The flip side

I’m sitting on top of my kitchen countertop typing and am in awe that i’ve been living in Chicago for two months now. And as if my life were the movie I always claimed it should be, “Vienna” by Billy Joel just came up on shuffle. If you’re unfamiliar with this song, give it a listen below. It’s my all-time favorite, and applicable to the scene i’m setting right now.

And as I take a moment to “slow down,” my mind immediately hits a state of exhaustion. In the last eight weeks i’ve jumped head first into a brand new career, introduced myself to strangers who are now friends, found the Bills bar where I can shout like a lunatic on Sundays, and (obviously) found my donut, ice cream, and macaroon shops of choice, among many other great little discoveries.

There’s always a flip side to the perks, though.

Packing up my life into a U-Haul brought with it a set of growing pains that I didn’t anticipate. I cried like a baby when I missed my niece’s 7th birthday, am no longer an hour drive away from my mom and sisters, and have yet to figure out how to keep my hometown relationships strong despite the distance. Honestly, it can be quite a bitch.

But that doesn’t mean my decision wasn’t worth it.

Because at the end of the day, there’s always going to be a flip side. There will always be a decision you left behind.

But i’ll tell ya what, in the past two months i’ve come to find that the best way to make peace with your decisions is to give them the full shot they deserve. Ride through the uncertainties, the questions, the doubts, and most importantly, the fears. Because once you can stand on the other side and say you’ve tackled those obstacles, you’ll be at peace no matter what you’ve decided.


‘Tis the season.

Tis’ the season to be bold, to be brave, to be strong.

Tis’ the season to stand on your own two feet, to take a deep breath, to move forward.

Tis’ the season to be upset over the loss of a loved one, to let yourself feel the wrath, and to let yourself heal.

Tis’ the season to realize the past is in the past for a reason, to accept what cannot be changed and to love what is right in front of you.

Tis’ the season to be gentle with other hearts, and to ignore those who are reckless with yours, for it does not deserve such angst.

Tis’ the season for high standards and moderate expectations, for realizing your own self worth, and for accepting nothing less than everything that you want and deserve.

Tis’ the season for independence, for being able to survive on your own, but letting others in because you never know when another person could make you better as an individual.

Tis’ the season for love – of your family, your friends, your significant other, but most of all, of yourself.

Tis’ the season for joy in whatever form you can find it in.

Tis’ the season for choices, they are around every corner and you will always have one.

Tis’ the season to choose happiness. Always choose happiness.


— November 2010 writing flashback.