“Why Florida?”

This week is probably not the best week to rub it in everyone’s face, as our hometown is struck with an artic ambush, about why we picked Florida but it just so happened that this blog was next up.

We come from a small-ish town in Indiana. I lived there my whole life, 22 years to be exact, and Leonard lived there for 8. I learned, I grew, and I bloomed there. I met amazing people (my husband for starters). I have tons of good (and some bad) memories there—sports, school, lake days, Chicago adventures, late night steak-n-shake or denny’s trips because it was the only thing open, cruising in my red Jeep with the top and doors off as well as blizzards in the Jeep (yikes), many hours spent laughing over sushi at furin, the list is endless.

But it was time to experience something new.

When we announced that we decided Tampa, Florida was going to be our new home it conveniently happened around the time hurricane Irma was making its way around. Everyone loved shooting our exciting news down with “Why Florida? What about the hurricane? Hopefully Tampa will be rebuilt by the time you move there. Why Florida? Why Florida? Why Florida?!”

This blog is for anyone who wants to do something that is scary, for anyone who wants to step out of their comfort zone, or for anyone who needs that little extra push.

Our response– Why not Florida?

Besides the gorgeous weather and the endless things to do (do I really need to say more?)

We both made huge moves in our careers! Leonard works in the ICU at the #3 hospital in the area and I work in the ER at a level one trauma center.

We go to a gym where top athletes come to train, like Mr. USA! It’s Ben Pakulski’s gym, a superhuman who has calves bigger than my quad, who won Mr. Canada, competed in the Mr. Olympia and the Arnold Classic. We are constantly being pushed, motivated, and educated on fitness and nutrition!

We paid off a lot of debt putting us in a position from renting our first apartment to buying our first home! We set financial goals and we made it happen.

We are constantly trying new things, seeing new things and experiencing new things!

Did I mention the weather? Soft sandy beaches? Gorgeous sunsets? Good food? No snow? Well, all those reasons too!

Battling Fears:

Was is scary moving 1,000 miles away from everything and everyone you know? Absolutely. Did it hurt leaving people behind who mean the world to you? Excruciating. (I still see my best friend’s big green eyes filled with tears or hear my mother in laws voice as she says goodbye).

But this new adventure has been so good for us. We’ve gotten the chance to learn who we are, step out of our comfort zone, be more outgoing, take risks, make mistakes, learn from them, be adventurous, and learn how to rely solely on each other.

God, it was scary and I spent a lot of time praying and praying on it. But I’m so thankful He sent us in this direction and gave us the courage to take the leap.

Make Yourself Uncomfortable:

It was nice knowing where all the best restaurants were. It was comforting to know if I locked myself out and Leonard was at work, someone could rescue me. It was nice knowing where walmart was. It was easy talking to all my gym friends at Classics. It was simple deciding on Friday between Moods or Cagneys. It was safe feeling my friends were just a drive away.

But sometimes you have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations so you can grow. I don’t know how many sushi restaurants we’ve been to in search of the perfect one and we still haven’t found it but we won’t stop looking. I still only have like 3 gym friends, but it’s made me have to be more outgoing. I have to put pretty much everything into the GPS but I’m getting the hang of it! And sometimes there’s TOO many things to do on a Friday night that we can’t decide on what but that’s the awesome part! We are putting ourselves out there and trying new things. Isn’t that the whole point of life?

Be Brave:

I encourage all of you to be brave and break the limits of what you know or what comforts you. Don’t let other people’s fear be what stops you from living your life and experiencing new things. Quit thinking about what you’re giving up and start thinking about what you can gain.

What if we weren’t brave, and we listened to all the people who tried to fill us with fear and doubt? We would have missed out on a lot of awesome opportunities and experiences.

What Can You Do?

I get it, if ya’ll have jobs or family responsibilities that lock you into where you are, that’s totally fine! That doesn’t mean this doesn’t apply to you. That means change situations that you can!

Apply for the job you really want. Join the kickboxing class they have on Wednesday’s! Pick up a new hobbie! (I literally watched a YouTube video how to knit a scarf and headband for myself and then made a business out of it). Have coffee with someone from church. Do something that makes you uncomfortable. Let yourself try new things and grow from them.

The minute you let yourself be satisfied with being comfortable is the minute you stop actually living. Don’t let other people’s opinions be what stops you from trying something new, taking a risk, applying for the job, moving across the country, starting a blog, because at the end of the day, if what you’re doing is different from what is “cool”, the norm, or simply different from what others are doing, someone will always say, “Why ______?”

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