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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dara

Dear anyone ever contemplating a decision or feeling stuck,

Move it or lose it, right? So, I moved it... to Asheville. Ever feel like you are in jeopardy of losing yourself? The kind of lost that is past the point of no return. Where you lose your sense of you. You are on autopilot and fulfilling the roles and versions of yourself that everyone else needs you to be. On the outside you are optimistic and keep your shiFt together. But on the inside you are crumbling and fading away like a really bad horror/reality scene in a sci-fi movie. You start to forget what you even like anymore. Stuck in a pile of life while stuff keeps happening and you can’t catch your breath.

Been there, done that, bought the tee-shirt and I want my money back! Drama after trauma, after life events, just kept happening… until it hit me- right square in the eyes- BAM! Move to Asheville!

Crazy right? Because typically in chaos and business, there is confusion. For me, moving to Asheville had no confusion. None. No squinting my eyes, tilting my head or tightening my tush to make the decision! No thinking hmmm, should we do it? No contemplating, is this the right thing to do? Is it responsible or realistic? No F*ck It Bucket (pause) necessary! The answer was unmistakably YES, move to Asheville. I always knew moving was something I wanted to do, I just didn’t know it could happen. Then I realized, moving wasn't possible because I did not ask for it. I NEVER ASKED FOR IT TO BE A POSSIBILITY- UNTIL I DID!

Let’s backtrack a moment...Throughout my life I took shots to pull myself out of Florida. I did my undergraduate in Tennessee, then lived in Georgia for a couple years , applied to graduate programs and internships all over the country, and traveled the world. Somehow even after hiatuses alway from the Sunshine State, I reluctantly came back.

Every time I vacationed in North Carolina we stayed in the beautiful surrounding towns of Asheville. Ashville spoke to me with it’s soft welcoming and liberal tone with the song You Found Me, by The Fray echoing in my head. Asheville is the perfect blend of Birkenstocks and boots (earthy-wholesome-hippie-southern life). The seasons change with mild winters and summer nights so crisp they can only melt your heart. I swore it was me and I would move there. Then I returned home and got engulfed in grown-upping and reality (A.K.A life). The idea, the dream, the vision faded.

I put this destination (this idea) in the GPS a long time ago. I kept showing up- I visited and explored. I acted as if. I knew in my head (somewhere deep), if I kept going I couldn’t not get there. Was I scared? Meeeee, scared? Totally, but I have a track record of badassery and haven’t ever done anything conventional. Have you met me? Why would this be any different? Besides duh, when has anything great or successful not been scary?

Timing is everything- they say. And they say, things work themselves out how they need to, not always how I want them to be. Just saying, like Garth Brooks sang, ”Thank God For Unanswered Prayers”.

In the spirit of being a big whiny baby, things were bleak and gloomy from mid to late 2019. They were not coming together as I planned. My husband had an accident on a mission and was medically out of work, finances were tight, and I was nowhere close to my best self. I felt like I was failing miserably. I kept showing up to life, but I was fed up, fatigued, run down, ill and injured. I couldn’t read between the lines, but I kept pushing. I did what every sane, responsible, rational person does... I charged a trip to North Carolina for the holidays on a credit card! It was a piss or get off the pot moment. Things could not stay the way they were. Like they say, everyone’s bottom is different and I had reached mine. Nothing changes if nothing changes (sound familiar-definition of insanity!) I was feeling insane and I wanted out.

It was that step, the risky and irresponsible financial choice that was the defining moment. That step clarified the destination- with specificity. Charging the credit card did not feel like a choice but a necessity. There was no contemplation or question if it was right or wrong. It was the deciding factor of what I needed to do.

The step to go on that “naughty” trip gave space for the rest of the details to follow. That push forward was the bridge for the rest to come together. The minute I crossed the North Carolina border I asked myself, why can’t we move? What’s holding us back? So, I did what sensible people do if they are considering a move. I settled in the house we were staying in and began to explore areas, call movers, look at houses, research schools, get info on NC licensing and not listen to anyone else’s opinions (‘cause remember, opinions are like assholes and everyone has one!). I acted as if I was going to move.

I went home to Florida. I put the idea in the F*ck It Bucket. I let it marinate r.e.a.l. Good. The idea to move did not wash away or diminish. The intensity to move only increased along with multiple supporting reasons to do it! I did not stop until all the plans were made. I felt so alive. Even when ridiculous or impossible, I kept going. My intentions became so real that they manifested. A pandemic, a real life, full blown, freaking pandemic could not stop me. It only fueled me and solidified my innate desire to connect with who I am. To move my family back to nature and the basics of life. All the things that really matter in my life.

So, it happened. I happened! I did not lose it, I moved it. Despite the trials, tribulations and even COVID-19, I found ME! I live in Asheville with an address, a driver's license, a North Carolina Psychologist License and a sense of peace like never before. I sleep with the windows open. I hear birds chirping when I wake and I breathe air that is so crisp I can feel it in my soul. I am home.

Moral of the story- Don’t take NO for an answer! Do what lights you on fire. If you don’t know what lights you up, try something- anything! Packing up my family and moving to another state was a BIG change. It was what I needed to get unstuck and find myself, but it doesn't always have to be a big, dramatic change. Small things and creating a bridge is enough to make shiFt happen. And, if you feel like you are losing it- stuck, or need some help to create your first step, call me for a pep talk!


Your no bull-shiFt, COVID SURVIVOR, advice giving, shame abolishing, Mom, ASHEVILLE (and still licensed in FL) Psychologist, and friend, Dr. Dara

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