Hi. I’m Nicole. I’m a 25 year old software developer who loves to travel and is passionate about yoga, happiness, health, fitness, and having as much fun as I possibly can, as often as I can. If it sounds like I’ve got things figured out, I didn’t always, and still don’t sometimes.
My journey to get to where I am now was a long one, and it’s not even close to being over. It all really started when I learned how to be alone.
Here’s my story so far, in a nutshell:
Five-ish years ago, I was in a very different place, and I was a very different person. I was working minimum wage, living off food stamps, dropping out of school halfway through almost every semester because I couldn’t afford to cut back my work hours enough to be able to keep up with schoolwork and studying. I was that girl. Who gave up going to school and doing something for her future to “be independent,” or so I thought.
I went on like this for a few years. Wondering if I’d ever get past the point of working minimum wage or serving tables, living paycheck to paycheck with not much room for fun in my life.
I knew I could ask my parents for help if I really needed it, and ended up doing so later after a breakup that turned my life upside down (at least that’s what I thought at the time, gotta love dramatic 21 year olds) but I didn’t want to disappoint them. I wasn’t supposed to need them anymore.
But around the time of the breakup was the time that was really the turning point for me. I was back in school, after dropping out way too many times, this time for computer science. Finally finding something I liked. After changing my major 9 times, yes 9, this was it. I felt that this major could take me somewhere. There were a lot of majors I felt like I would have been good at, but nothing that I felt was truly “me.” Besides, it was the career path my mom chose, and I would love to follow in her footsteps and someday be as successful as her.
Living alone was my real turning point…
When that breakup hit me, it hit me hard. It’s funny how when you are young and haven’t had much time alone to discover yourself and what you want out of life, losing a relationship can feel like the end of the world. I was convinced for the longest time I’d never get over it. I was living with him at the time, and relying on him a little financially (BAD IDEA but very generous of him) so I could finally focus on school.
How could I move out, afford a place on my own, and still stay in school? It was the same thing all over again. So I turned to my parents to help me make the decision to transfer schools and move closer to home.
I moved into an apartment about 20 minutes away from their house and this was the first time I truly lived alone. Just turned 22, no roommates, no boyfriend, barely any furniture, just me and my 2 cats.
I. Was. Terrified.
Around the same time, I came across the movie “The Secret” on Netflix. And it changed my life. As I learned more about the Law of Attraction and pursuing self development, the easier it was to push through. Things just kind of started turning around effortlessly. I turned my pain, worry, and self-pity into determination, self confidence, and positive thinking.
The girl who thought she would “always be like this” (depressed, chronically anxious, the works) just up and decided that wasn’t her anymore, and she didn’t need to be that way. It was a difficult road at times, but I was persistent with the idea that I could change. This was a new beginning for me.
Living alone was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I now lived alone and had the chance to create any future I wanted. For the first time in my life all I had was myself and my thoughts. This is when I learned how crucial it is to live alone at some point in your life. (preferably in your early 20’s) You learn a lot about yourself, but more importantly you learn to live life fully for yourself, not letting your actions or happiness be affected by anyone else. There is no one to hold you back from accomplishing your goals or chasing your dreams. There is just you, and everything is up to you.
I learned to be alone, and to LIKE being alone. I learned to enjoy my own company, and create my own happiness.
I learned how to do whatever the f$@ck I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to, without asking anyone permission. My life was mine and only mine. I could do, say, and become whatever I wanted.
For a girl who thought I was doomed with a life full of depression and anxiety, taking responsibility for my life, my thoughts, and my happiness was a big step. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to live alone at such a critical point in my life, because it forced me to take control of these things. My life changed so much in the next few years, that if you told 21 or even 22 year old Nicole, she probably wouldn’t believe it.
Within the next year alone, by 23rd birthday, I:
- Finished school
- Moved into my dream warehouse loft style apartment, downtown Minneapolis (no joke, it was literally the same apartment building on my “dream home” Pinterest board and I had completely forgotten about it)
- Got a pretty sweet software development job BEFORE I graduated college.
- Felt more powerful and in control of my life and my happiness than I could have ever imagined.
And it just got better and better from there. I quickly learned that despite my old high school “life sucks and then you die” motto, life is pretty sweet. You really can do anything you set your mind to.
And that’s where my story continues.
I’m here to share my journey to getting what I really want (and deserve) out of life, and sharing the knowledge I have gained and lessons I’ve learned on the way. Life is always going to have ups and downs, and throw you some wicked surprises. But how you handle them and choose to move forward, is what really matters.
Stay tuned 🙂
Teddy Westside *
You forgot to mention your classmate, Teddy Westwide.