I guess I am moving to Florida…
Three years ago, I graduated college and was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. At 21 years old, I was unsure, impulsive, and lusted for a new adventure in an unfamiliar place. During my senior year, I was grad school browsing and had a school in Florida as a plan C school. Needless to say, plan C was put into action and after a rough summer trying to recover from an ACL/meniscus surgery, I packed my bags and moved to Florida.
With the move to Florida, I started a new chapter in life. During my first year of grad school, I had my first taste of freedom; experienced my first heartbreak, gained new friendships, embraced diverse new cultures, had successes and failures, and realized how oppressed I felt as a first generation Asian American. That first year by myself left me confused and unsure. I was left with this lingering feeling of trying to fit a mold and meeting the expectations of my parents.
I was in a long-term relationship throughout high school and college so I had never really been “alone”. Somewhere along the way, I had lost sight of what I wanted and who I was as an individual. The first year of grad school was hectic. I had grown close to a group of people at school and that helped with the transition in a new place. A semester came and gone and at the beginning of the spring semester, I met Daniel.
I told myself I wouldn’t rush into any new relationships since I was so busy with school but there was something different about Daniel. He was quiet compared to my constant yapping. He is what you would call an actual gamer compared to my loosely defined gamer self (aka everything Super Mario Bros). He is sensible versus my impulsive spontaneity. Basically what I am trying to say is that we are total opposites and I didn’t think we would work but I was totally wrong!
Everything happened so fast and before I knew it, there I was going to Friday pizza nights at his parent’s house every week and joining in on family gatherings. You know how I said he is sensible? Maybe because he is a therapist but he was able to knock some sense into my emotional-self. With his encouragement and support, I was able to make small changes in my life. I became more independent, got a job, and continued grad school full-time. The best feeling was being able to gain a little bit of control over my own life rather than having it mapped out for me. What was even more humbling was being able to meet and become close to so many kind, generous, and loving people.
I was lucky enough to have such a supportive network at my first big girl job and was also fortunate enough to witness the love, kindness, and generosity of Daniel and his family. I am someone who feels deeply and the relationships I have created during my time in Florida will be cherished. I learned from women who have experienced the hardships of life and fruitions of their hard work, gained role models in my superiors, and developed so much love and admiration for people I never thought I would become close to.
I came to Florida unsure of myself and I guess it’s normal to feel lost at this age. I have this fear of missing out when I see friends, old classmates, and family getting engaged, settling down, and starting families. It makes me question whether what I am doing is “right” but I just have to accept that what is right for someone else might not be right for me and vice versa. There were times where I felt really unhappy and stagnant but I think without the unconditional support and sensible rational thinking from Daniel, I wouldn’t be where I am now. The ripple effects that have happened after meeting him have left me in tears of appreciation and joy. Thank you Daniel and to everyone in Florida who have given me nothing but love, kindness, support, and encouragement during our brief time together. For the first time in a long time, I feel a bit more at ease with myself, a bit more fearless, and more accepting of myself.
With this new upcoming chapter, I guess I am just still Finding Linh.
If you have made down this far, thank you for reading this long and personal post! I usually don’t get too personal with my private life but I think my time in Florida has left a positive impact that it wouldn’t feel right not to share!
Thank you again for reading! My new adventures will continue back in the wonderful Pacific Northwest!