I wanted to share some time travel for my first post with you. Okay, so it’s not time travel like Michael J. Fox’s Back to the Future time travel (but OMG wouldn’t that be effin’ awesome?!). It’s my version of time travel! Grab a cuppa somethin’, ’cause this is gonna get a bit long 😉

June 2017

My son graduates high school (yep I’m that old) and the time has come for me to move on to the next adventure and phase of life…head South to the Sunshine State.

I had been talking about moving to Florida for several years. Everyone knew this was my dream because that’s all I ever talked about for 4 years. A few weeks later, after his graduation, he ever so lovingly sarcastically called me out on my bullshit (and the list of excuses I had for not going).

Stop making excuses mom! I graduated, am an adult now and will be living my life, now you really don’t have any excuses anymore! 

The last of my excuses had been ‘I can’t do anything until my kiddo graduates.’  Who knew that time would come so quickly???

I started researching areas I would be interested in living, places to rent, etc. … because the kiddo gave me “permission” to go for it so it was time.

But I found myself holding back yet again. I felt confused! Is this what I wanted really… to leave my son (who, by the way, had been living with his dad & stepmom since he was 12), all my family & friends and move several states away???

September 2017

I was with my friend Rayven & our other friend Natalie for a 3-day business trip. We’re sitting in the hotel room one evening & chatting about Florida, my love of it & wanting to move there.

As the conversation went on, Natalie asked if she could do some sort of (what I called) weird woo-woo shit on me. 😉 I was open to it so said ‘Have at ‘er’. I don’t know how to explain what she did/had me do but the sum of it was that my body was a yes to moving to Florida… just not at that time!

It was a bit disappointing to have my body tell us that but both Natalie & Rayven suggested maybe I should be open to exploring other places before committing to a Florida move…

And that’s where the fun comes in 😉

October 2017

A few weeks after coming home from that Texas biz trip I was invited to do a cross-country road trip from Michigan to Portland, Oregon with my sister. I was a little on the wishy-washy side about going – having just gotten back from a trip (and not wanting to take more time off from client projects)!  But while talking to one of my closest friends (and smart coach!) I realized I was a HELL YES to taking this road trip so I said yes, excited for the adventure!

It was a chilly Northern Michigan Fall Day when my sister & I finished packing her car and set out on our 3-hour tour 3-hour tour (any Gilligan’s Island fans beside me? LOL) 3 day road trip.

Day 1 was long, with not all that exciting views, landing us in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the night.

Day 2 was getting more exciting as the views changed and we started seeing things I don’t know how to describe. I don’t remember where we ended day two (Montana I want to say), I just remember we were both exhausted and excited that day three would be a bit longer but put us at our final destination – Portland!

Day 3 is something I will never be able to put into words or explain how amazing the views were. We both uttered “holy crap, wow, did you see that?, oh my lord it’s beautiful” more times than I could count!

Because I had loved Florida so much I never knew I could fall in love with mountains, greenery, ranch land, and hills…but I did. As we were coming into Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge I felt like I had been transported into a new world – it was breathtaking!

These are just a handful of the many pics I took (and trust me, pictures do NOT do any of it justice!) as we were driving through the Columbia River Gorge.

(Note: if you click on the images, they will open up in a new window full size)

Columbia River Gorge View Columbia River Gorge landscape columbia river gorge different viewColumbia River Gorge with rainbow over water

A Huge Mental / Heart Shift Happened

But something happened on that last day of our drive…my heart shifted and changed. I came to a huge realization – one that wasn’t so easy to admit!

The only reason I wanted to live in Florida was because that was all I had known.

That’s the only place I had traveled (other than visiting Arizona in the 6th grade, Tennessee in the 9th grade & Hawaii in the 10th grade) and it felt comfortable and ‘safe’. I suppose that happens when you travel somewhere every single year from the time you were a wee bit toddler, right?!

I muttered to my sister:

I could live here. 

Whoa…wait a minute. Did that really come out of my mouth? The girl who couldn’t stop chattering about moving to Florida!!!

