In 2010, I was on top of the world.
New job, a new luxury apartment downtown, brand new car, the attention and admiration of my inner and outer circle. I just celebrated my 25th birthday on a beautiful beach. After 4 years of college and 2 years of graduate school, I finally graduated from student-dom and had entered adulthood. My job was everything I thought I wanted. I traveled for work and I even traveled on weekends. I was living the life of my dreams.
And 10 months later, it was taken away from me. It was taken from me in a matter of minutes. I lost my job. I lost my glamorous apartment. I lost the admiration of my friends and relatives. I lost the pride and confidence that I had in myself. I lost the freedom that I embraced being 550 miles from home. I returned back home, with no job and little money. I was no longer on top of the world. In fact, I thought the world was against me.
After moving back to my hometown, it took 4 years to get back on my feet. Four very long, humbling, character-building years. Now, looking back, I am proud of what those years gave me. I spent quality time with my family and built a close relationship with my nieces, nephews, and cousins. When my grandma passed away in 2013, I was happy to have had spent many Sunday afternoons with her: learning from her and laughing with her. I met three of my dear friends during those 4 years. Friends, that are like my sisters. Friends, who stood beside me as my bridesmaids, on my wedding day.
So much fun was had during those 4 years: late-night clubbing, followed by early morning breakfast at Waffle House; sleepovers, where my girlfriends and I would stay up all night contemplating life; Meetup Groups; Kickboxing Class; French Class; and I even became apart of Yelp Elite group for 3 consecutive years. I attended concerts, where I met Robin Thicke. I spotted celebrities at the mall. I partied. I danced. I dated. I went ice skating, apple picking. I met new people. I had a ball.
And I even met my husband during those 4 years.
Now, 9 years after the heyday of 2010, I am in a new space. And funny enough, it somewhat resembles my life in 2010. I recently started a new job in a new city. I live in a new home. I don’t drive a new car, but I did just celebrated my 34th birthday at a beautiful beach. I’m married now. Instead of being a new adult, I am now a seasoned adult. I make better decisions now. I save for rainy days because life has taught me that there will always be a rainy day.
But what I haven’t learned to do is to enjoy the ups.
I am so afraid of the down that I am reluctant to truly embrace the up. Spending money gives me anxiety. What if I spend too much now, lose my job and lose everything else? I tell myself:
Don’t get too comfortable with your lifestyle. Things can be taken in an instant. Remember 2010? Don’t get too close to your co-workers. If you choose to leave, that friendship will never be the same. Why put yourself through so much hurt? Don’t get close to your neighbors. Remember the neighbor that foreclosed recently? If that happens to you, the friendships that you made with neighbors would be wasted.
It’s a carousel that my mind takes frequent trips on. Around others, I am constantly down-playing how satisfied I am with my life.
Former Co-worker: Do you like your new job?
Me: Yes, it’s okay. I miss my old job though!
Knowing very well, that I really like my new job. I believe it’s a really good fit for my talents and skills set. In another conversation:
Someone: You have a beautiful home.
Me: Thanks. It’s not in an exciting part of town. This town is a sleeper.
In a discreet manner, I am constantly telling people to not be so happy for me. I’m bracing myself for when it all falls down. My favorite quote is, Be humble or be humbled. So, I try not to put myself in a position where others talk about me, “She thought she was on top of the world. Look at her now!” It’s sad, but we all say such things when someone loses everything after boasting about their good fortune.
It’s good to be humble, but I think the fear that I’m experiencing is crippling. It’s not healthy to anticipate it all falling down. And I acknowledge that. My fear is real. I will address that.