It's funny how we can remember specific dates for various reasons. Ask someone what they had for dinner last night, and they couldn't tell you, ask them the year they were married, and it comes out effortlessly. 2017 is that year for me.
No, it is not the year I became engaged or married for that matter, it was the year I chose to reset my life. But before I get to the end, let's go back a few steps.
March 2015. It was the only month in my life to date that I distinctly remember experiencing every emotion possible within a matter of hours. I was one month away from getting my fiance back from a six-month deployment with the United States Marine Corps. It was also the month the first step in my wedding planning took flight with our save the date cards. The exact day I received those in the mail is the exact day I was woken up at 3:30 am by my fiance to tell me he had received his next set of orders; they were to the Middle East for one year. Without me.
My entire life I have always been a solution-oriented person. I never live my life under the ideology that any problem you encounter in life cannot be solved; 'where there is a will, there is a way' may as well be my official slogan. Our solution came in the form of pushing up every plan we had, get married at a courthouse, file the necessary paperwork, and move us overseas.
Within a 12 week period, I became married, quit my job, said goodbye to as many friends and family as possible, put one foot in front of the other and did what needed to be done. We arrived in Bahrain on August 13, 2015, with four suitcases, one dog, one cat, and an overwhelming feeling of 'what just happened'.
Within the first two months of being in this new culture, this new country, this new way of life, I sat alone. Part of the added surprise once we arrived was being informed that my husband would be afforded the opportunity to travel frequently for his job.
I cried almost every single day the first six months we were there.
If you were to ask anyone who was there during this time, they would tell you that I was okay, that I was taking it well, and how strong I was. The truth of it all was I was crumbling inside. When I look back at this period now, I can say, unequivocally that I was depressed.
Time, as it often does moves on and eventually, I found employment as a contractor for the Federal Government. This would be a job that would accompany me back to the United States in the summer of 2017. It passed the time, but I still felt like something was missing.
What I have come to realize is that out of this period of my life where I struggled more than ever before, I learned so much about myself. I learned that I was living a lot of my life for my husband. I somehow had become entirely reliant on him for my happiness and fulfillment in life. If the 20-something version of me saw this, surely she would be upset. I could not disappoint myself in this way.
As we moved towards our move back to America I made a promise to myself; I would only live a life of happiness. This happiness had to be created by me; it could not come entirely from someone else.
Within three months of being back in California the contracting job that I had been thrilled to get overseas (because any employment was considered good) made me wake every single day with dread at having to go to it. I was breaking the promise to myself and what was worse was that I knew it. I allowed this to continue for two weeks until I mustered up the courage to turn in my notice and quit.
I had no employment lined up on the back end. I had not reached out to anyone about employment or worked my network. I simply quit something that was not providing me a life filled with happiness.
The day following my notice being accepted I spent the bulk of the morning thinking about when my happiest times have been during my professional career; helping people and writing. Since this time I spend everyday writing.
I mustered the courage to start my travel blog to enlighten people about the various cultures that exist around the world in the hopes it inspires others to get out of their comfort zone. I have gravitated towards writing pieces for organizations who have inspiration as a driving factor for their existence.
You see here's the thing, I found my unhappiness and flipped the switch, but there is a gut-check moment associated with this. There is a component of complete selfishness as you tell the world that you are putting yourself first; you are choosing you. At the end of the day, I have come to realize, that if we don't truly love ourselves, loving others and showing them love, becomes a daunting task.
Life is a wonderfully scary place sometimes. Often the fear of the unknown or failure cripples us. We wake up one day wondering what happened to our life. Don't allow yourself to be one of those people. I didn't, and you don't have to either. So I ask you, what would YOU do if you weren't afraid?
My name is Adriana, and I'm a military spouse with a passion for people, travel, and culture. I've lived overseas as well as in America, and I believe anything is possible with the right tribe, so I strive to bring as many on my adventure as possible. See what happens when you step out of your comfort zone!