Moving to Florida in 2017 was the challenge that my life needed, yet there were days and situations I knew I would not want as part of my new normal. For example, seeing more car accidents in a year than I had in 35 years before moving was not something I wanted to live around. Mainly since I pretty much lived in my car as a sales rep and was regularly driving to Florida Panthers hockey games. I also realized working at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean; I was never really interested in doing much on or in it. I’d run 7 miles along the beach every Sunday and would wake up early to watch peaceful sunrises, but I’ve realized I am one for seasons. The endless summer often led me to forget that what I was experiencing was not happening anywhere else the country. The fact that it was February still didn’t even register it being winter and cold weather up north. As my self-imposed deadline to pivot or stay approached, I had to get creative. Two years into building my sales territory, I had seen enough and wanted out. I found myself asking, “How can I motivate myself to give 100% and stay present in a place I’m confident I want to leave?” Answering how I could change my focus became a short-term challenge to help me continue to engage with my opportunities unique to Florida. I was hoping to turn my attention from what I didn’t want to what I did. Now I think this could be a jumping-off point here in Seattle.
I started looking at what things that were available in the area that I hadn’t seen or experienced yet that would’ve been interesting. Explore more with my core friends? Travel to the keys and end the excuse of not taking action on a Bucket List item? I was beginning to understand what Tony Robbins meant when he said that dwelling on things that I don’t enjoy would only put me in a negative state. I was determined to do something positive with mine and wrote down:
As February turned to March, I decided that I’d come too far to miss my Bucket List opportunity to drive to Key West and drive over the 7-Mile Bridge. So I planned a day trip, jumped in my car and with the windows down and system up, and drove five hours each way for my taste of paradise. As I began making additional plans to attend events like the popular local concert festival, Sunfest, the window I was waiting for would finally open. As I began to apply for opportunities near Seattle, I was no longer feeling a rush to leave, journaling, “If it happens, it happens. If I stay, there’s plenty that I can still do to continue building myself up here and enjoy my time here. Not everyone has the opportunity to experience this. Appreciating the opportunity is what it’s all about.”
Being in Seattle for three months, now I’m asking myself, what can I do here to make my experience so enjoyable I wouldn’t want to leave? With a little effort and research, I’ve found a new community I typically wouldn’t have had the opportunity to before. Driving through a local park, I noticed a Wilderness Awareness School van in a parking lot and thought, I know little about surviving in the wild. And by little, I mean nothing. The proximity to the wilderness drew me here and maybe it’d help to learn how to survive in it? As I pulled up their website and saw they had adult programs, I knew this was going on the list of things to do here.
The Seattle Center is also a place that’s drawing my attention. With an events calendar full of things like cultural celebrations, festivals for art/food/ and different types of alcohol, movies under the Space Needle, and a welcomed surprise event for me, TEDxSeattle. The TED Radio Hour podcast is one of my regular podcasts I listen to, often finding inspiration from the stories shared and encouragement from lessons learned. Now it may be an event I frequently attend — not a bad way to start making my experience here something special.
Many moments lived up to making the end my experience in Florida so enjoyable that my bucket list got shorter because of it. Seattle will now build on that. Searching for what’s unique and drives me to realize how special my opportunity to be here is. Maybe that will impact how I show up in the community, and I find where I can contribute? Perhaps I’ll be stretching my comfort zone by really connecting to nature? Well, I might not know what I’ll be doing, but I know I’ll be doing something I like.
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