I’m not brave, and I’m not stupid. I’m scared and that’s okay.
As I write this I’m currently sitting at a coffee shop in Malibu. It feels so silly to type those words out as I think about how much can change in just a couple of months. Less than a month ago I was stressing out in Michigan only dreaming about breathing in this Pacific air.
Moving to a place with little to nothing is a huge transition and there is really no great way to prepare for it. You will be lonely, you will be scared, and you will have to adjust to a completely new way of living.
There’s just no getting around that.
When you follow your dreams and move to a place for no other reason than you know it’s what you need to do, people won’t understand. Not everyone will be able to wrap their heads around the idea and a common and unintentional response is negativity. Sometimes this happens because they never had the courage to move themselves and sometimes it’s just because everyone has different dreams. No two people have the exact idea of the perfect way to live life.
However, for some people, myself included, there comes a time in life when you know that you need to do something drastic to make a positive change in your life. You need to do it only for yourself and no one else. The reason people feel the need to leave is to start fresh and take a chance on themselves.
I thought I would feel a number of ways when I left. I thought I would cry, have doubts, be anxious. When I got in the car for my 3-day drive to Los Angeles I didn’t feel any of those ways. I felt healthy. I felt like I was doing something I should have done a long time ago. I felt natural.
The timing is never going to be perfect to leave. There are, however, easier times to leave than others. I did not have a job lined up when I left and I got a lot of heat for it. Mostly from family. These concerns stem from love which is easy to forget. In the midst of all your planning and dream building you’ll start to feel a way that only other people can plant in your brain:
Doubt is the last thing you want to be feeling before a life change like this.
This is where friendship plays its role. You knew it would be difficult, but you may begin to feel isolated. Friends are the insulation that you need. As my move got closer and the goodbyes got harder my friends really stepped up and let me know that what I was doing was right for me. They assured me that as painful as leaving was going to be, staying would be the most detrimental.
It’s not that they would be disappointed in me if I gave up and stayed; they were going to do everything possible to make sure that I felt secure enough to pack my bags and leave. Staying would mean I gave in to what was easy and leaving would mean that I was doing something challenging because I know it’s the right move for me at this time.
My fears weren’t the same as the people around me. My fear is my motivation. I was scared to leave the safe life I had in Michigan and more scared to know how uncertain the most trivial parts of my future were going to be in California, but I was TERRIFIED of staying. Not leaving became my biggest fear and my most relentless nightmare.
A big comment that I keep hearing is how brave I must be to pick up and move away. I’m not brave, I’m scared. My view switched from “how happy will I be if I go?” to “how miserable will I be if I stay?”. That realization made the difference. I knew that if I stayed then all I would have is wonder. What could have been if I had taken a chance on myself? What would have happened if I believed in myself even a little bit? THOSE are the thoughts that haunted me. I was worried about getting money for rent, yeah, but I was terrified of being unhappy because I was too scared to believe that I could do it.
The result? Moving was liberating.
The road trip lent a lot of time for self-evaluation. Every day became a new wave of triumph. Stopping to climb in the Rocky Mountains, driving through the red painted deserts of Utah, having bird-sized bugs splash against my windshield in Colorado. I could only think that THIS is how graduation is supposed to feel. A new chapter and fresh view on life.
This journey of my life has definitely been my favorite, and it’s only because I knew I could do it.
This kind of post is different for me but has anyone else made a big move? Let me know if this is how you felt when you were moving or if you’re thinking of moving yourself!