Duchess Digest: The Last Frontier

By Jill Brown

Jill Brown in Alaska Five years ago, I found myself at a cross-roads. I was twenty-six years old, married and just recently graduated from college. I had always wanted a career and a family. My husband would always say to me, “Jill, you can have it all – you just usually don’t get to have it all at once.”

We decided to separate and not wanting to divorce in the small town of Park City, I needed some sun and anonymity. So, I moved to Los Angeles.

I was young(er), and felt sure that the difficult decision would result in the immediate manifestation of my dreams all coming true asap. After all, I’d been through so much! Wide-eyed and hopeful, I stepped out of my U-haul and onto L.A.  grass to start my new life…

This summer, sitting in gridlock traffic on the 405 in L.A., my phone rang. It was a friend, one I’d known since my childhood growing up in Alaska. As we talked, I gave him “advice” that he didn’t ask for, and that I wasn’t qualified to give. As I snapped my “advice” at him he said, “You know, I liked you a lot better when you were nice.”

He wasn’t being sarcastic. He wasn’t being a jerk. He was just being a friend. And in that moment I realized, I was in peril. I had lost sight of who I was. I had made leaps and bounds with my career, and was miraculously blessed enough to meet a few great friends over the years, but at what cost? I had become cynical, mean and short tempered. I finally realized that I was close to being the complete opposite of what I moved there to become.

So I resolved there in my car to shift my perspective and to get the help I needed. To be careful about where I was going next and why I was going there. To be realistic about my shortcomings. A fresh start is all well and good, but if I was the same ugly person on the inside, it wouldn’t matter what I did or where I went on the outside. I called a therapist the next day, I adopted a spiritual practice that worked for me and like magic, within five weeks, I had a call for a job offer.  And I took it.

And so here I am, on another journey, but back where my life really began. I never would’ve imagined that I’d be here but I have returned home, to Alaska.

Jill BrownJill Brown is an Anchorage, Alaska based writer and blogger. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to sharing the ups and downs of life in Alaska. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: http://theduchessguide.com/

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