By Carly Clegg
didn’t want to share this for many reasons. Putting your truths in black and white is like claiming them into existence, when you’ve been denying that they were real. But at the same time, it’s the easiest to digest word vomit, ya know? A lot can happen in a year. I always knew my time in San Diego was limited. I went into the opportunity full force, as if I was going to be there for a lifetime because going all in meant breaking barriers and pushing myself to live in the present. My everyday became therapy–the vibrancy of the city, the tranquility of beachfront sunsets, the constant chill of the air no matter what the season, the plumerias I befriended, the corner coffee shop that became my office, the weekly traditions of friends and farmers markets, the convenience of magical lands and the palms that held my secrets. Like I’ve shared before, San Diego was a place where my soul felt free and I was overcome with gratitude. (A mental health year for the books.) But there I was, watching every tick tock of the clock knowing that I was another second closer to this real life dream coming to an end…the humming tension of our move out date grew louder and louder as it was approaching.
Timelines can be equally restricting and opportunistic at the same time. It’s a dance between feeling nomadic and noncommittal and planting seeds for a future harvest. For the past five years I have lived my life like this…and will do so for the foreseeable future, as both mine and my husband’s jobs and careers goals might take us just about anywhere. My advice, to those who feel like they’re living on a deadline knowing their next season will come to an end–only to find themselves at the starting line yet again–is to savor the seconds and grow roots in wherever it is you call home. Find your tribe and live out your purpose no matter how many hours/days/months/years you have in the place you are. You’ll be surprised where life takes you when you pursue your present and live for the process.
So here I am again: new state, new city, new routine, same “Carlyfornia”–one month in, and I have two choices: I can either dwell on the fact that I no longer live in my version of the land of milk and honey, or I can make an art form out of endurance and seek the great possibilities of my new beginning. (Fight or flight, amiright?) This, like most things is way easier said than done. Some days it feels like I’ve been stripped from my identity, and others I’m awakened by the endless new discoveries I will find within myself.
At my core, I avoid pain. That’s why I hide negative emotions, don’t document tears and sensor my Instagram feed. But trust me, I’m a mess and at times (okay…most of the time) not handling this move well at all. I’m finding it difficult to give myself grace and know how to ask for help–or what to pray for. In the midst of that, I’m currently on a quest of performative self understanding, listening to Gary Vee podcasts like they’re oxygen, attending conferences to find community, reading books to inspire action (because being in limbo causes cognitive confusion of perception and reality). So please, don’t let me paint you a picture of me mastering the “I get knocked down, but I get up again” mantra. Because right now, I’m basically crawling–but that’s what starting over takes–humbling yourself to allow baby steps to find your way to a new normal.
I’m writing this to you in my parent’s makeshift art studio at their home in Dallas, TX. Ironically, it reflects what my life looks like right now: chaotic, dense in workmanship, stark juxtapositions, exposed beginnings–but quiet, imaginative and full of potential. Although I’ve cried at least thirteen times writing this, it’s comforting to know that I have a support system to get me through this transitional phase and there?s exponential growth when you feel like you’re at your lowest. This was a piece I was afraid to write. I feel completely split open and raw, so to those that have taken the time to read it, thank you.
Ultimately, I think I taught myself a valuable lesson that I can carry on for the rest of my life: to live abundantly each year, no matter the circumstances, and seek adventure in the pursuit of passion.
Here’s to the next year.
Carly is a native Texan currently living in Dallas with her husband , where she is a Digital Editor for Six Flags. She studied Telecommunication Media Studies at Texas A&M University and has been chasing dreams ever since. A performing arts enthusiast, her passion for production led her to positions at entertainment and media giants like the Walt Disney World Company and iHeartMedia. Always open for thought-provoking conversation and connecting with others over an iced coffee, you can find her on Instagram at @carlyclegg.