Six months ago, a lot of feelings were coming out as I started to plan my next journey in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I remember feeling very anxious, excited, a little scared, but most importantly, I felt very blessed and thankful. Six months ago, I would have thought I would be describing myself feeling very sad the day before I leave Indianapolis. Saying goodbye to good things, places and people are never easy. As bittersweet as it is, a better word comes to my mind as I sit in my empty room with my bags packed and ready to go. More than anything, I feel prepared. I owe Indy a huge thank you. A thank you for being my city “guinea pig” as I discovered what it’s like to live away from home, in a big city. It has been a tremendous help to me in so many different ways.
I came to Indy to conquer all my "firsts" outside of my comfort zone. My "first" real job has given me so many opportunities to grow and even more leaders to help me build my self confidence and work ethic. My "first" home away from family and friends has pushed me to explore my unknown surroundings by myself. I used to struggle with anxiety especially when I would have to go somewhere alone. I can't even remember the last time I felt that way because I got so used to it simply from having no other choice this past year. I'm also more independent and responsible as a result of it. I think a major key of getting rid of that anxiety was realizing all I need is God. Indy has also given me my "first" opportunity to be pushed to extend my networking and make friends that weren't in the same school or sports team as me. I've always been a social person, but I've learned more on how to approach someone and be approachable. I am forever in debt to Indy (and of course God) for the people placed in my life from being here for a short amount of time. I have made some incredible friends that I could never forget, even if I wanted to. They have made my time here fly by from all the fun, and sometimes trouble, we have gotten into. This city was also a great place to learn how to maneuver my way around all the slow drivers in the far-left lane when there are usually three other lanes they should be in. With the sharpened mentality and confidence that Indianapolis has given me, I have so much comfort making my next move of this crazy year-by-year journey to Chattanooga.
For the past 364 days I have made the biggest effort to strengthen my relationship with God. I have continuously prayed for peace, direction, and comfort and He has not let me down. Every time I tell someone I'm moving to Tennessee "for the adventure of it", I always get asked "aren't you scared?" My automatic reply always rolls off my tongue..."scared of what?". When I decided to make my first move to Indianapolis, I was no doubt scared. In fact, the day of the move I was terrified and had the biggest panic attack I've ever experienced in my life. Now that I've been here for a year and have grown so much closer to God, I have no fear of the future and I don't think that's a coincidence. God has shown himself in my life in so many different ways and has never let me fail beyond help. I've noticed a huge increase in my happiness and an even larger decrease in my anxiety. I don't think that's a coincidence either. So to answer everybody, no, I am not scared. I know God will continue to direct me and be by my side through every difficult, confusing, and even successful times. "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." -Isaiah 30:21
The definition of success is different from person to person, but for me it's where preparation and opportunity meet. I've spent the past two years preparing to move out of my home state and God has blessed me with more than one opportunity to live out this goal. There have been so many big and little "signs" that are way too clear to be just a coincidence. I know as long as I keep Christ at the center of everything I do and wherever I go, I will be successful. Opportunities will continue to present themselves and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me throughout this next year. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28.
Saying goodbye to my temporary home for a year will be tough considering everything I’m leaving. From all my great friends and bosses, my stable job, delicious restaurants and cafes, hilarious comedy clubs, late night Insomnia Cookie runs, fancy malls, long bike trails, pretty murals, the Indianapolis Zoo and Children’s Museum, Colt’s and Pacers games, going to random events when someone famous is in town, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, walking on the canal and through Monument Circle, and all the other fun that I’ve had here. Although it’s hard to leave this place and everything and everyone it has given me, how lucky am I to have something that makes it so hard to say goodbye? I look forward to the journey that I have waiting on me in Tennessee and am beyond excited to share all the details and memories I make there. I'm lucky to become a Tennessee Volunteer, but I've been blessed to be born an Indiana Hoosier.
Spread a little love today, kid.