Not Your Typical Anniversary

Hello friends! I hope everyone had wonderful weekends! Mine was pretty good actually! The highlights:

  • Meeting everyone doing the Santa Shuffle at the running store this weekend
  • Doing my first sub-freezing run of the season (it was slow)
  • Drinking whiskey and watching a game of beer pong
  • Going to my first Bikram yoga class! (review coming in a couple weeks once I get the full experience – promise!)

You will have to bare with me today, as I will not be yammering about nutrition for the Food For Thought Sundays series. It will continue next week – double promise!

Today, December 5th, is actually a bit of an anniversary for me and I wanted to take pause to acknowledge it.

Exactly one year ago today, I worked my last shift at the radio station. It’s an important day for me because it was the beginning of so many changes and wonderful things that started happening in my life.

For those of you catching up, it’s good to know that I wasn’t always a personal trainer living in Toronto!

After getting a Journalism and Communications degree in the spring of ‘09, I accepted a full-time position as a radio reporter. I loved working at that radio station throughout university, loved the people, and in theory was the best job for me. But once I was there permanently, I got that gut feeling I was in the wrong place. My heart was pulling me in another direction and I quickly became miserable in the city I once loved as a college student.

After crying to my mother one night, she convinced to just set a date already and stick to it. That date was December 5th. I left the station’s doors with almost three years of great memories and learned experiences. I left what had defined me for so long. I had no idea what lied ahead. No clue what my future “career” would be or how I would make enough money to live.

I worked at a Starbucks for three weeks until I got offered an amazing job out of the blue at my old university.

Not even a week after I started this new job, my four-year relationship ended. I never blogged about it much, but it was another huge adjustment.

My university job was only a four-month contract. I loved it and it was the type of environment I could see myself being in for a long time. But I was still getting that pull. I knew I needed to get out of my small city and experience life elsewhere.

I made a decision I never thought possible, to move away from my home and family and come to Canada’s biggest city.

When my contract was up in April, I packed up my car and moved home for a month.

I’m not sure if my family knows it, but that month spent at home was hands down the best I’ve had in recent memory. A psychic once told my mom that her and I could grow old together, so it was imperative she get me out of the house or else I’d never leave!

So even though we both sobbed when I left, my mom and I knew I was off to live the life I was meant to. To experience, adventure, and act my age again.

That included a life-changing week in Banff, Alberta.


Followed by two weeks in Ottawa with my sister. We’ve now lived more years apart than together, but I feel like I left that trip with a much deeper sisterly bond.


Then, in July, I arrived to a Toronto heat wave.

Got a full-time job as a personal trainer where I am honestly blessed with the most amazing clients and space to work in.

Got a part-time job in a running store where I spend all day talking about running with runners. And eating candy.

I re-connected with university friends and met new friends through blogging.

I’m in a city that never sleeps. A constant hub of activity with never a dull moment.

I went to Chicago to meet 200 other healthy living bloggers.


I went to San Francisco to meet 400 other food bloggers.

In short, I’ve done things I never imagined possible from my little Fredericton bachelor apartment.

Leaving the radio station was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. It was more than a job to me. After so many years of hard work, it felt bizarre to just throw journalism away.

But I learned something very valuable that day, one year ago.

If you want something to change, you have to initiate it.

Happiness wasn’t going to fall into my lap. I had to make a lot of tough choices in order to find it. I just had the best year of my life, and none of it would have happened had I never had the guts to take that first step. Once I set that date, it put everything else into motion. It got the ball rolling. My life has been nothing but rich, fulfilling, and amazing ever since.

The best part is, a year into this adventure, and I know I still have more left :)

Pssst! This is your last chance! I’m doing a special giveaway tomorrow open ONLY to Facebook friends. Are you one yet?

Posted on December 5, 2010, in Lessons Learned and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Awesome post Susan! I love reading about your adventures. Keep taking risks and shaking the dust off.. it works really well for you!!!

  2. I loved reading your story! Glad you made the move that would make you happy:)

  3. I *LOVED* reading this… Basil is sitting on my lap, and we are smiling and happy now after reading this :)

    I have taken many risks in my life, and most have turned out to be insanely awesome experiences and outcomes…

    thanks for sharing <3

  4. Can’t wait to hear what you thought of Bikram :)

    I loved this post! SO TRUE! We can only change things for ourselves. And look at how wonderful this last year has been for you :)

  5. Happy Anniversary! You have come so far this past year (scratch that these past yearS since I started following you way back on “Trying for a Tri.”) Your really are an inspiration and motivation! I look forward to your blog every day! I also creepily pretend its Wednesday every time I eat waffles, which I blame on you as well =)

    Keep up the positivity and keep kicking ass. You really are the BEST!

