I am not someone who likes change. Packing for trips gives me anxiety, I feel panicked when I feel the seasons shifting, and I’m pretty sure my family is still traumatized from my reaction to my Dad breaking tradition and bringing home an artificial tree for Christmas in 2010 (we’ve used a live tree ever since).
Summer 2016 came with many changes for me. I graduated from college in the spring and started looking for my first full-time job. I hugged friends goodbye without the reassurance that I would see them on campus in the fall. And, for the first time in eight years, I didn’t have to record 50+ mile weeks in my running log to prepare for a season of cross country.
I felt like I was living in limbo as I spent time applying to jobs every day while living at home and working part-time at my local running store. It was hard to start to find a routine when I didn’t know what city I would be living in, what job I would have or who I would be spending time with in the next few months. Nothing felt natural.
If you had told me what my life would be like now back when I graduated from school, I probably would have cried. Definitely NOT what I imagined for my post-grad life. I am living at home, still working at my local running store and single. But, the funny thing is, life is good anyways. I was offered a full-time marketing position at a company that I have grown to love for the past two years and now I am immersed in the Baltimore running community every day. I am a part of a staff that goes on runs together. I wear running clothes the majority of the time and when I wear jeans to work, people compliment me for “dressing up” (total win). I hang out with two of my best friends – my parents – all the time. I am not saying that life is 100% great all of the time, but sometimes you can’t possibly predict the greatest and most beneficial changes life will throw your way.
One of the biggest changes for me this summer was also the one that came the most naturally. For some time now I have consciously made the effort to only eat meat once a day. But, after starting to educate myself more regarding the inhumane and unsustainable practices of the meat and dairy industries, I have switched to a plant-based diet. I started off with the mindset that I would challenge myself to eat more plant-based meals and try to limit my meat and dairy consumption. I now do not eat any meat or pure dairy products such as cheese, milk, eggs or yogurt. As big of a change as this was, it felt so natural! I love supporting what I believe in. Again, if you had told me a few months ago that this would be the case, I would have dared you to pry my nightly bowl of greek yogurt from my grasp.
Change still scares me like crazy but this summer has taught me that when change feels natural, you have to go with it and trust the rocky road ahead because good things will come from it!