trusting your gut: lauren leighton

The definition of gut. Answer numero uno is an obvious one: the stomach or belly. 

Number two (and the informal definition according to the world wide web) is personal courage and determination; toughness of character. 

What is a perfect marriage of the two? The action of following your gut. Combining that uncomfortable, yet valid, feeling your tummy tells you is scary, but right with those innate brain waves encouraging you to act accordingly. As I make tough decisions in my 20-something stage of life, my mother always asks, "What does your gut tell you?" I love and hate that question because it usually (more like mostly) reveals the answer. 

One specific time where I turned to my mother for advice was when I found myself extremely unhappy in New York City. I know. Most of you are probably reading this and thinking, "Unhappy in New York? Isn't that supposed to be like one of the coolest places to live and work?" Well yes, yes it is a cool place to live, just not for this girl. I found it to be the loneliest place on earth. Even though there are 8.337 million people in Manhattan, I constantly craved human interaction, big hugs, a warm touch. I had a super sweet gig at Oprah Magazine assisting the publisher (still miss her a lot), but that island just wasn't for me. 

I knew I had to make a change. I loved my job, but it wasn't enough to keep me locked up in a concrete cage, constantly confined by brick walls and stilettos. I had to make a change, therefore I followed my gut (thanks mom!) and packed up my 500 square foot studio apartment, one sweet pug and essentially two years of city life to move to Denver, Colorado. 

Why Denver you ask? I have always loved this place and it is where my brother, his wife and two babies live. There is nothing sweeter than family in my mind (and waking up to dry, crisp air and the Rocky Mountains as life's screensaver). Was I scared to pick up my life and move across the country? Absolutely. Did that stop me? No. I knew there was no way I could possibly be unhappier than I was, so why not just follow my gut to happiness?

I love it here in Colorado. I have made some incredible friends and can't believe I lived in such a personal slump for a full two years, but at the same time I am eternally grateful for those two years because they taught me a lot about myself. I will always have my New York to thank for helping me grow up (pretty fast!).


Read more of Lauren's posts on her blog, Borrowed Light