On this day, 5 years ago, we got on a plane with a one way ticket back to my home state of California. We had no plan, barely any money, but we did have a whole lot of hope for a new start. We had no idea how we were going to do it. We had no idea just how hard the next couple of months and even years would be. We had no idea the amount of hard work we would have to put in. But we knew that our son and our family deserved more.
We hopped on that Southwest Airlines flight with one suitcase, a carry on bag, and our sons safety seat and stroller. Today we are waking up in the house we always dreamt we would have with the cars we used to joke about having one day. We are debt free and have a savings that would’ve made me cry 5 years ago. How did we do it? Hard work. Drive for a better life. Hope in a better day. And an inner voice that refused to allow our family to ever go through the weight of a toxic environment ever again.
I never in a million years thought that in just 5 short years we could rebuild our life from the ground up and create a life for our children that I could have only dreamt of as child.
It wasn’t easy.
There were tears.
Some days I wanted to give up.
We felt defeated more than we didn’t.
But we did it! I can proudly say that 5 years after moving to California, it was the best decision we ever made for our family. We have grown as individuals, as husband and wife, as parents, and as a family. We have reconnected with family and met new friends. We have gotten out of our comfort zone and taken chances to better our life even if it seemed frightening or intimidating. Most of all, we never gave up.
Change is good. Change opens new doors we never even could have imagined possible. Change makes us grow in ways we need the most, but often overlook. Change leads us exactly where we need to be even if we sometimes don’t even know it.
So after 5 years, I have learned not to be afraid of change. Instead, embrace it!