously, my boss told me that he can’t read me and didn’t like that. My trust in him diminished. He appeared to be threatened by me and looking back I realized that he didn’t support me like he did the other supervisors. I knew that I didn’t want to retire for this company or even work in this field long-term. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t know who I was anymore. The reason I came to AZ was for this job and to secure a financial future for myself and my ex and they were both gone.
With all of that in mind, I told him that I would look for work in another department. I moved departments and my depression subsided but it was not for long. In order to continue the 9-5 grind, I learned how to care for myself in new ways and become a stronger person. I found beautiful people to connect with and learn from.
But that wasn’t the solution. My depression came back and I began to have anxiety attacks that prevented me from going to work.
Last year, I made a decision that I was going to find myself. I was going to quit my job, leave AZ, and travel the US until I realized myself.
Next, I made a plan. I wanted to travel for at least 2 months out of my vehicle before needed to get another job. I wrote out all of my expenses during that time and determined how much I would need to save. Then I calculated how much extra money I had each month and how many months it would take me to save what was needed. The finish line would be March 2020 (when my lease ends).
It wasn’t easy making this dream my reality. December 2019, I almost didn’t make it. The company I was working for made significant changes that exponentially increased the workload and as a result the pressure and anxiety I felt. I thought about quitting so many times but I wasn’t in a position to. I had financial responsibilities that would be new sources of anxiety and my dream would be pushed back to an unknown time. With the emotional support of my partner at the time, and my close friends, I stayed.
Fast forward to March 2020, I had saved about half of what I needed (but cut expenses to make it work). I put in my two-week notice and quit. Adjusting to my new life, a non-working life, has been gradual. Initially, I was fucking elated. 5 years with that company and I made it out. Then, I began to have random mood swings and fatigue. I had been working myself so hard, I was burnt out and my body, mind, and spirit were holding me together through that. Now that I was free, I needed to heal. I slept more than I ever have before, ate more, and journaled more.
This week my partner and I decided to separate. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done because he’s an angel. We love each other so much. In certain ways, he understands me like no one else. We can talk about things that others look at us crazy for. As long as he wants to be, he will forever be apart of my life.
Now as the end of my lease approaches, I have my best friend and former partner helping me prepare, I have friends from afar rooting for me and anticipating my arrival, I have a lightning bolt puppy named Maya to keep me safe, I have God and my spirit guides with me every step of the way, and I have the unwavering vision and will of an Aquarius that will see this journey into the unknown through.
I have everything I need and more and I am unquestionably blessed. I take nothing for granted. I didn’t do this alone. Every single person that I encountered here have shaped the person that I am now.