Tag: emotions

starting over

I moved to Denver out of anger.

A year ago, I was at Barista Camp, sitting at a symposium about running a cafe. Everything that people suggested for what a good owner/manager does, I just kept thinking about my Boss Man. “But that’s what my boss already does,” I fought back tears.

I was living my dream a year and a half ago. Dream job, dream roommate, dream boyfriend, dream circle of friends. Life was amazing, and I was thriving under the pressure.

When the walls came crumbling down, I didn’t know what to do. When after months of putting all his effort into getting a fair shake fell through and my boss made the sad decision to close our store, I was at a loss. I was bitter, angry. I wanted to flee the midwest, start running and never look back. Without realizing it, without meaning to, I started shutting down. I wrapped up the infection in my soul and ignored it.

Phoenix with G? Louisville with Emily? Seattle with Janice? Did I want to go to Boston, because of the song? Did I want to go to South Carolina, because of the travelers from a train in Ireland? No, I decided. I wanted to go to Denver. Denver, for the mountains. Denver, because it was far, but not too far. Denver, because they told me there was a thriving coffee scene. Denver, because I knew the Chaser would love to follow me there. Denver, because moving to another state alone was scarier than moving to another country for the same reason.

Denver itself was a flip of a coin. But fleeing? That was from anger. That my dream First World had been shattered, and I was done.

Anger is a fuel. But not necessarily a good one, and very rarely a healthy one.

I ran on it until I could run no more. And then I found myself complacent. I’d run out of steam, I’d run out of passion. I felt alone in the city, restless in my job, trapped in my townhouse, and discontent in my relationship.

Then, somebody made the mistake of asking me a question.

“Are you happy?”

That is who I used to be. My level of normal was at most people’s really good day. And I no longer was. I was no longer curious, excited, passionate. I was no longer confident, creative, overflowing, or easily delighted. I was sinking. Day by day, complacency was replacing my soul.

Saying “no” to that question was a shock to me.

This last month has been like a shockwave through my system.

Two dear friends moved to Denver with their significant others, and I’m finally started to develop real relationships with people I met here. I’m single for the first time in two years, and cautiously starting to question who I am and what I want. I put in my notice at my promising management job so I could step back into the role of student and coffee geek.

Life is scary.

But for the first time in a year, anger is no longer my fuel.

I’m allowing myself to feel for the first time in far too long.

There’s a lot of bottled up pain, a lot of displaced emotions that I’m finally letting myself examine and deal with.

I’m starting over.

It’s scary.

But it’s time to heal.

Growing pains

Today, I felt angry.

Today, I felt curious.

Today, I basked in the sun.

Today, I laughed.

Today, I missed someone.

Today, I got excited.

Today, I felt afraid.

Today, I felt emotions.

Not all of them were good. Not all of them were bad. The point is that I felt something.

Fall semester was rough as I learned that depression takes many forms. For me, rather than actively being sad or lonely or upset, I was… nothing. I felt nothing. I cared about nothing, no one. If I made plans, I hoped people would cancel. I discovered delivery, spending more money on Papa John’s than I think I’ve spent on fast food in my life. I became glued to my couch, apathetic. I shut down the supper club I had once cultivated with joy. I withdrew from friends. I thesised without passion. Wake, work, school, Netflix, sleep, repeat.

I became nothing.

The lack of emotions, lack of style, lack of interest, lack of anything… That was who I fell into.

It took flying half way around the world for my soul to finally revive, and as I stared at the stunning blue lakes of New Zealand, I felt the last wisps of depression slip away in the breeze.

To feel emotions today, even as cruel as they can be, is a beautiful thing. I feel alive, even if I am unhappy. I feel growth, even as I look at my immaturity and know that in two years I will look back and cringe at this moment in my life. (Literally, I think that I will recall this day and roll my eyes – it’s been one of THOSE.) But I’m learning. I know that as slow and painful as this is, I AM learning. I AM growing. It’s frustrating now, trying to sort out adulthood and learn how to take on this new position in life. But you know what? I can feel it. I’m alive. And that is a beautiful thing.