My husband has recently accepted a job in Richmond, Virginia, and we will be leaving our gulf coast beach town of 2 years to pursue the next step in our lives. Richmond is closer to where I grew up (PA) so it feels partially like coming home. I was asked to write a reflection about my year as a yoga teacher & realized just how much can change in 12 months. Remember, everything is fleeting.
A year ago I was angry and sad. I felt isolated from my family, living 18 hours away. To top it off, my best friend just had moved back home. I struggled with mood swings and feeling inadequate compared to the rest of my friends (basically, what I was seeing on social media and perceiving as their reality).
My patient fiancé (now husband) Brian did anything he could to make me happy. But I constantly felt like I was missing purpose and direction in my life. I was struggling to start my own business in fitness & was a full-time server– and severely unhappy.
However, the universe knew what it was doing. It was at my golf course serving job that one of the members had asked if I knew of this new yoga studio. His wife knew the owner’s mom from the YMCA & said I should contact her. I wasn’t sure– I had tried to teach yoga at a gym earlier that summer and couldn’t get much interest.
Thank goodness, I thought “What could it hurt?” & called her. She and I spoke and I came in for a tryout. I quickly realized that I needed a lot of work on my yoga teaching & she generously took me under her wing to apprentice her in the style of power vinyasa. I dove right in, and later began teaching. It’s so hard to believe that was last July.
It’s safe to say this year has completely changed my life. I transitioned from serving full time, to part time, to eventually quitting that industry early this summer to focus on my fitness business (which started to thrive once I stopped feeling sorry for myself, made a schedule, and got to work. Funny how that happens) and my career as a yoga teacher. My boss was kind enough to create an additional position for me, where I could learn more about the Marketing & Community Relations side of a studio.
Best of all though, were the people I met. I went from someone who sat alone at night, waiting for her husband to get home & tearing up thinking about what I was missing, to someone who was able to meet like-minded people and spend time with them. It’s like we were all ready to meet each other, and were just waiting for a location to bring us together. Yoga did that, and continues to do that every day. It’s a place where people go to get away from their day jobs, to see their friends, to workout, to laugh, to fall on their face while trying a new pose, and to do it all again the next day. How cool that this was my job?
A year ago, I was ready to pack my bags, my man & my cat and drag him north. A year ago, I didn’t have vision or clear goals or think I could truly inspire anyone else. It makes me sad to write this because I always considered myself a confident person. But I was in a slump & to be perfectly honest, that’s just where I was during that season of my life.
But it’s amazing what can change in a year. Once I started surrounding myself with uplifting people, and once I checked out of my own pity party I started to see where I was. I started to create the life I wanted rather than sitting back and watching it happen to me. It turned out that all along, I lived in a pretty great area surrounded by wonderful people.
What have I learned this year? Phew. How much time do you have?! There’s so much that has shifted in my life since looking back to last summer. I’ve learned that I don’t have to choose between being a “fitness person” and a yogi. I can create opportunities by working hard and staying focused on the type of job and life that I envision for me and my family. I have learned to let go on my mat.. to stay in a pose when my legs are jello, to take a deep breath in traffic, to smile at people in Wal Mart. I’ve learned that a sincere compliment goes a long way, and that sometimes I need to get out of my comfort zone to make friends, to ask for what I want, and to discover new poses and opportunities on my yoga mat.
A year ago I was angry and sad. Today I write this with emotion as well– but this time it’s with excitement for the next step in my marriage and in our adventure together, but emotional to be leaving such a beautiful place & community. My only regret is that I didn’t meet them sooner.
Thank you, each of you, for showing me kindness, and for helping me grow as a yoga teacher and a person. Take it from me, don’t wait to start living your life. Time goes too fast for that. Start now.