This is part one of a series I will be writing about things I’ve learned during my 26th year as I prepare for my 27th birthday.
Remember the time when you had to choose between Zaxby’s or Chic-Fil-A for lunch, and you hastily made the decision to get the latter, despite the unsettling feeling that told you not choose a dry ass chicken sandwich over a Wings n Things with 5 barbecue flavored wings, Tongue Torch dipped chicken fingers and those orgasmic golden crinkled fries. That, my friends, was a bad life decision.
We all know the feeling of making bad life decisions. Still, we often ignore our gut instinct, which is what would have told the loser in the example above not to get Chic-Fil-A. My gut instinct is a feeling that I know all too well and listening to it helped me make a life-changing decision this time last year.
You see, this time last year, I was living in New Mexico, where I had been since August 2013. I felt as though I was wasting my 20’s away because I didn’t see any room for growth in my professional career, dating sucked, I was far away from my best friends and family and flights out of the place to my destination choices were always at least $475.
The situation was pretty much ridiculous until I started fostering the type of professional and social life that I envisioned for myself. I started networking with elite members of the community, which opened doors for me to start gaining exposure in the field that I love. I unveiled a passion that I have for helping underserved communities and I developed new friendships that I’m certain will last my lifetime.
With that being said, I was pretty much conflicted when I had to make the choice to move across the country to the D.C. Metro, even though I had claimed in Jesus’ name at the beginning of 2015, that I would be “moving back within reasonable driving distance of the beach . . . to the East Coast . . .”(this was really a caption on a photo I posted). I called my mom in real tears, begging for her to make the decision for me. I asked old and new friends for their opinions. I prayed. I did everything to get someone else to tell me what to do, and the response was always, “the choice is up to you.”
Clearly, I chose Zaxby’s (D.C. Metro) over Chic-Fil-A (Albuquerque). Every part of my being told me to make the move, and I realized that my doubts were stemming from the fear, anxiety and uncertainty that makes us question our gut instinct all too often. I decided not to ignore my gut instinct during this moment in my life because I was able to recognize five feelings that had no substantial grounds for keeping me situated in New Mexico.
- I was afraid – Sometimes we’re afraid that if we let go of what’s familiar, we won’t find another situation that is at least as good. We’d rather settle than risk the ability to thrive with a better opportunity.
ME: I’m starting to do well in Albuquerque. I’m afraid I won’t be able to build a strong network and find these same opportunities for growth in D.C.
ALSO ME: Ha! Yeah, right. You’re a social butterfly and you got the juice.
- I was indecisive – Sometimes we think that not being able to make decisions means that we need to not have the decisions to make. We think that if something isn’t an easy yes, then it must be a bad thing.
ME: I have been wanting to move, but now that the opportunity is here, I actually feel uneasy about making the move. This means I shouldn’t go.
ALSO ME: Bish, what? Tuscalooser, AL would be better than Albuquerque, NM.
- I was irrational – Sometimes we quickly make decisions without considering consequences. When we do this and the consequences are bad, we associate that with making a bad mistake.
ME: I’m going to be so quick to just up and leave Albuquerque and end up being poor and not be able to enjoy life. I’m not being realistic about the cost of living in D.C.
ALSO ME: Seriously, Tabresha? You make financial spreadsheets. FOR FUN!
- I was ungrateful – Sometimes we think that if we desire something better or more than what we have, then we aren’t grateful. We think that where we are in life is where we’re supposed to be and that we shouldn’t work to get other doors of opportunity to open for us.
ME: Maybe this is where I need to be. I haven’t been fully appreciative of the fact that I have a job and a place to lay my head at night because I hate this city so much. I don’t deserve to move.
ALSO ME: Girl, you’ve got to be kidding me. The best is yet to come!
- I was sad – Sometimes we’re sad about having to leave people that we learn to do life with, and it’s hard to accept that they won’t be a drive away or down to go to Imbibe when you’re feeling like hitting the streets.
ME: I have all of these new friends. They have become like family, they support me and we’re starting to have so much fun. I can’t just leave now.
ALSO ME: FOH! Real friends will always be a call away, and you all are grown and getting money. Plan trips and visit!
Since I’ve been in D.C., nothing but awesomeness has happened. I’ve grown professionally over the past 11 months than I did the entire two and a half years that I lived in New Mexico. My social life has been, well, it’s been LIT AF, if I do say so myself. So shout out to my gut instinct for not letting me down!
Greatest lesson learned in my 26th year: Listen to my Gut Instinct.