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  • Writer's pictureElana

retired at 30

Updated: May 6, 2018

I am really happy right now.

But please don't be fooled into believing that this means my whole week has been easy. I always used to have a tendency to compare myself with others. But if you find yourself doing that with me and my journey, just think of this quote:

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown

Or this one:

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel” ~Steve Furtick

That being said, I have been doing my best to not only share the highlights, but also my struggles. I have already shared with you how I spent my Monday (aka first day of freedom), so now I'll update you on the rest of the week.

Overall a good first day, but Monday night was hard. Despite a relaxing day, similarly to what I felt on Sunday, Monday night I had that sinking feeling of not having any plans ahead of me and facing so much uncertainty. I think part of this feeling was from residual feelings of being overwhelmed by the research I had been doing during the day and the endless possibilities of how I could fill this time.

But Tuesday morning I was so happy that I literally danced around the bedroom to the music playing from our alarm clock. Out dog Mitzi and I were jumping and dancing and smiling our way through the entire morning. And this pattern continued through the week - ecstatic in the mornings, nervous at night.

As the week went on I gradually started doing more with my time. Monday as you know was not the most active day, but Tuesday I went to yoga during the day, and Tuesday night I had a singing lesson which is always a highlight of any week. Wednesday I had a celebratory end-of-work massage and then in the afternoon I went to check out a mosaic studio I had found in my research. Well, I found my happy place. I spent several hours at the studio getting tips and tricks, orientation around the studio and even getting started on my first mosaic project at the studio. It was so fun to have such a breadth and variety of materials available to me, to have people to bounce ideas off of and to have someone sitting across the table to talk to while we both mosaicked. So I signed up for a membership! I hope to spend a couple of days a week there each week and really work on my mosaic artistry as well as feed that outlet for my creativity. At the end of the day on Wednesday, I didn't have a panic attack. I felt satisfied. Things were starting to fall into place and I had a happy place that I could visit for fun and new friends as often as 5 days a week if I wanted.

My week kept getting better. On Thursday Mitzi and I visited my friend Morgan, her adorable and charming son, Carter, and their dog Sam (aka "Soggie" according to cutie Carter). It was so great to catch up and play over some tea and cake. It is always refreshing to talk to someone who has also gone through a big transition in their life and can relate to the change, skepticism and questions that I'm facing as I go through my own change. Mitzi had the time of her life playing with both "Soggie" and Carter and I'm sure she slept for the entire afternoon. But actually, I wouldn't know, because I was in happy place #2 for the week, attending a matinee showing of "The Music Man". Amidst a theatre full of nursing home patrons and their grandchildren, I hummed along and smiled my way through "76 trombones" and "Til there was you". At intermission as I walked around admiring the ornate décor and architecture, I reflected on how just months ago I would have felt sad for anyone sitting by themselves in a theatre or going to see a movie alone.

I have travelled around parts of Europe all by myself but for some reason, sitting in restaurants alone has always bothered me and going to see a show alone was unthinkable. As I've gone through my personal discovery over these past few months I have not only begun to understand myself more, but I've learned to enjoy my own company too. Eating alone no longer really bothers me. There is a big difference between being alone and feeling lonely. And while I may have though that everyone around me was always looking at me with pity, feeling so sorry for pathetic me eating all by myself, in reality they probably didn't even notice, let alone care. So what a big milestone it felt like that I could go see a musical all by myself and giggle to myself at the jokes or smile at no one in particular at the songs I liked.

Then this morning was a big morning. Navin and I drove to the Vancouver border to update my immigration status. Maybe I didn't make this clear until now, but not only did I leave my job, I also gave up my ability to work in the US. My work-visa was tied directly to Microsoft. As of this morning, I am now a dependent with a spousal visa tied to Navin. And it's okay. I'm not freaking out (at least today) about what comes next, or how I'll spend my days to come. So far, I think I've done a pretty good job.

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