I always felt like, to some extent, I was suffocating. Slowly but surely…and that there was a countdown to how much time I had left before I finally collapsed. I felt like that for 18 years.
Stuck in a small town surrounded by big, beautiful hills that always seemed to be getting closer…the only way out being a winding highway packed with toll booths - a tunnel built into a mountain as the final stretch before you could cross the state line.
My worst fear was that the tunnel would one day collapse and there would be no way out. I had that nightmare for years. Sometimes, even now, it comes back to me.
I always knew I needed to break away from what my family had done for years and find a new place to call home. I always knew there was something much bigger out there waiting for me. I always knew I had to leave in order to become the woman I wanted to be.
Because, the truth is…I felt small, insignificant, and limited. I felt restricted. I felt like the only way to get the most out of life was to go far beyond those state lines and soak up as much information about the world as possible.
You see, your vision becomes clouded when the people you love have settled somewhere for so long. You think that what you see is all there is to life. You don’t seek a way out. And you don’t want to, because why would you leave the only thing that’s familiar to you? It feels safe. It feels comfortable. It feels natural.
To live the life we’ve always wanted to live, we must be willing to do things we never thought we could do.
The scariest thing I ever did was move to a new city where I didn’t know anyone to start a new life.
And it’s also the best decision I ever made.
photo by Jackie Hallinan
Tori Talks was created to inspire people to become the most authentic and empowered versions of themselves - a space where personal experiences, tips, and tidbits guide others to live strong, grounded, and powerful lives.