I wasn’t sure if it was just the excitement of being on the road trip & caught up in the moment or if it was something as deep (woo-woo) as my soul calling me there! All I knew was it felt peaceful. It didn’t feel forced, it didn’t feel like it would be a hard decision to make (to move there).

That night, I saw an image, on Facebook, with a quote that felt like something smacked me upside the head:

“Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes heading in a new direction can be scary until you realize you’re headed toward a new and exciting destination.” – Susan Gale 

I didn’t know what it meant at the moment, just that it resonated deeply within me.

Little did I know there was a reason all of this (the road trip, feeling like I could move there & the quote) was happening…

My Dating App Dinged…

Right before I was to head back to Michigan, my dating app dinged notifying me I had a new message. I forgot it was location-based and if your location was turned on on your phone, you popped up in searches for locals. Anyway, I was getting notifications of new messages from men in the area. I wanted nothing to do with responding to them because I was not open to a long-distance relationship!

Except a message caught my eye!

He wrote in full sentences, didn’t send a d*ck pick & I liked his profile, aside from a few silly things I said no to:

  • bald head
  • short
  • Mexican

Now, before you get your undies in a bunch about that last thing, let me explain! I’m not being racist! That decision was based on the way an ex who was Mexican treated me and I made the story up in my head that all Mexicans would treat me badly (I know. I know. I know… how f***ed up is that?!)

But these were all “no’s” in my book because I had an ideal of what my man would look like and be like. But I decided to respond to him because I was intrigued and because a friend (Natalie I mentioned above) had asked me if I would simply be willing to be open to new experiences and possibilities!

Responding to that one message, when I would have normally said no and ignored him because he didn’t “fit” my ideal was… what changed my life! I was open to getting to know him on a friend level. But that changed the more we got to know one another.

Jaime and I decided to pursue dating… yep long-distance! I was able to travel out to Portland frequently because of being self-employed. It was harder for him to get time off work & travel to me.

And then it came time to put the long-distance thing to an end…

August 2018

After many conversations, I decided to follow my heart. It was time to close one chapter of my life: small-town Northern Michigan living where all I’d ever known was – my son, family, friends & my beloved AA recovery family. It had been my safety net, my security blanket all my life. AND it’s also been the one place that held me back from so many things too (but that’s a different story for a different day 😉 ).

I turned in the keys to my apartment a week before the end of August, spent a few nights at my mom’s, and then headed to my best friend’s for a night of camping fun, a day of rest and then we headed out to embark on a cross country trip. Her first. My second – only this time the final destination was a little different: Washington state instead of Portland!

The trip was three days. It was long but fun. I was sad. I was scared. I was nervous. And I was so excited for what the future would hold…

After arriving, the bestie & I crashed at a hotel for a night and then it was time to say a tearful goodbye to her as Jaime & I dropped her off at the airport so she could head back home.

I love him. I love us.

And on Christmas Day 2021 I became not just a girlfriend 😉

Yep, we’re engaged & no wedding date planned as of right now & we’re okay with that! We’re just enjoying life and not worried about a wedding (and for some reason that ruffles some people’s feathers LMAO).

This is one time I can say I am so thankful that life doesn’t always go according to plan… err, at least according to my plans 😉

And now let’s time-travel to March 2024!

March 2024

Jaime & I are still together. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs (what relationship doesn’t) and we’re still choosing one another every day.

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  1. You are so brave in so many ways! Congrats on wrestling your way through the decisions and tech issues – your new site is great and your new journey will be great too.

    1. Hey there Conni! Thanks for taking the time to comment – I appreciate you! The tech issues were really trying to keep me down – sure there’s still some formatting issues and tweaks I want to do but I went LIVE with the site and that’s all that mattered at the time 😉

  2. Love this post, Tish! You are an amazing story-teller and you’ve got one helluva story! Congratulations on the new website and podcast. You’re going to rock the world with your message.

    1. Hey Melissa! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I appreciate you! I’m so excited to finally be live with the site & podcast!

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