Redefining What It Means To Begin Again

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When I first found out I was offered a full-time job in New York, I was over the moon excited. I had just graduated early from college three days prior, and to know that I was secure without having to worry about my next move made me think that I should be able to kick back and relax. After all my hard work throughout undergrad, this was the moment I had been waiting for. NYC was the city I wanted to live in, and I had gotten a position that was incredibly competitive at a company I was super excited about. From the outside, it was the perfect new beginning. A way for me to start over and refresh after years of uncomfortable (but necessary) growth. So why, since I graduated, had I not felt many moments of peace? Growing up I thought graduating from college was supposed to leave me feeling ready to take on the world and quite frankly happy AF. Though I felt those things, to a certain extent at least, there’s a lot most of us don’t openly talk about when transitioning from one long-term situation or experience to a new one. With no roadmap (or syllabus) on what the heck is next, these transitions can be especially disorienting.

Let’s change that.

I want to redefine how we talk about transition periods and new beginnings. I want to make space for those like myself who maybe don’t always feel like this is a big, awesome, exciting moment in our lives. In reality, it’s one that requires patience, a great deal of focus, and handling every single thing by ourselves. Mama ain’t paying my rent no more, and yes I did sit down with the HR guy for 20 minutes so he could explain to me all the confusing terminology that makes up healthcare insurance. That stuff is confusing! But I digress. What I wish someone would’ve told me is that not everything is expected to be some easy, walk in the park situation just because it’s new and fresh and a chance to start over. In time of excitement and transition, we’ve got to allow space for all emotions, not just the positive ones.

Sometimes, you won’t be that happy about it.

From the outside looking in, I have one of the most ideal situations given to a recent college grad. At times when I felt overwhelmed I’d ridicule myself thinking, “what do you have to be sad about? You have literally EVERYTHING you could possibly want!” In theory I did, but the reality was that losing and gaining a ton of things all at once can leave a person feeling confused and debilitated. Sure, there’s a lot of excitement involved, but there’s also a million questions and unknowns. If you’re a bit on the control freak side like me, this can create quite a bit of anxiety. Something I’ve been trying to learn, and recommend to anyone, is the idea of truly allowing your emotions to just be your emotions. Instead of discounting or invalidating them, lean in and explore. All you might really need is a good cry.

That pressure you’re putting on yourself? You gotta let it go.

Having everything figured it out is cool, but do we ever truly possess all the answers? Honestly, no. There’s no perfect way to go about starting a new chapter, and some aspects of your life may need to take a backseat until you figure out what’s right in front of you. Let’s be real, you’re not going to have everything all figured out. So when that question of “so what are you going to do now?” or “are you excited?” arises from everybody and they mama at the next family function, just breathe, and answer truthfully. Or skip the function altogether, because that’s what I did last Thanksgiving and it was great. There’s no reason to feel like your life needs to be instantly put together. Instead, try to slowly and intentionally lay a foundation based on what you’ve learned and grown through in your last chapter.

Ask for help.

The need for guidance doesn’t leave us once we begin again. It’s actually when we need it most. Take the time to ask for help and advice when you feel stuck, or want to feel more prepared. Reach out to friends who you may have recently moved away from, or talk to people who have been on a similar journey, but are a couple steps ahead so that you can understand the space you might want to be in to achieve your goals. The more informed you are on what your transition period may look like, the more comfortable you may feel.

Don’t hustle when you don’t have to.

Being in New York, there’s something to do literally all the time. So many events to go to, restaurants to try, friends to meet up with. From Day 1 I could’ve filled my schedule with things to do and never had a moment to myself. Instead, I chose to ease into things. What was my first weekend in New York like? Well friends, I sat my behind on the couch in my one month sublet, watched Netflix, organized my bullet journal, and found a cute coffee shop to blog in. The pace at which you go when you’re experiencing a bunch of new things at once can hugely define how you process the whole ordeal. If you’re constantly on the go, when will you have time to sit down and reflect on how you feel and take in all these new experiences? Take your time. It will all be there tomorrow.

Before you think I’m just miserable in New York…I’m not.

When I made a little mini post on IG about this topic, multiple people reached out to me asking if everything was alright. The truth is, I’m actually the happiest I’ve been in a long time. This post is merely to provide guidance to those who are also experiencing new cities, new jobs, any new beginnings. Even though it’s all super exciting, this is a reminder to allow all that is, even the overwhelming, icky, sad emotions to be there too.