After a blind leap of faith

I sat on the floor surrounded by boxes, unable to sit on our loveseat filled with more boxes, and breathed deeply. After 18 hours on the road, way too much lifting, and heartfelt goodbyes, my fiance and I were settled in Santa Fe.

With a day between being unemployed and starting at the Santa Fe New Mexican as a digital enterprise reporter, I couldn't help but evaluate my situation with disbelief, looking at my blind leap of faith like it had come from someone else. My first time in the city was also the first day I started living in Santa Fe.

I am happy to say it has been a great decision.

Of course, leaving the familiar for the unknown was bittersweet. I latched onto moments of laughter where I was bent double with joy with people I did not want to lose. Each last time seeing a friend was a desperate attempt to absorb every feeling and word in a moment that was ending far too quickly. Saying goodbye to my parents after making routines around each other and sharing wine on the weekends and investing in TV shows stung in a way I did not think possible after leaving home for college. However, after all the stress, worry, and excitement for this change, Matt and I are slowly making New Mexico home.

Our first week has been exhausting as I started work and Matt little by little diminished the amount of cardboard towers boxing us in. Work has been great and I am glad to have surmounted the despair that weighed on me in earlier months as I felt lost in the job hunt. The most amazing thing, though, is how many of my friends have started seeing the sunrise after similar journeys through dark tunnels.

In a burger shop with two high school friends, one of them started our last night together by saying, "I am so happy right now." After months of sporadic meetings where we all supported each other in times when burdens weighed us down and our mental health was far from well, we all realized we shared the sentiment. Amazingly, even though we are on different tracks with different goals, we have all surmounted the mountain in front of us and reached a moment of peace together.

So while we are miles away from the support we have known and start enjoying our new life at 7,000 feet above sea level, I remind myself of everything that has happened in the nine months since I graduated last May. In those days, I knew I'd be grateful for the period to reconnect with my parents as an adult and to see old friends on a more regular basis. However, I did not realize just how grateful I would be for the break, support, and growth I experienced.

Now, I am glad for the chance to start a new life and find my footing after such a leap.

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MemoirsElayne Smith Lowe