    Nicole G

  6. aww, sweet story. and good for you! I went from being an anti-money laundering specialist in DC to a personal trainer in SoCal; I can identify with your journey a little bit! keep working on your own happiness, and you will be a greater blessing to your loved ones :)

  7. Happy New LIfeversary!

    Just goes to show you never know what will happen in life :D

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have experienced a lot of change myself over the last few years and it is good to know that other people are jumping in with both feet and taking chances too :)

  9. congrats on your amazing year! i feel like it’s gone soooo fast (reading about it, not living it of course) in one sense and in another, i feel like your job at starbux was a lifetime ago. and ive been rooting for you the whole time..and yes, making happiness a priority and choosing to be happy and choosing things not just waiting for luck/fate to intervene…so key!

  10. I’ve followed you along through all of this, but it was great reading a recap and remembering your journey.

    If you want something to change, you have to initiate it.

    That’s so true. WE keep waiting for our passion to find us. For that something that will make our life better.

    If we keep waiting for that, we will never find it. like you said, WE have to go out and grab it. Try new things.

  11. Love this post. And even more, I respect the courage it took to take a leap of faith in order to change your life for the better. Pretty gutsy but it sounds like it definitely paid off. Good for you.

  12. Awesome. I can’t believe it was a year ago! Where did it go? Kudos and keep loving life- you deserve it.

  13. You do have to change things yourself. That’s why I am leaving Texas for a while. I just can’t move on if I stay here and keep hating my research. Did you know that I was in a long relationship when I first moved to Texas? We ended up breaing up within a month of my moving. Then I jumped right into another relationship…talk about stress.
    I am glad you have had such a great year. Keep doing what you do and loving it!

    • Relationships are typically left off blogs because they concern another person, but being in one/leaving one has a HUGE impact on your life! Thankfully I am still friends with the “ex” and I’ve been so busy this past year I haven’t even had time to think about boys! Maybe 2011? :P

      • I am still friends with my ex, too. It was a mutual break up, and definitely the best decision for both. I actually miss him at times, because he was such a great friend. Relationships are fun and all, but there is something to be said about only having to think for one person…yourself!

  14. Congratulations on your year of living awesomely! It can be incredibly, sometimes, how much better life can be when we live a little dangerously. Decisions I’ve made which others have classified as crazy (moving to Germany for university, dropping out of said university, going to Tanzania,) have given me some of the best moments and set into motion some of the best experiences of my life.

    Keep going after the amazing life you deserve :)

  15. your life is pretty awesome, you’ve achieved a lot recently.

    big hugs

  16. It must have been a tough decision but I think it was the right one. Reading your posts in the last few months has been an inspiration to me as my life has been pretty similar leaving a job after 3 yrs, becoming a PT, moving to a new city with 2 new jobs. We could be experience twins! Well I haven’t had the holidays but the other stuff SNAP! I hope your future plans are just as exciting and rewarding for you x x

  17. Amazing post, and good for you for following your heart! I did the same thing (well not exactly- following my heart, that is) and couldn’t be happier. I’m so glad you moved here, well, because I met you! :) Can’t wait to see you again on the 12th!


  18. Your adventures are so fun to read about! I am so happy that things are working out so good for you! :)

  19. Way to take a leap of faith a year ago! Sounds like it’s been an amazing and rewarding ride.

  20. Christina (aka Mom)

    Great look at the past year. I must have remembered on some level it was the anniversary of “your change of plans” cause I did not sleep well last night and did a recap in my mind of everything you have gone through in the last 12 years. You have a done a stupendous job of navigating and balancing your life – so have your sisters – and I am very proud.

  21. Wow, it sounds like big and nice things have been happening in your life since you left that job. Great post, I enjoyed reading it! :)

  22. i could not have EVER said it better myself…if you want something you HAVE to go afterit, nothing is going to come to you, I have found that out too….when people complain about their job or something that they can do something about, I get really frustrated and tell them SO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    I am so happy that you are happy! :)

  23. ah! i loved this! i have loved being there to see all the changes youve been through.. you’ve really had so many adventures this past year.. i am glad i have known you throughout it all. you are honestly one of my favorite people in the world. really. also, i love that your mom and you are so close. it’s the best :)

  24. AMAZING! you inspire me to go after what i want, and i could not be more proud or happy for you for doing what makes YOU happy.

    love you,

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