Time is moving so quickly I’ve missed a whole month of documenting my transition. October was quite eventful. For anyone who follows any of my social media accounts, you’ll see that I celebrated Halloween quite a few times last month. I celebrated a dear friend’s birthday which helped me connect with other wonderful people in the bay area.
@ 10 months in,
nearly 11, I can say that the bay area has definitely been a wonderful experience. My cousin’s girlfriend asked me today during dinner whether or not I could see myself staying out here. It took me a little while to think through my answer given all the factors that have made this transition one I’ll always remember.
1. I miss my dog– every single day.
2. I miss my family–every single day.
3. I sometimes doubt my ability to manage the cost of living out here.
4. Sometimes, I feel really alone.
Those are 4 pretty significant things that have remained constants from the moment I hopped off the plane.
I spent the Thanksgiving holiday at my dad’s fraternity’s brother’s house, (shout out to the Kappas), with he and his family. They welcomed me with open arms– a family full of Berkeley and Stanford grads. It was great to start building some connections with people outside of my daily cycle. I don’t know if they know how much advice they shared with me during my short few hours with them, but I drove home listening to Luther Vandross Christmas album in tears. Not sad tears. Grateful tears. It was this Thanksgiving that I was reminded of how intertwined spiritual guidance is in my life. I haven’t been to church nearly as much as I’d hoped. I’ve struggled to find a church family that feels like home…the way One Church was for me in Columbus. And yet, the still small voice inside of me continues to guide me through one of the most emotional journeys of my life…this move…all these changes…constantly working and living outside of my comfort zone.
I cried driving home thinking of all of my family gathered together without me. I cried thinking, I have no idea if I’ll ever experience any holidays the way I’m use to ever again. These tears shocked me. They came from deep within and reminded me of what yielding to faith truly means and feels like. Painful, scary, seemingly lonely, hopeless….lost.
Yoga has been my centering. I’d say I’m a full blown Yogi now since I’ve been practicing consistently for at least the past 4 months. (HELLO CROW POSE!!!) I recently starting working out with a trainer again (Hi Dre’!) and that combined with yoga has given me some sense of a routine. I bailed on carpooling and am still navigating which commuting style to and from work is going to allot me enough sleep, peace of mind, cost efficiency, and whatever else I’m forgetting. I tried out No-Eat-Out-November this month, a tradition one of my colleagues shared with us back at Ohio State as a way to save some money right before the holidays. To my own surprise I’ve been EXTREMELY successful and have saved soooo much money not going to happy hours.
My weight continued to creep up and for a while I was just spent with myself about it. 225 lbs. Who in all the hell could’ve seen that coming? I mean in my mind, I moved to the one state where for the most part, people are EXCEPTIONALLY healthy, mindful, and fit. Wouldn’t you know that my ass some how found a way to achieve the exact opposite of all of those things! sheesh!
I was watching my Buckeyes today and her the commentator share that JT Barrett weighs in at 220lbs, I shed a tear while eating a final scoop of leftover banana pudding.
Somewhere around the end of October/Early November, one of my friends looked at me and said, “Why don’t you just pick one thing to focus on for now; one small tangible and just do that. See where it leads you.” And so I’ve been doing exactly that. The one thing has been not going out to eat as frequently. By God, I’ve done it. And what I’ve learned is that I am more than capable of self-control and achieving goals once I break them down and start looking at things one stick of butter at a time. I’ve done extremes. I’m great at them. Except all the extreme things I’ve done pertaining to diet and exercise have landed me right here–the yo-yo diet expert. No thank you. I’ll pass.
With the yoga practicing business, I’ve gotten much better at meditation. With that, has some skill building in visualization. I had a vision so clear recently of my future self, it scared me, fascinated me, and excited me all at the same time. I could literally see my family, my life partner (with a man bun?!), my home. I could see my smile and my figure and my peace. This could all be a sign that I’m either officially losing my mind, or that I’m finally stressing a little less and that’s allowing me to see everything that’s in front of me. I’m also seeing the gift in being patient with myself AND holding myself accountable. I’ve always done one or the other. Eat the whole pan of X item, Cierra, that’s being patient with yourself. Or. Tilapia and broccoli only, Cierra, that’s holding yourself accountable. I’ve also picked up something I suggest everyone give a try— EVERY time I pass a mirror, I say, “I love you,”. Got that from one of my favorite yogis and it’s hella weird at first, and yet, it’s changing the way I see the person looking back at me.
If yoga has taught me anything at all, it’s the true talent of listening to my body and allowing it to tell me exactly what it needs next. When to push, when to relax. When to write, or when to pray. When to act or when to stand silently–tears and all.
I ramble-write these reflections for you, the readers and for me, the writer.
I have one hell of a story to tell.