New Friends, Old Friends, and Honest Abe

The first two days of my adventure have been very full.  On Friday, I had a good-bye lunch with some co-workers.  I’ve met some great people while living in Delaware and it was very bittersweet saying good-bye to them.

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Me and Gina.IMG_1162

Sue and Michelle.IMG_1163

Stacey, Angie, and Donna.IMG_1164

Mike, Cynthia, and Ichelle.IMG_1166

Gina will definitely be someone in the office that I miss a lot.  We have very similar senses of humor and are both, obviously, extremely photogenic and image conscience.IMG_1167

Robert, me, and Gina.

The same day, I moved out of my apartment.  I think this was my most emotional moment so far, saying good-bye to Apartment 606.  I’ve only lived there for two years, but it really felt like the home where I experienced the most personal growth and self-acceptance.  It was also the first time I have ever lived alone.  It was definitely time to say good-bye, but it was sad knowing I won’t be back to a place that held a lot of special memories.

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My teddy bear, Fernando, was ready to say good-bye as well.  He’s really excited to move to California.  (Fernando is named after my favorite episode of Golden Girls).

IMG_1145And now all of my possessions are packed in my car.

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The first day, I drove as far as western Maryland.  I stayed for the night in a hotel and left at 6am for Kentucky.  I stopped for a bit to catch up with one of my best friends from college, Hilary.

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Of course, I also got to see her dog, Disco Stu.

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After catching up with Hilary and Stu, I headed to Campbellsville to stay with a friend at a camp operated by the Tim Horton Foundation.

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My next destination was Indianapolis to visit my dear friend and former co-worker, Olivia.  While I am a big fan of plans, I think some of my favorite moments come from impromptu actions.  While driving to Indianapolis, I passed a sign for Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace so I just had to make a detour.

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Olivia has filled me up with Thai food and we are watching Pride and Prejudice in our pajamas.  This is the perfect low-key evening I need after some full days.  I’ll keep updating every step of the way!  I’m so grateful for the encouragement I have received from everyone and this trip is made all the more exciting knowing that I have people that are interested in watching my adventures unfold.  I hope to continue to offer some fun stories and moments of reflection as I walk through this amazing time.

A New Beginning

My life is about to change in some big ways.

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If I had to pinpoint when this journey began, I think I would point to last summer.  That was the summer of 2016.  I was getting out of a bad relationship and turned to meditation.  I’ve always been a bit of a self-help junkie, but I found myself at that time, more than ever, listening to podcasts and reading books about becoming your best self.  I especially loved podcasts where extremely successful people shared their daily routines because then I could beg, borrow, and steal their behaviors and see if it might turn me into one of those extremely successful people.  I noticed one habit in particular kept coming up and that was meditation.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I meditated a couple of times and then the clouds parted, the sun came out, and all of life’s mysteries were revealed.  It was a very slow process.  It still is.  However, as I stand now on the precipice of a big change, I can look back now and see that was the first step in a large staircase of helping me get to my best self.

After meditation helped clear up some of my junk thoughts, I started embracing minimalism.  I downsized my wardrobe, my furniture, and all of that other random junk you just have sitting around your house.  I used to cling those possessions.  I used to use them to define my identity.  Yet I found that with each bag of donations to Goodwill or piece of furniture that I sold, I felt a weight being lifted off of my shoulders.

Next came health.  Seemingly from out of nowhere an old college roommate contacted me.  We hadn’t spoken in thirteen years, but managed to very easily fall into a pattern of texts and phone calls.  She introduced me to a healthy eating/nutritional cleansing program that she had been doing for a few years.  I resisted this one for awhile.  I would half-commit, get frustrated, quit, and then start the cycle all of over again.  It took about six months, but when I finally realized that it wasn’t the system that was failing me but I was sabotaging myself because I was afraid of becoming my best self; I had a breakthrough.  In the past two months I have gone from a size 14 to a size 8.  I’m not even done yet.

The truth is, for the longest time, I’ve been terrified of reaching my fullest potential.  Professionally, personally, in relationships, in health.  To reach your fullest potential, you must be vulnerable.  You may lose friends along the way who can’t handle the new you.  You have to take risks and risk looking like an absolute fool.  You also have to say good-bye to the person that you once were.  No matter how frustrated you were with that person, there will be a sadness with letting them go.  I imagine myself standing on a dock and a boat is about to leave.  The best version of myself is standing next to the current version of myself.  If the current version of myself gets on that boat, she will be gone forever.  Vulnerability will prevent me from ever completely retreating back into my shell.  Taking these risks mean that I am changed and I am not that old version anymore. That old me boards the boat and the new me waves from the shore.  Even though I know if I continued to be her, it would hold me back from so many joys and so much happiness, I still have to mourn the loss of her and the life that she led.

She has boarded the boat though.  We’ve said good-bye.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know if I will ever reach my best self or my 100% potential.  But this isn’t about the goal.  It is about the journey that occurs when trying to reach the goal.  And I just took a big step.

I hope you will join me on my journey, if you are interested.  It is going to be messy and painful and stressful and beautiful.  I don’t know where it will end, but I’m excited to find out.

So here I am.  I’ve lost a bunch of weight, but have more to go.  I’ve minimized my possessions down to those things that truly add value to my life or bring me joy.  I quit my job and I’m moving 2,300 miles away to California.  I’m still saddled with tremendous debt from student loans, medical bills, and general youthful stupidity in spending.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  One step at a time up the staircase and I will overcome the obstacles, do away with anything that doesn’t serve, and strive to be my best self.  That’s why I have named this blog 100% potential.  I’m on a journey to reach my fullest potential.  I hope you’ll join me on this journey and I hope you might some inspiration along the way to reach for your 100% potential.

This is your invitation.  Stick around.  Life is about to get pretty amazing.

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