It's been about a month and a half now since I left ABQ & moved to Austin. Despite still getting adjusted to the new job and schedule, it's starting to feel more like home everyday. I'm enjoying the new adventure, the new city, the new coworkers/friends... it's exactly what I had hoped it to be.
That was until last Friday.
Last Friday, I was called in for the morning show as a back-up for the morning meteorologist who was going to be out live covering a local hot air balloon festival. Initially, I was a little jealous of the guy -- how cool that he gets to go cover this event?! We laughed about the fact that I just moved from the mecca of hot air balloon festivals with Albuquerque being home to the world's largest hot air balloon event. But the festival specifically requested him (he's a BIG deal here) and I understood that so I came in to help out.
Little did I know, watching our coverage of this hot air balloon festival would ROCK MY WORLD. Honestly, it was awful. It was like watching a two-hour flashback of some of the happiest moments of the last 4 years of my life... reminding me of all the goodbyes, all my friends, the guy I dated, my coworkers, & of course, my favorite event to cover, Balloon Fiesta. Most would see it as just a silly balloon event but these rallies were MY LIFE in ABQ. I covered as many events as I could -- from 15 balloons to 500 balloons. So sitting in the Weather Center in Austin and watching the burners & balloons through a little monitor in front of me was borderline emotional-torture. I jokingly (sort of) texted the morning met and told him it was like watching an ex-boyfriend move on with someone else. I was a heap of emotions (to say the least).
That day ended up being a LONG day at work as I had to stay late to turn a couple things for the later shows. Once I got in the car to leave... I cried... the entire way home. It had nothing to do with the morning guy (he did a really good job out there) or even the festival itself. It was more of I had just spent a whole morning being flooded with reminders of the hard goodbyes I had to say when leaving ABQ. I was having one of those "what have I done", "did I do the right thing", "did I mess up" life conversations in my head.
Fast forward to this morning, I made the 30 minute drive to Kyle, Texas for said festival that sparked Friday's breakdown. I was tired after having only gotten 5 hours of sleep after working nights last night... but I knew I had to go. I parked at the high school, took the park & ride to the field and sat in the grass & enjoyed the mass ascension. There were a couple minutes of sadness... but overall, I was happy. I was happy to be there, I was happy to see some of the special shape balloons that I had seen every year at Fiesta, and I was happy to have a little bit of ABQ in Austin.
Once I got home, I had a much-needed "come to Jesus" moment.
I reminded myself:
-- I'm supposed to be here
-- God put me here on purpose
-- it's okay to be sad about the closing of a life chapter
-- and it's also okay to make new memories in this *new chapter
I knew I had to change my perspective from "this is who I was in ABQ".... to "this is something I can continue here in Austin". A few more tears and a container of french fries later... I finally convinced myself that it would all be okay.
I stack this up to be no more than a growing pain... (or a "moving pain" if you will). Change is hard... goodbyes are tough... and starting over is a process. But making the drive to the festival & seeing it all in person was the reminder I needed to get over this mini-meltdown. (I even ran into the media gal to talk about being involved in the event next year!)
It's all a part of the process... and I know that the "ups" I've experienced in the last 1.5 months far outweigh the "downs". But 27 years old and I'm still crying when my balloon floats away?!... come on, Currie.