When my month was over and I moved back into the house I shared with Dexter, we talked – and both agreed when wanted to make our relationship work. That lasted about three days when I realized I wasn’t supposed to be with Dexter. I had outgrown our relationship. And I decided to it was time to move on and move out.

The day I moved out, five of my best friends showed up along with my parents to help me. The wagons literally circled. And since I didn’t have a place to live, a friend who I had known less than a year gave me her condo and moved in with her boyfriend while I looked for a place. Being on my own those first few months wasn’t easy. It was like detox. I slept on the couch for three months just so I could have the feeling of the couch on my back. When you’ve fallen asleep for three years being spooned every night, a bed all to yourself can feel vacuous. Then when my friend and her boyfriend broke up and she needed to move back into the condo, I moved from friend to friend’s house, benefiting from the hospitality of those who generously extended it to me.

I started creating the life I wanted. And I stopped worrying about what anyone else thought. I stopped getting caught up in myself. What I didn’t like about my life I changed. Anytime I got a little down, I found someone who needed my help. I don’t really get down very much anymore.

Nothing in life is free. You have to earn it. And in order to earn, you have to be willing to receive nothing in return. And be content with that. It’s never about you and yet you have all the power.

Every challenge, every hardship has a purpose. It’s impossible to understand anything in the process of change – like trying to get your bearings in the middle of a cyclone. But if you’re constantly embracing change, doing those things that scare the shit out of you or make you uncomfortable, it helps to have faith and knowledge in something greater than you can possibly conceive.

So here’s to the next chapter. It scares the shit out of me.