As long as I can remember I have looked forward to turning 33, to my Jesus year. I don't know exactly what expectations I had as to what might happen when I reached that year, but I felt something special was sure to come of it. The truth of the matter is that my Jesus year was special, but not in the ways young me had imagined.
After turning 33, I moved to Utah to start my life again after moving back from Japan. I was ready to get to know all the places I had been dreaming about out west as well as hopeful that I could heal from a pretty bad broken heart. Transition isn't easy, I tried my best to start a life for myself. I moved from a pretty bad airbnb to my own apartment within the first month of living in Salt Lake City. I concentrated on all the reasons I moved out there and focused on that. And even though my professional life was constantly on the rocks, I was able to focus on my passion to help me make it through.
I traveled to National Parks, hiked every week, rode my mountain bike, climbed almost every day and loved every second of it. I was alone more than I was with people, and that kind of solitude helped me really accept all the parts of me that had been fragmented. Within my Jesus year, my car got broken into, I changed jobs three times, and the guy I was in love with got engaged. There were numerous times I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel, so I just went outside. I would go camping and refresh my batteries but when I got back, I still felt frustrated with how other areas of my life were going.
I left for Bali with my best friend not knowing what the future held for me. I had no job, and my heartbreak was hurting more than ever. I went to Bali feeling more lost that I had felt in a long time, and somehow I thought Bali had the answers. The truth was, it didn't. I had an amazing adventure with my best friend, and that was it. No big AHA moment, no revelations, no earth shattering universe shaking meetings with a soul mate. I was still me.
It was when I got back to Utah that things changed. I started a job that had me working outside all day, and that was just what I needed. I was able to laugh again. I felt light. I was working 7 days a week, but felt more energized than when I was working a normal 9 to 5. I also decided that if I really wanted to live in the mountains, I needed to regroup and do it the right way. I needed to find a job and city that would support my passions and actually commit to that place. In order to do that, I need time to think regroup and start fresh without fearing for my survival. Meanwhile, my father was dreaming up something big for himself that I could actually help with. So, at the beginning of August, I decided I would move back to Orlando for the remainder of the year to make things right. That I would help my father with a dream of his for the first two months back and then get my life back on track.
So here I am, 34, on the eve of a new adventure. One that I won't be doing alone, thinking about all the choices I have made that have gotten me to this point. It won't be an easy adventure, but like all adventures, in the end it will be worth it. Because after a challenging yet rewarding year, I can honestly say I am in the best state of my life. And maybe that is really what the Jesus year is all about, destroying your illusions so that you can be reborn again.
And even better is that a Jesus year can come at any time of your life, not just when you are 33. You can chose when it is you want to try something new. There is no timeline for healing. What takes someone else 6 months to get over can take you a whole lifetime, and that is OKAY! You don't have to believe in Jesus for a year like this to occur, you just have to believe in yourself. And frankly, that is the hardest part. So know that there are people out there feeling like you do, fighting like you do, and that adventure is always a choice.