7 Lessons I Learned in the First Year Following My Big Life Decision

If you were a reader of mine roughly a year ago, then you probably read a lot of my posts leading up to my big life decision and my thoughts right after the big move; posts like What if I Fall? or Confessions from a Semi-Unemployed Adventurer.

I’m not entirely sure if I’ve learned a lot in this last year, but I certainly learned a few things worth sharing. I knew since I was a Junior in high school that I did want to settle down/ stay in California. That led me to going to college in Oregon, a place I fell in love with. I tried to find work in Portland, but it was hard and so I made the hard decision (for me) to move back home with my parents. This ended up being one of the best decisions for me simply because I got to save a lot of money while I worked.

Finally, around August of 2016, I started playing with the idea of finally making a decision to move somewhere outside of California. I had thought about trying to move out to Colorado after graduation, but things didn’t work out; ultimately, I don’t think I was ready for that big of a decision. But because of that, I was stuck between trying Portland, OR again or Colorado. I knew that if I didn’t at least try living and working in Colorado, I would always wonder what if.

So, in April 2017 I packed up my belongings that would fit in my little Toyota and drove off towards a new change and life in Colorado. A year later and I’m still happy with my decision while learning the following lessons.

One: Change is scary AF

This one is kind of a given even though I don’t think I ever really gave myself time to stop and absorb what a huge decision I made/ was making. Slowly but surely in the weeks leading up to the move and the few weeks afterwards, I started to get scared about whether this was going to work out the way I wanted or imagined.

Two: I’m Stronger Than I Think

Leading off point number one, I realized pretty quickly that not only am I pretty adaptable, but I’m stronger than I think a lot of the times – though I will admit that I don’t doubt it much anymore, which might be attributed to all of the things I’ve gone through including making this big change.

Three: Being 100% responsible for My Well Being is Scary but Rewarding

I was one of the lucky college graduates whose parents let them move back in and not have to pay for rent, food, etc. While I was responsible for other things, not having to pay some of those things enabled me to save up a lot of money.

When I moved, even though I moved in with family, I had to pay my portion of rent, food, utilities on top of car related stuff and anything else. But well being is more than just money and bills. Trying to find a way to stay in shape and eating healthy were harder because of money constraints plus I didn’t live alone or always eat alone. It’s still a learning process for me, but I’ve definitely learned to enjoy the complete control I have.

Four: Create a Budget That Works for You & Stick to It

I’ve hinted a lot about money in the last few points so this shouldn’t surprise that I learned that creating a budget is very important. Or at least learning how to manage money that works for oneself. I’m still learning this one as well since I’m gaining a bigger paycheck this year over last year when I was just a temp plus I have a car payment now plus other things.

Five: Making Friends is Hard

Making new friends was definitely one of the biggest things that I stressed and worried over since making the decision to move to a place where I didn’t know anyone besides my two family members. I thought that Meetup would be my only choice, but it wasn’t. I focused first on finding girlfriends instead of friends in general. I know have a small group of girls that I hang out with and while I don’t consider them best friends, it’s still really nice to know that there is someone I can text to hang out with if I want.

Six: Staying In Touch With Family & Friends Is Harder and More Valuable Than Ever

I’m going to preface this with the fact that I am terrible at keeping up with people who I don’t live near. Terrible considering that that now applies to the majority of my family and close friends. Because of that, I’ve learned that not only is still really hard to keep in touch with everyone that lives in a different state than me, but I find that time even more valuable now than ever. Even if I can only take ten to fifteen minutes to call or only find time to text throughout a day, I appreciate that time.

Seven: Not Everything Ends Up the Way You Imagined

This is a lesson that I originally learned when I went to college, then learned again after I graduated, and a third time when I moved back in with my parents. It is of course something I learned once again when I moved to a new state and set out to find a job. My current job isn’t exactly what I imagined I would have. Even though it’s not my first choice, I am reminded again that it is the people I work with that making going into work worth it for most days.

At the end of the day, the future always lays unknown for each person; so you should make the most out of each day as it comes and not worry about a future that is not known.

What are some of your life lessons? Let me know in the comments!

Related articles:

Thrive Global’s 7 Life Lessons I’ve Learned After Making a Huge Change by Locke Hughes

My Uni Days’ 15 life lessons learned from Leslie Knope by Sarah Q.

Diary of a Wandering Lobster’s 10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in My 20s 

Stephen Guise’s 14 Lessons I’ve Learned In 30 Years

Gratefulist’s 6 lessons learned after making a life-changing decision



2 thoughts on “7 Lessons I Learned in the First Year Following My Big Life Decision

  1. Wow, that is a BIG life change! Thanks for sharing! I was too scared to do something like that after I moved back home with my parents after college. I moved back out to go to grad school, and then back out (again) once I had a job, but I wish I’d been brave enough to just go!

    Liked by 1 person

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