"Just know you're not alone
'cause I'm gonna make this place your home."
Half a year.
It's incredible how that can feel like a huge amount of time, yet also feel like merely a drop in the bucket.
My life has done a complete 180 in that 183 days. Sure, I knew that moving here would be good for me, but I could never, NEVER anticipate that it would be this good.
I've changed - emotionally, physically, and spiritually. So many worries and stresses that I held to for so long have crumbled and fallen away. Here, I'm finally beginning to feel like myself...and learning that I really do like myself. In fact, I'm a pretty freaking awesome person.
When I was back in the States over Easter holiday it was made very clear to me that moving was the right decision. While I love my family and friends, I felt no connection there. It was stifling and uncomfortable. I longed to be back in the sunshine, where I can see the water and waves every day, where we greet strangers with a smile and a good morning, where I can feel like I'm living my life for me. Finally.
Six months ago, I was terrified. I'm a creature of habit and a control freak; I like to know what's coming next. This move has shown me that while I may not have completely relinquished those characteristics, I have greatly diminished them and am learning to enjoy and embrace the unknown.
183 days ago, I couldn't run a mile straight without stopping. Last week, I ran 2 and could have kept going. Had to pee, oops. I had never donned a scuba tank. Today, I started my rescue diver course and completed my 22nd dive. Looking back at pictures from a year and two years ago the other night made me cry. Physically, I'm a completely different person...and I LOVE it. Finally, I'm learning how to love and honor my body. Although I might have gotten a little too much sun on my dive today. Oopsy poopsy! Eventually I'll learn.
Half a year ago, I thought I'd stay out of the country for two years, maybe five. Last week when I was painfully saying goodbye to my sister at the airport, I hugged her and said, "You know I'm not coming back, right?" She said she did, that she had expected it.
Countless people who knew me pre-BVI tell me they've never seen me happier. It sounds silly to some, I'm sure, but I am constantly crowing about how happy and healthy and settled I am here. For once, it all just feels right.
Do I still struggle? Hell yes. The past few weeks have been rough, I won't lie. Between a few situational stressors (boy problems, body issues, anxiety about going back to the States, blah blah) and just a general depression downswing there have been a lot of tears and self-doubt. But! I'm bouncing back out of it much faster and with more confidence then I would have six months ago. Life here isn't perfect; we do have shitty weather now and again, we have bills to pay, we have responsibilities. Moving here didn't mean giving up on being a grown up. It meant disconnecting from all the assumptions and parameters I felt had been placed on me and living a life that I built, that I wanted, for which I'm entirely responsible.
People tell me I'm lucky. Yes, luck had a bit to do with me coming to Tortola. But you know what was really responsible? Me. Hard work. Perserverence. Faith. Support and encouragement. And, a healthy dose of insanity.
So, Happy Six Months to me. Happy Half A Year of a brand new life. Happy 183 Days of new opportunities. Here's to many, many more.