I arrived back to St. John yesterday after spending a week with my family in Virginia. I laid out on Hawksnest today, thanked God for having the day off, and let out a sigh of relief to have back my “normal.” I miss my family and friends every day, but at least for now, this is where I need to be.
I grew up in Loudoun County which is just outside of Washington, D.C. and the lifestyle there, my old lifestyle, is such a drastic change to what my life is now. In just 7 months I have realized how much I valued things that were insignificant, how much I worried about things I couldn’t change, and how hard I tried to fit into a mold that wasn’t made for me. I looked the part- I carried the designer bags and I drove the Lexus and Mercedes around and I genuinely thought that I wanted to be successful so I could have those things forever. I still want to be successful, but in a much different way.
Success to me is my sheets completely drying on the line before its time to go to bed. It’s spending an hour talking to Carly in one of our beds and catching up on everything we missed if we spent more than 12 hours apart. It’s being able to pay my rent and my bills with a little left over for happy hour with my friends and the occasional DJ from North Shore Deli. Success to me is walking into the coffee shop and the barista starting on my medium caramel iced coffee before I even finish saying good morning. You know how when you get your check at a restaurant and there’s a little section that says “customer” and it normally says something like “Table 6” or whatever number barstool you’re in? Success to me is having met so many people and made so many friends that no matter where I go, they always type in “Vic” because they don’t need to identify me as what seat I’m in, they know me.
I’ve never thought of myself as someone who would want to live in a small town, but now that I know what it’s like I’m not sure I ever want to go back to an overpopulated suburbia or a big city. I love saying good morning or good afternoon to every person I see. I love being asked how my day was before I’m asked what my order is. I love knowing everyone’s name, where they came from, and why they’re here. While I was in Virginia I had several people tell me they noticed how much I’ve changed, how I seem so much more relaxed and how my anxiety isn’t weighing me down. I’ve learned to slow down and accept things I can’t change, which I think are the two things I needed to happen the most. I used to race around cramming as many errands as I could into one day. I used to try to control every situation I was in, think of every possible way to manipulate the outcome into what I wanted. I was a blonde ball of stress and anxiety but hey- I always had a fresh manicure and lipstick that matched my purse!
I am so grateful for my friends and family for their support and for noticing my change because I notice it too. I am happy to finally be happy, and with no one to credit but myself. I wish I could pass on this energy to everyone in my life. It’s so important to slow down and stop worrying. It’s freeing.