This month marks my first anniversary living in Arizona, and I have never been happier.
I took a leap of faith, or love, when I packed my small amount of belongings into mismatched suitcases and begin a new adventure in another part of the country. I moved for opportunities, change, and health. That is what I originally said, but I now say that I moved for love; I am engaged and our wedding will be in January!
I lived on Long Island, New York in the same house since I was three years old until the fall of 2005 when I ventured to college eight hours away into the much colder weather. I have not been that much of a fan of snow; sure as a kid I loved it because of snow days and building something resembling a snowman, or trying to. But as my Dystonia surfaced, my tolerance decreased. The wind gusts, wind chill, ice, snow, smog, slush, and frigid temperatures made my bones ache incessantly. Winter kept on getting colder and more harsh than the year before; I dreaded it. I should mention that the extreme winters were matched to very humid summers. The middle ground of Fall and Spring were diminishing; and my favorite season is Fall. When the opportunity for me to move finally arose, I was anxious, but excited.
Yes, it is very hot now in Arizona! I am prepared every time I need to go out with a water bottle, sunscreen, and my sunglasses. With that being said, I take a trip to the store in the early morning or evening because then it is bearable. It is the desert, and it is summer (yes, even in September). But I look at it as a trade-off: the summer in Arizona is my version of winter in New York, just without the snow; staying indoors more often than I would like.
Most importantly, my Dystonia is more controlled now. Not only am I receiving plenty of Vitamin D, but my limbs are more flexible and I am not as achy. I am not as stressed because I think the sunshine greatly contributes to my level of happiness. And when I can manage my stress, I am also managing my Dystonia. Sure, there are other factors that combine to elevate my mood and decrease my stress, but the sun does a play a large role.
Sometimes taking an unexpected journey is just the right medicine.