I should preface this post by saying that I’ve never lived outside of my family home. I grew up, went to college and survived the first half of my twenties – all while living in the same house I grew up in. There were always reasons for not making the leap into LA: I didn’t make enough money, my boyfriend didn’t live there, my job was too close…all excuses, really.
Since I’ve been single, I’ve entertained the idea of moving out multiple times. I even went so far as to looking at multiple apartments in the city. Then, my job announced that they were relocating…to Downtown Los Angeles. I wasn’t able to make excuses anymore.
After the move, I commuted for the first month on the train, two hours each way. And then I moved out.
First things first. I’ve never been more stressed out in my life.
I cried on the way to my car after work today. Uncontrollable tears literally streaming down my face out of nowhere. One second I was on the metro reading a book and the next, I was apologizing to some woman about a sob that just came out of me. I had a so-so day at work and I just think all these unresolved feelings about leaving the nest, lack of income and a serious lifestyle change all caught up with me. I made the two block walk, crying the entire way.
I called my mom as soon as I got to the car and she told me it was just an anxiety attack. She told me to take deep breaths; to calm down. She reminded me that I made more and am in a better position than a lot of people in this world, and that I’ll manage. I know she’s right. But I think it just occurred to me, on that short walk to my car, that I can’t really make excuses for why I “can’t” any more. This is it.
I thought I’d be able to handle this, no problem. Over the past few years, I was barely home as it was. From weekend getaways, to spending hours in the car commuting to and from work – I easily mainly spent my time at home asleep. During the moving process, I was almost surprised at how easy it was to disconnect and separate. I didn’t cry. I didn’t freak out. I just moved my stuff and that was that. And now here I am crying my eyes out on Cahuenga at 6pm on a Wednesday.
Since I really started investing time into this blog, I’ve looked at it as an opportunity to analyze my own psyche. I want to break myself down and figure out what’s going on inside my head – so that I can actually grow and learn from my experiences (plus, it’s cheaper than a therapist).
Initially, it went from being a “I AM SINGLE, HEAR ME ROAR” kind of thing – to me blabbing about my feelings on whatever topic was in my head for the day. These days, it has become the occasional opportunity to rip myself apart so that way I can really digest how to put the pieces of myself back together.
How would I break down this specific life experience? I’m scared. I’m stressed. I’m nervous. I don’t have that same safety net that I spent 26 years taking for granted anymore. I don’t have the security blanket that is my family/support system at an arm’s length. Granted, they’re only forty minutes away – but as someone who has become so accustomed to them being there, this is a very weird transition. And, almost comically, a transition that a lot of millennials are having to go through these days.
My new thing, whenever I feel like flying the coop is almost too much to handle, is I close my eyes and think of my friends who have all done this before and who are all slaying it on their own. I think of my sister, who had to constantly be the one who said good-bye whenever she left for school. I think of my childhood best friend who moved states away and, on top of that, has to deal with the stress of working towards her PHD. I think of my dear friend Jackie, who packed up her car and never looked back and who, when I moved, told me to reach out to her whenever I felt like I was homesick. My friends have been my role models throughout this process – and they (along with my weirdly amazing parents) are singlehandedly the ones who are getting me through this life change in one piece.
I almost feel silly writing about this. Like I said to my friend on the phone tonight, “I’m sitting here crying about something that you’ve been doing for years.” And he just laughed and said it was okay. That it would BE okay. And he reminded me that as stressed as I’m feeling right now, I’ll learn how to adjust. (Sidenote: I got stupid lucky when it comes to people.)
Ultimately, I keep reminding myself that life is better. I get to experience the city that I love on a daily basis. I get to experience supporting myself for the first time and as scared shitless as I am about it, there’s a feeling of exhilaration that comes with it as well. That idea that you’re totally independent and that anything can happen.
We’re all human and we all suffer through the same emotions – the same transitions (albeit, our experiences all vary). We all have to learn how to deal with issues as they come our way. And like I mentioned earlier, similarly to how this blog has functioned for me, you have to have the breakdowns in order to push yourself forward into something bigger and better.
So bring on the breakdowns. Bring on the uncontrollable tears on the sidewalk. Bring on adulting and anxiety and all of the unanswered fears that I have about this next chapter of my life. Bring it all on. I can handle it. And even if I fall, there are plenty of people who are there to help pick me up again. Home is where the heart is, after all, and my god, do my people have my heart.