Farewell Washington

Another chapter in my life is coming to a close here as I prepare to depart the state of Washington. I’ll call this Chapter 6. Time has gone by so quickly yet these past few weeks time seems to have been set on slow motion. I never imagined living in the state of Washington, yet here I am. A state at the most northwestern point of the United States, far away from where I grew up from and what I’ve known. As I go through each phase in my life I always look back and review all the things I went through. There were things that I excelled at, things that challenged me, pushed me beyond my comfort zone. There were times of self-discovery, doubt, a moment of tragedy, and of course the good times and meeting new friends.
I don’t regret living here. I just now know that this is not a place for me. During a difficult time I called my past supervisor from grad school, who has helped guide my career path and knows me quite well, for advice. She said, “At least you’ve experienced what it’s like out there and can now say that this place is not for you.” She’s absolutely right. It’s not a question anymore, it’s a fact, and it’s time for me to move on. I think a lot of factors played in my unhappiness here.
The weather here is not ideal. I’m not afraid to admit that I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Apparently it affects many people here. Imagine getting about 3-4 months of good sunny weather, and then as soon as fall/winter hits it gets dark at 4:30pm. Dreary mornings, cold nights, cloudy skies… not my cup of tea. I thrive in sunshine, warm-weather, and yes even humidity.
Living out here I noticed that I lost consistent contact with my friends from home. I rely on my close friends quite heavily for social support, interaction, and to remind myself what home feels like. But everyone gets busy with life, school, work, and extracurricular activities… Sometimes we work so much we forget why we’re living to begin with, the purpose of our hard efforts… time passes by and next thing you know years have gone by. I guess in a way I’m disappointed in myself for getting caught up in that… that keeping in touch andtime with old friends is necessary and one of the simple things in life we need to remember to enjoy.
I had a nice long conversation with a good friend from home last night, we caught up on a lot about our lives, it felt as if nothing changed but the only thing missing was a back porch and some rocking chairs. It would’ve been perfect. It’s those memories that I cherish and bring me to a happy place in my mind.
I’ve definitely met a lot of good people here along the way, both at work and outside of work. The support I received from some people at work was beyond my expectations and I am very blessed and grateful to have that. It’s people like that who put in the extra effort that pushed me to continue to not only do better, but also go further than my best. I can only hope that I made a positive difference in some of the sailors lives while I’ve been here.
No matter what obstacle I faced, my love for fitness is always consistent. It’s the only thing that kept me happy, whether I was teaching fitness at work, coaching CrossFit, or coaching rugby. Being able to train people 1-on-1, hearing their stories, improving their health, encouraging others, seeing achievement/success, being positive and motivating is a rewarding feeling that words cannot describe and why I love what Ido. I think I’ll leave here with definitely a few new friends that I’ll continue to keep in contact with. It’s fun to know many people, but great when you can keep few good ones in your future.
I think I knew about 6 months ago that I was ready to depart here. I’ve always been one to follow my heart, my gut. I think I just tried to hold this out as long as I could, and now I’ve come to the point where I have to make some sort of action in order to find my happiness again. Sometimes we have options and we get to choose. We just have to come to a point in our lives and ask ourselves when enough is enough. We choose our happiness every day by choosing our perspective and attitude towards situations and life. There is never one definitive road ahead unless we decide that ourselves, but many many routes to take that we can create. Always easier said than done.
I am super excited for a new environment, new people, new location, and most definitely lots of sun and a real beach (rocks here don’t count yet they call it a beach #wtf). But before I get to my new location I’m going home. I need to re-establish my peace of mind and cure my homesickness… rejuvenate so I can continue to do what I love for another command.
One thing I will miss about Washington is the beautiful mountainous views driving along the roads. Mt. Rainier in the background, tall trees against the glistening water of the Puget Sound, colorful skies as the sun goes down. But like I said, I don’t regret living here because I definitely learned much about myself and have grown through these experiences and will continue to learn as I go through my next phase. Twenty-eight years old and still learning, it never stops, and I hope it never does whether good or bad. So thanks for the experiences Washington, it’s been real… rrreaaallly cold and wet. This Asian is peacing the hell out of here and I have no plans to return! Ready for Chapter 7.

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