Chapters 43-46: Getting Back In Stride

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Back in 2011, I would have never guessed that I would leave the East Coast (where I lived all my life) and embark on a new journey on the West Coast. Some days I am amazed that I packed up all my belongings and moved clear across the country away from family and friends. That was BIG for me. But when I think about why I did it comes down to one simple thing: it was time for me to go! I did not know what was waiting for me in Sacramento but I was open and I embraced it.

During the last three years and seven months, many things have transpired in my life. My relationship of three years ended (happy to say we are still friends), I started getting tattoos (four and now working on number five), I became friends with coworkers, I was able to visit Tahoe for the first time (and went zip lining!), I started reading more, I started blogging, I went back to school for a class, and— most importantly— I spent a lot of time reconnecting with me, figuring out who I am and what I stand for. In a nutshell, the last three years and seven months have been amazing!

In March 2014, I began to feel a little angst. I felt that things were not working together and I was not totally happy. It was time toChap 43-46 figure it out and then do something about it. I remember having countless conversations with my closest friends to talk it through (which is one of the reasons I love them so much). I knew they would listen, ask me the right questions and give me homework. This is why it is so important to have the right people in your life. After prayer and countless conversations with God and myself, the answer was clear. I wasn’t happy living in Sacramento or with my current position. After figuring that out, I felt a little relief because the first step to solving any personal issue is knowing why you are not happy and the second step is figuring out what makes you happy. It is a combination of standing in your truth and figuring out your calling, your purpose and your passion! It was time for a change.

People often asked me, “How long are you going to stay in Sacramento?” Honestly, I had no time line. I was taking it day by day and wherever God directed me, I would go. When my boss decided to resign from the organization that she founded and we started together, I knew it was my time. I looked at Michelle’s resignation as a sign from God that it was time for me to do ME! My next step in life had to be about ME and no one else.

Today I am super duper excited about what the future holds for me. I will be starting 2015 in a new city (Los Angeles), with a new job and a new outlook on life! I am focused on my happiness, purpose and passion!! The other day I was texting with my bestie, Richard, and I told him I was so happy but also a little nervous, and that I could cry with mostly tears of joy. His response was, “Well cry, but don’t be nervous. You’re going to be just fine.” So, shedding a few tears is what I did and it felt GOOD!

I hear people say that leaving a place or friends for something else is bitter sweet. I disagree! My journey has been sweet and therefore I have sweet memories to take with me. If you are changed by the things in your life and learn something new about yourself, it is a win/win situation. What I know for sure is that at forty-six, I feel that I have not hit my full stride in life. I am ready because I know that Shawn V. Branch has a lot more living to do and he is beyond ready!!!