I can’t believe how fast a year goes by. I’m officially one year and a month into living in Vermont. Right off, I will say it’s been an emotional journey and sometimes I love it here, and other times I find myself wondering how the hell I got myself here. But, I think everyday has been a true blessing (sometimes, those blessings are disguised behind costumes and masks).
When I left California 5 years ago (wow, typing that I saying out loud is mind blowing to me), I thought I would be back in a year. That definitely has not happened. Boston became home to me and I decided to take full advantage of East Coast living by living in different parts of city and even decided to enroll in graduate school. All of these choices were very unplanned, but with everyday that passed, I was more and more convinced that where I was at the time was exactly where I needed to be.
That moment happened when I got the call, from my soon to be supervisor, that I received a job in Vermont. I was so ecstatic that I even decided to stop my job search process/interview trips and accepted the job quicker than I even imagined. I spent the next couple of months trying to enjoy the company of my closest friends (I even spent so much time with one friend I thought was leading to be my first “partner” or “boyfriend” or “significant other” or whatever you want to call it). When I made the big move, things definitely shifted and changed like no other and I was quickly finding out that my new home would take more and more of my time (not a bad thing at all).
I still remember, July 1st, 2015, I moved out of the MIT Phi Delta Theta house and carried all my stuff and packed up my moving truck with three of my friends. Just a few nights before, I cried so hard because it was the first time I was leaving people behind that I felt I didn’t want to leave. But, after a couple of weeks and months, everything started to get better. I created new friendships/relationships (and, unfortunately, I lost some friends and lost a parent). You can’t plan for what will happen, but you can grow, change, and adapt and become more resilient.
Most recently, I have been stating how much I miss California. I made a recent vacation visit and spent some time at my favorite places (not really to even visit people). I think what I’m learning is that people come and go, but it’s physical places and experiences that make me miss places. I will say it now, there’s not many people left in Boston that I truly care for (however, some of my best friends still live in Boston). What I miss about Boston is the beauty of the city, the convenience of the MBTA and the access to shopping, food, and historical sights. It’s so easy to find a small or large concert and there are endless opportunities for free movie screenings.
When it comes to California, I miss the mild weather, the sunny skies, and the laid back culture (for the most part). I miss the diversity of food and everyday diversity of people. I miss being able to go to the ocean/beach, get lost in the city, and access to the mountains (let’s be honest though, I never took advantage of those things while living there).
Now, I’m in Vermont. I love my job and the people are great. I have created some strong relationships I wouldn’t trade for the world. However, it’s tough being here at times. The work is hard. I think about things I never have thought about at all waking hours of the day. Winters can be harsh. I have to drive hours upon hours to get to a major city/urban area. There’s not that much to do in Burlington, VT and we are considered a big city in Vermont. It’s not very diverse. The dating sceen is non-existent. It’s hard, but it’s fulfilling at the same time.
The other day, we were at a training retreat learning about Restorative Practices. At this point, it was my 3rd time reviewing the concepts in a formalized way. I feel like I have grown so much in this year and truly have become a better person, even if I feel like I take 3 steps forward and 10 steps back (at times). I truly feel I work at the best place. I feel this way because I interviewed for a job towards the end of the school year (and wasn’t offered the job, but it was close because I interviewed on campus), and I had many jobs lined up to apply for, but I chose not to, and I think about how it would help or hurt me to leave where I am now. I also think about that I could have ended up at a lot of different places for my first job, but UVM got me! For now, I feel very content and happy with staying at the University of Vermont, but it scares me everyday where I’ll be next (in a year, two years, three, etc). That is a reality!
So, here’s to my first year down living in Vermont and here’s to a successful second year!