365 Days in the Desert

Happy fall, everybody!

As of Labor Day Weekend, I’ve officially been living in El Paso for a full year. In some ways, I can’t believe a whole year has passed, but in other ways, I can. It has certainly been an interesting year and I haven’t spent this much time in the house since the 2020 lockdown, but this has been an incredible learning experience. It has given me a lot of time to gain clarity on things. For example, I learned that despite my natural introvertedness, I do have a desire to be around others and spend time with people regularly. More specifically, I learned that I thrive when I’m able to gain new experiences, get inspiration, and continue to open my mind, but only when access to these moments is not dependent on those around me. I need the freedom of choice. The biggest lesson I’m learning right now is not putting too much stock in the future. After the last (almost) three years, and this experience alone, there really is no point in planning so far ahead. I’m Type A, so I will always be a planner and I take immense joy in planning (especially travel and events), but as far as personal goals are concerned, I’m allowing myself some grace to just see where I land.

I have taken this time to hone in on certain, necessary skills as well:

  • Doing/maintaining my own hair
  • Skin care
  • Makeup
  • Cooking
  • Taking care of plants
  • Decluttering regularly
  • Financial planning

Not the most exciting list of skills, I know, but all of these things have reminded me of the significance of habits. I’m not necessarily ‘really good’ at any of these things (maybe skincare), but I feel I’ve become even more responsible and self-sufficient by regularly doing them. With fewer distractions–and less assistance–these are just some things I could not avoid or put off. I’m not really a “pick up and try something new” kind of person, but a lot of my routines and small tasks I enjoyed previously fell off for the majority of my time here. By having tasks that I have to do, I am pushed back in that direction of re-establishing routine. I have always seen myself as an independent person and it’s only become more apparent as I’ve strengthened these skills which is a fabulous revelation in my book! I wish it didn’t take this long in my journey to feel that motivation again, but better late than never.

We have decided to move back to Dallas when our lease is up in the spring. This year, our families expanded and we both have nieces now (twins for me!). We figured why not move back and be closer for those early milestone moments and also be available to help our siblings out when they need a little break. So with my final months in El Paso, I really want to make sure I’m taking advantage of the city in whatever way I can. There are a couple of activities this fall that I am already looking forward to. My goal with moving here was proving to myself that I could push myself outside of my comfort zone and have a new beginning. Maybe it didn’t pan out perfectly or even as I’d imagined, but I’m still proud of myself. Six months to go–better make the most of it!

xx, AE

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