New Year. That’s all I got.

Happy New Year! I feel about the same as I usually do when the new year hits. It’s just another day, but it’s a good time to reflect and then move forward. I was so optimistic for last year and that’s unusual for me. That’s so unusual for me that I’m pretty sure it was my optimism that brought on the pandemic. Sorry guys.

It’s hard for me to say where I’d be had the pandemic not happened. It does no good to think about it too much since ultimately it doesn’t matter. I suppose the upside is the pandemic stripped away many of the things I enjoyed in life, all of my good distractions, and forced me to spend time with myself and decide what I really wanted in this life and what I didn’t want. I miss Scotland terribly, but I also believe I made the right decision.

It took a few weeks before I started to feel ok over on this side of the world. In hindsight that seems pretty quick, but at the time it felt like I was taking an eternity to adjust. I felt incredibly disoriented, but I think once I started my US job back up (I’d taken two weeks off to move) I started to feel a bit better. Having that bit of normalcy in my life has been huge. I’m still feeling like things here in the US are kinda shiny and new, so that’s been fun.

Living internationally has taught me that a person can be equally happy or miserable wherever they live. I cringe every time someone tells me they’re desperate to move out of the US. I think we must choose to have peace wherever we are and once you’ve found that peace, if you think moving to another country sounds fun, then great! Give it a go! If you have never lived internationally and have decided that you must escape the US in order to be happy… you’ve got some work to do. The last thing these other countries need is a bunch of miserable Americans moving over. I promise you every country has its downfalls. In moving back to the US, despite all the negativity other Americans insisted on sharing with me about the US, I determined I would take a positive stance and I would work to ensure I am in control of my own joy.

*steps down from soapbox*

I have enjoyed being back. I’ve enjoyed driving again and the freedom that comes along with that. My best friend and I went over to the coast for a weekend and that was a good reset of sorts. I’ve started dog agility training again and Chewbacca is loving that beyond measure. An agility pal and I went for a 9.5 mile hike with our pups in the North Bend area and that was fabulous. I’ll include pictures from the hike in this post. I’ve always been in awe of the beauty of this state and I truly missed that when I was in Scotland. That 9.5 mile hike gave me a healthy dose of incredible scenery and fresh air. The other day I went for a short 2 mile walk with my brother and that was nice. Basically, I’m getting out when I can and engaging with the world in what ways I still can. I do actually have to remind myself to do that at times.

I think because of the area I’m in I haven’t noticed much difference in the way people are reacting to the pandemic. People seem to be much more serious about wearing masks here, even when outdoors. People in Glasgow were generally responsible with mask wearing so I was a bit surprised to see it even more prevalent here. I went over to Ruston Way in Tacoma and people were even jogging with masks on. I think we’re not quite as shut down as the UK is right this moment. We still can’t eat inside of restaurants, gyms are still closed and all that jazz. I went out to lunch with my friend and we ate in a tent outside… sooo bringing the inside to the outside, but technically you’re still kinda inside… but not… I don’t know. It was good and it felt safe and nice to do something kind of normal… though not totally normal, but… I’ll shut up.

Yep, so here we are in 2021. I don’t know what this year will look like. I’m at a bit of a standstill until the divorce is complete. I need to get a car, get my own place to live, all that fun stuff. There isn’t a rush but those are essentially things that need to happen this year. This year is really just about finding my footing and moving forward. When the pandemic was in full swing I began to envy those who lived outside of the city and who had their own space away from neighbours. I felt stuck and like I just wanted to go outside and not see people every single time I left my flat. I was tired of hearing neighbours through the walls and ceiling. I was also sick of my flat smelling like pot and cigarette smoke from the neighbours and the people on the street. It just made me realize that maybe I want to live out in the faraway (great, now I have Cyndi Lauper stuck in my head). I don’t particularly dislike people as a whole, I just don’t want to be surrounded by them since I have a pretty large personal bubble (maybe an acre or two in size). I don’t know… if you’ve read my blog over the years you know I’m prone to changing my mind and kinda just going with wherever that takes me. I’m fine with that. We’ll see how this year unfolds. For now, I’m doing pretty ok, I’m feeling good.

Happy New Year to you all! It’s my hope that this year will be slightly less shite than 2020, which, let’s be honest, would be a huge improvement.

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