Flashback to about 3 weeks ago: it was one of those rare mornings when I woke up about 25 minutes before I had to get out of bed and start my day.
Instead of grabbing for my phone, like I usually do first thing, I stared up at the ceiling for what felt like hours and I forced myself to face what I was feeling. It was a feeling I’ve been pretty familiar with in the past and it had resurfaced the past 6-8 months. And, while it started as a dull tinge, it was becoming stronger and stronger as the days passed.
If I’m being honest, I’d say that since the epic shakeup, I haven’t quite felt settled. I haven’t felt sad or depressed or anything like that, no… just… antsy.
And I’m not unfamiliar with this feeling. I knew exactly what my heart was trying to tell me but I’ve felt this way before these past few years and just pushed it down to try to focus on living that responsible life I had been chasing (you know, that whole roadmap thing).
But, that morning, awake and staring at the ceiling, I couldn’t deny that urge anymore – I needed to make a big move.
No, not metaphorically but literally.
I mean, let’s rewind and think about this: I grew up in Metro Detroit, moved to Grand Rapids, moved to Nashville, moved back to Metro Detroit, moved back to Grand Rapids, and I’ve been back in Metro Detroit again for the past few years for work.
So, it’s time.
It’s time to really rid myself of the roadmap I so desperately followed.
I had the idea, I did the research, I contacted some real estate agents and I signed the paperwork… and in a month, I’m going to be moving to St. Pete Beach, Florida.
Now, this isn’t a long-term thing… in fact, I made sure it wasn’t. As I’m ridding myself of this roadmap, I wouldn’t dare begin to map out the next 12 months of my life. Instead, I’ve decided to rent a vacation home (they call it a “bungalow”… come on, that’s adorable) that’s smack dab in between the Gulf of Mexico and 25+ tiki bars and surf shops for the next 6 months.
After those 6 months? Who knows… maybe I’ll rent another home on the beach, maybe I’ll move back, or maybe I’ll try out a new city. That’s not for me to figure out right now.
Sometime in the last few years, I lost the person I used to love being: I was spontaneous, I lived my life as carefree as possible, I adopted a cat on a whim, I wrote a book for the hell of it, I went out of my way to meet new people, and so on.
That person was hidden away by someone who tried to find a “decent enough” home on Zillow.com, who carefully put every man she met under a microscope to see if they were marriage material, and who focused on the wrong things.
And those things are fine for some people but not for me. Every day passed me by and I wasn’t living in the moment – I was living for a Kate who might be happy 3-4 years down the road, IF she found a guy and IF she found a home and IF a gazillion other things fell into place.
So, I’m following my heart rather than my spreadsheets and I’m taking the days back. I’m going to shake up my routine, spend my free time with my toes in the sand, and sip cold beers while watching the sun set over the ocean.
To me, this isn’t an escape from responsibility. It’s a lesson in finding happiness in the little things and understanding that life isn’t made up by trying to hit milestones. It’s learning to relax and unwind. It’s about being spontaneous. It’s about a lot of things but most of all, it’s about finding my free spirit again.
Nashville taught me a lot about just going for the unknown, Michigan taught me a lot about responsibility, and Florida… well, we’ll just have to see 😉