It’s officially been a year, over a year, since I moved to Austin, TX. Ohhh, and how it has been a trip and a half. Yet, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The amount of life, relationship, and career lessons I’ve learned have honestly changed my complete outlook on life.
2018 Kayla? Don’t really know her.
If you’re taking the leap of faith into a new city this year, boy do I have some advice up my sleeve. Here are the biggest life lessons I learned, and what I will keep in mind the next time I start a new home away from home.
When I first moved here I was ready to take some time off and settle in, find friends, and discover the career of my dreams. Instead of relaxing, I spent countless hours stressing about getting a job. Then once I got the job, I wanted to put everything on pause.
Instead of getting out and doing things that I’ve always wanted to do, I hunkered down at home and got serious about my career. Weekend plans? Probably not. I was too busy focusing on finding the “perfect” position.
I realized rather quickly that I didn’t know when I would get a full month off to explore Austin like that ever again.
Remember: The right job will come to you as long as you’re putting yourself out there.
Tip: Enjoy the growing pains of every situation ~ you may never get it back.
I got the job I had always dreamt about. Blogging had brought me so much joy throughout college, and I couldn’t wait to start a job that sparked off my passion. You could write content and get paid for it? Sign me up. Yet, I took the first job offer and pay that came my way.
Absolutely nothing against choosing the choice that I did, but you don’t get things you don’t ask for.
Remember: Every job has its pros and cons ~ weigh on your strengths and know your worth.
Tip: Weigh your options, never accept your first choice, or salary pay without doing your research.
Wow, wow, wow, was this a hit. Throughout college I was always working 2-3 jobs while attending school full time. I had no idea that I may have had a slight addiction to working a little too much. Instead of feeling things out, I would work to push off my emotions.
Not only did every little thing that I pushed off in college come back to haunt me, but it hit harder than ever before ~ whilst across the country from my comfort zone.
Remember: Every moment on this earth is a blessing, and it’s okay to not be okay.
Tip: Go with your gut and know that growing doesn’t always come without growing pains.
When I first moved to Austin, TX, it was everything I had dreamt about. A few months after my post-grad, post-move, the city living high faded off. It wasn’t as dreamy as I thought it was. Then, I wanted to move back to my hometown. Now, a full year later, I can’t ever see myself going back to Montana full-time.
Lake house maybe? Absolutely. But full-time? Probably not.
It was Austin that made me uncomfortable, it was the uncomfortability of being away from my safety net that I needed to learn how to cope without.
Remember: It’s not the place that makes you happy, it’s you and your love for yourself that does.
Tip: Find balance in your routines, career, and health before blaming it on the place you’re in.
Throughout college, I didn’t network or hang out with friends much ~ I was too goal-focused. I was always working, studying, or in class. After moving, I thought everything would come to me naturally. But, no. You have to put yourself out there to earn what you want.
I remember going to my first city styled networking event. Ohhh myyy gggawwwshh, if only I had the confidence I do now. I seriously sat there at an ALL GIRLS event awkwardly not knowing how to approach other girls. But really, we’re all struggling with the same awkwardness and uncomfortably.
After wrapping my finger around that, I hit a home run after attending a big blogging event in LA. I met an amazing group of girls and had a blast spending time with them.
Remember: We’re all human, and we mostly all go through the same things.
Tip: Get out of your social comfort zone ~ reach out to those you want to with confidence and generosity.
The Health Journey
Honestly, I had no idea the correlation between thoughts and physical health ~ including your gut. When I was going through my ups and downs, it was paired with health ups and downs. I had no idea that my thoughts and feelings affected my health as much as it did.
After reading a book my friend recommended to me, I started to notice the ramifications this had. If I was hit with stress, my food would feel like a rock in my belly — or if I got nervous, I would go to the bathroom more than normal.
Remember: Negative thoughts impact you and your body more than you think.
Tip: Listen to your body + stay positive and take some time for yourself if you’re feeling a little off.
A Year of Lessons
Even though this last year has been the most testing year of my life, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The constant ups and downs of wanting to move somewhere new, pivot my career, and feeling like an imposter was all worth it.
Being comfortable with being uncomfortable is one of the biggest lessons I have learned. After college, I thought I would jump into my dream job and dream life easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.
You have to put in the hard work constantly to reach your goals. Things don’t ever get comfortable. And when they do, you may not be pushing yourself hard enough.
Cheers to many more years in (or away) from my new home, away from home, in Austin, TX.
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