Finding a new normal when you left the old one behind

It’s been seven days since I embarked upon a momentous life altering experience and in my disneyland thinking I expected everything to go perfectly. There lies the problem, expectations.

But I am human, sigh. You can’t expect to have a whole new posse of safe and trusted friends and a routine and a tribe or community within seven days of arriving in a foreign land filled with cultural differences. There’s that word again, expect.

In my usual devour the world whole way I have slid into Vail with all guns blazing, making a thousand plans in my over excitement and over exposing myself without checking in if it’s safe first. It’s the ‘please like me gene’ rearing it’s child like head again. Rather than just letting plans unfold and living in the present moment.

Don’t get me wrong, I have also had some really magical moments since arriving but sleep deprivation is a bitch. Jet lag and altitude combined make it a double bitch. Research has shown time and time again that sleep deprivation creates mood disorders and can be like a tornado through the emotional heart.

Waking nightly for three hours at 2.00am may mean I can connect with my friends back home on Australian time zone but it doesn’t help me connect with myself here on mountain time. Taking pharmaceuticals to help bring on sleep only screws with emotional stability more.

Add alcohol to the mix and you’re just asking for more trouble, ugh. Then throw in unpredictable nutrition due to living in a hotel for a week and you may as well just crawl into a foetal position and take up residence in the corner now.

AND we’re not even talking about just a sweet little jaunt across the Pacific for a few weeks holiday. We’re talking about packing up an established life, following the wind and seeing where you land with nothing but two suitcases and a laptop. Something I continually played down whenever people would tell me how brave and inspiring my move is.

Not to mention it has only been 10 months since my mother died and grief is no doubt also at play.

There was always going to be some wobbly moments along the way and I had one last night that reminded me to simply do one thing. Slow down. Take a breath. Breathe. Come back to myself. Not anyone else, myself.

Colorado isn’t going anywhere, the hiking trails will still be here tomorrow, the restaurants and bars are always open, there will always be people to meet, friendships to establish and grow, new relationships to discover. Everything doesn’t have to be now, right this instant. Growing life takes time, effort, care, patience and love. Writing a book does too.

I have said it before, expectation leads to control and trust and control cannot co-exist. It stops the flow.

I miss my friends in Australia, all my glorious wonderful connected amazing friends. I’m friend sick not home sick.

But today marks a good day for me. I move into an apartment, a space to call my own. A place to retreat to and create a daily routine. A fridge filled with nutritious food that I love. A deck with a BBQ to have good moments with new and old friends. A pool to cleanse my body, a lounge room to read on the sofa and a mountain vista to remind me that nature is where it’s at.

It’s time to anchor myself with nutrition and sleep and start building my new normal in Colorado one moment at a time.

To find that joy and love the messy, vulnerable, overexcited human I can be while embracing the peaceful rested human I crave.

Speaker of ElephantTruths, teller of ElephantTales. Author, writer, journalist, blogger, producer, humorist.

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