How Texas Forced Me To Grow

in , , by The Classic Brunette, 10:12:00 PM
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I wasn't sure if I was going to share this post, but the more I've been thinking about it the more I believe these kinds of personal posts are more important to share than ever. The idea for this post came about when I was at my last in person therapy appointment a few weeks ago and she asked how I felt about my time in Texas. Even though my time in Dallas was brief at just a year and a half (although longer than my 8 months in Seattle!) it had helped me grow in more ways than I thought. Before coming to Texas I knew I was on the right path to understanding myself more and getting to a better state of mind and living, but I didn't realize how far there still was to go. This year alone has been absolutely insane in all kinds of ways. 2020 made my time in Texas drastically change in that I decided to move 6-8months earlier than scheduled (I was planning on coming to California in February!) and was filled with loneliness rather than goodbye brunches. Moving here was my first time living alone, my first time moving somewhere without knowing someone in the city, and many other firsts and other experiences that shaped me going forward. Like all my personal posts, these experiences are personal to me, but I feel contain some important "lessons" or realizations that can help not only myself but others to grow.

Independent vs Good At Being Alone

Moving to Dallas I thought I was doing the most independent thing you could do at 24. Moving to a new city without knowing anyone and living my by myself for the first time, how crazy and fun! I knew I was going to be fine living alone since I crave a lot of alone time, and for that reason I also thought it meant I was on my way to becoming the most independent me! However, I realized pretty quickly that that wasn't the case. In my head being alone in a city and being independent were one in the same, how wrong I was! I'm GREAT at being alone, I love living alone and having the freedom that comes with it, but I was/am nowhere near as independent as I thought. This move forced me to do some of the things I was heavily reliant on others for because of my anxiety and honestly, out of habit. Things like scheduling my own appointments, driving myself places (I had always had friends/family who were the main drivers), paying some of my own bills (physically my sister received all my bills but I was still paying them out of my account lol). And honestly I realized how sheltered and privileged I was living. I was an adult without half the independent responsibilities of an adult. But because I was out here on my own with no one to come help me with these things it forced me into the easy responsibilities I hadn't been doing. Along with that, the realization that my independence and introverted-ness weren't as linked I thought they were.

A Good Therapist Is EVERYTHING

Not necessarily a growing lesson, but a life tip nonetheless! Although I started therapy in Seattle and believe the therapist I had there was good, her style of therapy wasn't right for me. I won't go into the types of therapy since I'm not super well versed in that, but what I was doing before was something called cognitive behavioral therapy and it felt too rigid/school like for me. I knew I wanted more of a talk things out kind of therapist (the one you see in tv shows and movies, haha) and when I had my first session I knew I had found the right one. It honestly is like a relationship, the two of you need to click! Through her I've had so much more of an understanding of myself, how I think/act, and how I can learn to control and figure out my reactions to future obstacles (or celebrations!). As I said at the beginning of this post, she was the inspiration for this post! So, if you're looking for a therapist, don't be afraid to shop around before committing to one. A good therapist will understand if you're not really "feeling it" with them and want to try either another method or another therapist altogether.

Getting Out Of My Shell

   

Since I didn't know anyone in Dallas and I didn't want to be friendless, I had to get out of my shell. The first place I looked was Facebook where I somehow ran into one of the best groups!! Dallas Girl Gang was where I ended up meeting my two closest girlfriends, and through them the rest of my friends in the city. I went on a few "friend dates" and even some networking events and conventions to try to meet new people and just get out there! The old me would have been shaking in her boots just at the thought of doing that. Although it's still not my favorite thing in the world, I do actually enjoy interacting with and talking to strangers at different events now. I've shaken off a lot of my social anxiety through this year (again a big thank you to therapy) and feel it's less of a burden to be social and more exciting. If you saw how I was talking to strangers a few years back versus now, you would think I'm a completely different girl! 

Put More Effort Into Friendships

I feel like it's just going to be a thing now where people say "before covid," but before covid I think friendship was much more effortless. If I wanted to hang out with someone I would just text them, ask if they wanted to hang out, plan a time and place and you're done! Now for me besides my sister and best friend I am not seeing anyone outside of running essential errands. So meeting in person is basically of the table. For now it's coordinated face time calls or maybe I accidentally run into you while at the grocery store. As a break from the world of blogging/social media I was using technology for myself for the first time in a while, and I was doing it to strengthen my friendships. I've been face-timing a ton, texting nonstop, and even using my Instagram DMs to talk with friends and a lot of you! I know I haven't been present on your feed, but my stories have been pretty updated. It's been so fun hearing from all of you and how you relate to the mundane yet interesting things we all get up to during this time! 

Live With Humidity

Being from California and then living in Seattle I was basically a stranger to humidity. I had experienced it while traveling a bunch of times, but it's different than living in it. I had to learn a whole new beauty routine, get used to being outside in general without feeling like hot death, and all the other random things that come with the heat and humidity. Things you wouldn't exactly think about like your sunglasses fogging up constantly, getting used to AC and the heat then somehow feels even worse, and worsening of allergies. I've always had a mild allergy to pollen in the spring, but in Texas it seemed to hang in the air and I was suffering year round. AKA humidity sucks, haha. 

Adopting A Second Cat

Adopting Nina was one of the best decisions of my life, I absolutely love her! She is my little love bug that loves to yell and talk. Just as full of love as she is of sass. Henry was such a mellow cat and I always knew I got lucky with him, and I also got lucky with Nina! However not in the crazy department, haha! She's just a loud girl and likes to scratch up the furniture more than her brother. But, getting her also meant adding an additional life I was in charge of which is a HUGE responsibility. For a while I thought about getting a dog, but talked myself out of it when I realized it was too much for me. So the next day I went looking for cats because I was 100% comfortable with that amount of time and responsibility (and most importantly, love!) Since the two of them are reaching their more adult/adolescent stages they're changing a bit, so right now it's a slightly ongoing process as they continue to age :) Having the two of them is a responsibility I would take on again and again!

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What are some lessons you've learned these past few months? This pandemic has affected all of us, so let's hear those life tips and/or realizations in the comments! P.S. If you didn't know I'm back in California now!

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