It’s Not Supposed To Be Easy

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Winnie the Pooh

I have lived in San Diego, California for four years.

San Diego is neat.

Although I love my little city, I have decided it’s time to shake things up and move to Sydney, Australia in October 2017.

(Picture taken in August 2014)

To be honest, this move is causing a storm of emotions inside of me.

When I think about moving to Sydney I am filled with a tremendous amount of excitement. I can’t wait to get there, find a job, find an apartment, meet new people, and get settled into my Australian life. I dream about laying out on the breathtaking beaches, hiking around the magnificent Blue Mountains, being surrounded by the Australian accent, drinking the amazing coffee, and exploring that corner of the world. In fact, I’m so excited that if I start thinking about it at night I get so riled up I can’t sleep, like a little kid waiting for Santa.

Sorry to be a downer but I have to tell you the other side so I can make my point. 

When I drive around San Diego I think back to the 24 year old that moved here. I remember the girl who fumbled with her GPS while trying to figure out the plethora of highways and teeny tiny neighborhoods that make up San Diego. I reflect on all the times I awkwardly invited myself places and relied on yelp any time I wanted coffee, a smoothie, or some tacos. In just four short years San Diego has transformed into my home and the acquaintances I once awkwardly invited myself to hang out with have turned into my family. I can’t begin to explain the amount of love I have in my heart for my San Diego family. Everyone is so kind, genuine, and inspiring in their own unique way. This experience has shaped who I am as a person and has pointed me in the direction of who I want to be, what I want to do, and where I want to go.

When I think about leaving San Diego I can feel my heart start to break.

When I stop to think about how this chapter of my life is ending, a lump forms in my throat, tears start to fill my eyes, and a pit forms in my stomach. On the really emotional days I cry my eyes out. No part of me wants to leave this city or my friends. I am incredibly grateful for my life in San Diego.


To sum it up, I don’t want to leave but I can’t wait to go.


So what do I do now?

I push through and I go.

I go because that deep sadness is a sign of time well spent in my little San Diego home.

I go because that overwhelming excitement is a sign that moving to Australia is the right decision.

At the end of the day the passion I have for making my dream of moving to Australia a reality trumps the heartache I feel about leaving San Diego.

I’ve noticed that people tend to interpret emotions such as sadness, anxiety, and fear, as a sign that they shouldn’t go down a certain path, even if that path is one that will set their soul on fire with excitement. A rationalization begins to materialize that they shouldn’t follow their dreams because the journey may be difficult and at times painful.

If you find yourself right on the cusp of making a decision and you are feeling a storm of emotions brewing inside of you, remember this:

1. Emotions such as sadness, anger, and fear aren’t always indicative of a warning not to move forward. 

These emotions are a product of the tremendous amount of love and happiness you have built in your current chapter. They are present as a result of fully immersing yourself into whatever it may be: a city, friends, family, a project, career, etc. Take a moment to think back and imagine living through this chapter with a closed heart. Think about the relationships that would have never blossomed and the experiences that would have never unfolded if you didn’t give your heart and soul to your current chapter. You could have remained distant and then moved on easy peasy, but what good is that? Why even bother if you didn’t allow yourself to feel love and grow in your current chapter? The challenging emotions you feel are temporary and will inevitably fade. The happy memories will last a lifetime.

2. Life isn’t supposed to be a walk in the park. It’s designed to be challenging so that our souls can continue to learn and grow.

Take a deep breath.

Now think back to a time when you said “I would love to do that but…” What came after that “but”? Take a minute to seriously reflect on your narrative. If what came next was something along the lines of, “it would majorly disrupt my life and I don’t think I could handle it”, then this would be a great time to step back. If your narrative took the form of a wishy-washy excuse then it’s time to push through and take action.

If you are feeling called, you must go.

If your dreams are forming from a place deep within your soul, you must go.

If your dreams consume majority of your thoughts, you must go.

If you feel stuck and are constantly questioning what you’re doing with your life, you must go.

When difficult emotions arise as a result of the previous chapter ending, focus your energy on the excitement associated with the new chapter and appreciation for the time spent in the present, soon to be past chapter.

3. If you choose to move forward with your dreams, don’t ignore the challenging emotions. They won’t go away that easily.

Sorry, love that’s not how it works. Buried emotions will eventually creep back up and are significantly more difficult to deal with the second time around. Once you’re in the next chapter they’ll begin to take the form of “I should have.”

“I should have experienced this.”

“I should have told so and so I love them.”

It’s easier to feel the challenging emotions in the present chapter. It encourages you to make the most of your final days, to ensure there is no stone left unturned.

Allow yourself to feel it all and cry it out of you have to. Experience everything you can, hug your people tighter, and make sure they know how loved and appreciated they are.

4. Don’t wait until you’re ready. You’ll never be ready. 

Apologies for the brutal honesty but you’ll never be ready; that’s not how a life well-lived works. There will always be something holding you back. I have news for you: majority, if not all, of the wishy-washy excuses you come up with can be figured out if you put your mind to it and are relentless in your pursuit! If you wait until you’re ready you’ll never do it. You know where you need to go and the time is now! Not when x,y,z is complete, NOW!

As always, I am here for you. I want to hear all about your hopes, dreams, and struggles. You can reach out to me in the comment section of this post, Instagram (@annieoconnell_), or Facebook.

Keep pushing little darling, I believe in you!

Love & light,


Quick note: Of course, there are certain emotions or levels of emotions that would indicate you most certainly should not do something. Use your judgment, you know yourself better than anyone! 

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