I have a special life. I’m not afraid to acknowledge that, nor am I afraid of sounding self-centered. People tell me via digital and personal means on a regular basis how they admire the way I live, or at least the way I post about my lifestyle on social media, and although many days are not Instagram-perfect, I truly live a life I am in love with and proud of.
Although much of what I have is from the gifts of privilege (white, middle-class, nuclear family, American) and some luck, I like to think that many facets of the most bountiful parts of my life are from my own manifestation.
Two days ago I had one of those all-stars-aligned, genuinely perfect outing with three beautiful women. We took a day-trip to Newport, RI and hiked the famous “Cliff Walk”– a 3.5 mile (7 miles round-trip) path overlooking the rocky Rhode Island coast, and under the shadow of 64 prominent mansions. The four of us walked, and talked, and skipped, and talked, and complained about the cold, and talked more. It is so completely cathartic and productive to spend time with people you are comfortable talking freely with while immersed in a beautiful environment.
After indulging in trays of famous fish tacos and a few rounds of margaritas to celebrate surviving our windy hike on the coast, I cranked up my seat-warmer and settled into the passenger seat of my friends Subaru for our commute back up to Massachusetts. I had known my friend from our “former lives” in Michigan, and we now live only a few miles away from each other as travel nurses right outside of Boston.
We continued our theme of non-stop talking even during our sleepy commute home, acknowledging the side-effects of burnout from our previous strenuous jobs, how friendship dynamics change as we’re moving into a different phase of life in our mid-twenties and how to read the minds of the men in our lives. The big conclusion I came to while dissecting these vulnerable topics is how everything I’ve come to know as my “normal life” in the last three years was manifested by one big, scary decision.
Almost three years ago, I quit a job that was sucking the life out of me to move across the country and be closer to my best friend. I still owed the hospital I was leaving a year of my time and was tethered to a financial obligation that left me paying thousands of dollars to break my contract, but I knew my heart had wings that were ready to soar. (Mostly, every time I came back from visiting my friend in Boston, one of my coworkers would point out how happy I was and tell me to “just move there already!”)
I started working as a contract-based nurse at a wonderful community hospital nine miles west of Boston, MA where I only work 36 hours a week (vs the 40-77 hours, you read that right, I was working in Michigan) and take home weekly in pay what I was used to seeing on my bi-weekly paychecks at my previous job. My schedule includes gaps of up to seven days off at a time (the blessing of 12-hour shifts), and that first summer in New England I used them to explore a new corner of the world– I climbed a NH 4,000-footer before I even knew it was a “thing,” I slept under the stars in Acadia National Park in ME, and I ate lobster rolls everywhere I went up-and-down the coast.
Only three months after I moved to Boston, the friend I had moved to be closer to moved out of the country for work, but I was OKAY, because for the first real time in my life I was manifesting female friends, not just based on proximity or mutual-college degree, but based on our genuine interests of hiking and vulnerably sharing our souls. One of my very best friends is a woman twice my age, some people mention it to me, I do to her as a joke, but all I really see when we’re together is two mirror-image souls screaming at each other (literally, kind of.)
Five months after moving to New England I coordinated what felt like my millionth Tinder date (online dating in a new city= discovering the different personalities of all the niche neighborhoods you never even knew existed + a good meal) and found myself sitting across from a handsome, bearded man at a Venezuelan restaurant who told me almost immediately that he never planned on getting married, and I should know that from date number one. (When the check came he also told me it was his philosophy to split it down the middle, because he’s a feminist who believes in equality- hah!) Five weeks ago that same man got down on one knee in the middle of a drumming-dancing circle on a white sand beach and asked me to marry him.
Back to that commute home from Newport…
I was taking stock of all of the things that make my life feel magical, meaningful and purposeful— how fortunate I am to be so close with my family, my friends who are so bold and unafraid in speaking their truths (my favorite quality in people), my fiancé who loves me fiercely, but more importantly, isn’t afraid to challenge me and expand my mind, my job that celebrates high-patient satisfaction because the staff is treated so well, we are able to provide exceptional and meaningful care, and the contract based aspect of my job that has afforded me the time to travel to corners of this country and world I never imagined were in such easy reach.
Everything I hold closest to me, the things that make me “me,” all started by quitting a job that was sucking the life out of me coupled with the intention to manifest relationships with an open-heart– to connect with humans solely on being my genuine self and being passionate about my own interests.
If you’re stuck, flirt with the idea of doing something big and scary that could shake up your life, manifest with the heart of your purest and raw self, and don’t be afraid to celebrate the things you love about yourself– you’re not self-centered, you’re an angel of positivity!