21 September 2014

on the other side - six days.

i keep feeling my wheels spinning on things that are pulling me down. on any guilt i have about leaving people behind. on that weird little broken-hearted spot i still carry around with me. on trying to keep a level head and not set my sights too high. on trying to be realistic. on never getting enough freaking sleep!

starting over always is a crazy combo of gratifying and freeing, and utterly terrifying. i'm not looking for some kind of total transformation, i'm just looking to be with my people. or, should i say, the rest of my people. because my friends & family back home are my people too.... i'm having a hard time explaining to friends at home why right now i'd rather be with my friends afar. it isn't about liking someone better or not being a good friend. it isn't about leaving people behind - how do i explain this?!

since january, when i secretly made the decision to move 2,500-3,000 miles away, i have found myself trying to be excited. my excitement has always felt bumped out of the way by something negative, which has made the whole experience less enjoyable than i'd hoped it would be. i think i had this lofty dream when i decided to move that i would be able to spend the next nine+ months planning and saving, without realizing just how much of a physical and emotional toll it would take on me.

the extra work i've done to make all of the money i've had to save. the decisions. the trying to answer the question, "why are you moving?" - over and over. you spend all of your time trying to get people to know you, to understand you - only to find out that the only one who knows & understands you is YOU. social media lets you spill every little ounce of yourself out into the world, and still people don't know you. some of your friends do, but even they can only dive in so deep. some of your friends are not really your friends at all.

people can say, "oh i'm so happy for you and your adventure". but i'm finding that words, while nice to hear at the time (i love the little pep talks!), are only comforting for so long. its the people who take the time to give support in other ways, who have helped me the most. who have given me a place to stay, who have planned get-togethers and who brought food to my going away party. who have given little tokens and candy and cards. who have taken the time to help me plan. who have been willing to put aside whatever else has been going on to put in the effort with me. it has not gone unappreciated.

i heard my dad tell my brother (in context of the two of us driving across the country), "you know none of this is about you." and he's right - its all about me. a selfish thing to do, to only talk about yourself for almost a whole year. but the entire time i've been talking about myself, all i could think about was how it would affect everyone around me. how it would change relationships and friendships and what people would think. all i could think about was who would be waiting on the other side, and who would care to see me go. 
"be willing to go alone sometimes. you don't need permission to grow.
not everyone who started with you will finish with you."
i've tried to stay present in my friends' lives, with all of their things going on - to be happy for them with good things and to help them sort through bad things. this has been a struggle for me, with so much of my own stuff on my mind. i've tried to help my family when needed - to listen to my mom when she has had a particularly bad day or week. even though i've been living back with my parents' for a month, i haven't been able to spend much time there. 

but, not once since i made the decision to move have i regretted it or felt like i was going to change my mind. not for a single second, even when the news was not well received. with six days until i pull out of the driveway and start on the drive, i still have not one little fleck of regret. you only get one life, and sometimes it takes a long time to figure out how to live it. 

i'm nervous about finding where to fit in. i'm nervous that my people won't really all be my people. i'm nervous that i'll hear "i told you so" before i'm ready, and i'm nervous that all of this time spent really getting to a solid and OKAY place with myself will have been in vain this time around. i'm worried that i'll make all of the same mistakes, just in a different location. (i picture it being a little bit like starting at a new school: people already have their close circles of friends, you're inevitably going to crush on the hott jerk/popular guy, and everyone is going to think your hair is weird.)

i have two more days at work. i'm going to miss my coworkers and friends - people i probably would never have come into contact with otherwise. i will not, however, miss my job. in the beginning it was easy to look past the type of work for the pay and benefits. towards the end it felt nearly impossible. moving forward, come job interview time, i need to remember that spending 40+ hours a week somewhere is a lot of hours. and even if the pay is pretty good, its not always worth it. this is not to say that i expect to land my dream job, i don't even know what that would be... but, make enough money to be comfortable if you can - and work somewhere you are comfortable, too. (never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.)

i'm looking forward to a winter where i can be outside and not be miserable. this is important to me. northern AZ will get a bit of snow, but it will melt quickly. we'll get chilly temps, but it will be nothing like maine. we will get seasons, but maybe not the four i'm used to. i'll miss the fall foliage and the fall farm fairs, but i'll get desert hiking and Sedona views. while i'm in CA, i'll get warmer temps and the beach if i want it! nightlife, if i want that too. 

i think both AZ and CA will pose totally different sets of obstacles for me. i'm not sure i'm ready for any of them. but, thats the whole point, right? i don't think (nor do i want) any of this will be empowering or life-affirming. i don't want to have to worry if i'm trying too hard or not trying hard enough. i have nobody to impress - my people like me just the way i am. if you don't like me the way i am, or maybe you don't have time to care about whats going on with me as i go through all of this, then i won't chase you. i don't have time for that. 

i'm lucky that 90% of the time, i can find comfort in the little things - my sewing machine, the photo of me with paramore, my camera, a good book or a new nailpolish. i can take these things with me anywhere. i can share them with anybody.

this week i have to: do laundry, finish up at work, return a couple things to the store, pick up travel supplies (h2o, snacks), clean out my car, get an oil change, finish up two sewing projects, finish PACKING!, go out to dinner with friends twice, apply for health insurance, figure out the glitch in my student loan forbearance, and say goodbye to everyone. six days til i leave for the other side.