Starting Over

Delete. Reboot. Let go.

In writing, technology and life, starting over is difficult. I know that when I got rid of my former blog, it was hard to begin again. Yet here I am. I haven't lost faith in the process and realize that I can document my constantly-evolving self in a variety of mediums. Whether it's an updated website, a change of address or a new job, taking that first step towards rebuilding is never easy.

I started over all the time as a child, moving here and there with my family, making friends, starting at different schools, well-practiced in introducing myself and being the new kid. But, after 13 years in one place, it was much more taxing to do this as an adult. Those muscles atrophied and I hadn't flexed them in quite some time. All it took was immersing myself in the situation again for it all to come flooding back. The feelings of being game for anything, of being present, of taking any chance at conversation, any smile from a stranger, any hint of familiarity.

In the past few month, I've suffered from acute insomnia, severe loneliness, crippling doubt and daily confusion. I take it all as it comes, breathing and knowing that if I've tried my best, each new day presents more hope. Starting over, at any age, is a complex ordeal. But the older I get, the more I've come to realize that new beginnings are like anything else in life: a chance to learn, a chance to serve and a chance to become even more of myself.

Moving to another country, looking for a job in a place where I have no network of contacts and navigating the work visa process has provided many opportunities to question everything. Am I doing the right thing? Am I crazy? Why did I stray from the easy path? And yet, the most important question of all is the one that I always come back to: Why not?

With big leaps come big falls or big flights.

If nothing else, I now have the knowledge that I can give up almost everything, live out of a suitcase and get a job anywhere with the skills I have. I've only grown stronger, more confident and more prepared for whatever life throws my way. Those lessons are core to my being and have pushed me way past my former comfort levels. I have faith in myself, my family and the universe.

Starting over is something that everyone needs to do at some point in their life, whether through a forced situation or a chosen one. I made the choice of uprooting and moving thousands of miles away from all that I know. Some call it crazy, others call it inspiring. I know that's it shown me a different path and an alternate way of moving through the world. When you're open to all that life presents, without attaching an outcome or reward to it, there is much to see and discover.

Starting over means trusting. Speaking up for yourself, making the tough calls and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. It also means laughing, being grateful for all you have and realizing how lucky you are that you get a chance like this.

Some people never have the courage or the opportunity to start over. They tell themselves that they could never pick up and move, when the truth is, anyone can do it. It takes grit. It takes determination. And it takes a dogged desire to see what else is out there, to want more from the world and to embrace new challenges.

Starting over is one of the hardest things I've ever done and one of the most crucial. This won't be the last time I do it, of that I'm certain, but it's shown me what I'm made of, who I am and the things I care about. The fact that I've been able to do it with my husband and son have made it even more special.

Starting over has negative connotations in our society, because it means that you’ve lost something or failed. But when I think of starting over, I think of second chances, of putting my experience to work and of a blank slate. I take a small piece of everywhere I've been with me, with the hopes that I leave a small bit as well, making the place and myself even better than before.