I always knew that I wouldn't stay in Washington State my whole life, even though my family is there. There's too many places to live in the world and I couldn't imagine staying in one place my whole life. Forever. So, at the age of 23 I realized, at that point, I wanted a drastic change. I had been with my then boyfriend for four years and thought now was the time to do something. I was young enough to bounce back if things didn't work out and I didn't have kids. My boyfriend and I decided that it was time to move out of state. We came up with California or Florida as our potential destinations. We wanted sunshine! After looking at the cloudy Seattle sky for 23 years I wanted to see some sunshine and find out what a blue sky looked like. (It rains 364 days out of the year in Seattle, okay not really but it feels like it) We decided on Florida because California at the time was very expensive. I moved sight unseen. I had never been to Florida and didn't know anything about the state except flamingos live in peoples yards, the sun shines everyday and Disney World is there! I have yet to even see a flamingo in the wild, but it was HOT (and it was October)! I wore shorts in November and I couldn't believe it! Compared to the gray dreariness of Seattle I left, waking up to sunshine everyday wasn't like opening a new chapter in my life but a new book!
Soon after I moved everything began falling apart with my boyfriend, although it took almost a full year for us to make a complete break. Considering he was the only person I knew down here I felt tied to him. As my personal life was floundering my career was starting to take off. I finally was starting to make friends of my own, thanks to my co-workers, and after a few months we made a clean break and it was over. The friends I made down here helped me through an extremely hard point in my life. Some of them don't know how much I needed them and what an impact they had in my life. People always say you have to go down before you go up and I was very far down. Without family my work friends became a type of family for me. It was great to finally find myself. What I didn't realize was how much I needed to deal with certain emotions that I had felt and situations that had happened over that five year period. For now I stuffed those feelings down and moved on with my life for a few more years.
I ended up meeting my amazing husband within my new found friends. Without making that huge move across the United States I never would have met him and never have had my daughter. I found myself in Florida and even though I miss my family everyday that move was a turning point in my life; towards better things and better people for me.