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This was a good idea
May 7, 2013 - Carrie Olson
It’s approaching the nine-month date since I moved to the East Coast. I didn’t think the time would fly like it did, but it did. And although the lack of space sometimes is enough to make me want to lose my mind, I’m glad I did this. Oh, and not just for the abundance of street food or graffiti, no, the location wasn’t super important. (Okay, who am I kidding? NYC was kind of an important factor to the equation.)
From many of my favorite authors, they have said this about their trials and tribulations: Move away from home. At least once in your life.
Of course, this isn’t ideal for everybody. For me, though, it was pretty necessary. Not for writing, but for me. I’m a person who could dish out big advice to anyone and everyone through my columns. I’m someone who could say something but do the complete opposite the next day. Don't gossip, but I do it all the time. Don't hold grudges, but I will hold a giant one. It seemed like a never-ending recurring cycle.
I was making decisions and then would take them back. Half-heartedly never knowing what I wanted, whom I wanted, or who I was. Should I go back to school? Should I be in this career? And the what ifs. Maybe I was meant to be in a relationship with this person. Or perhaps I was meant to do this with my life. With no direction and no certainty for such a long time, it was time for a change.
There was a time in my adult life when I needed the cocoon of my parent’s home. I needed to feel protected and that I would be okay. But it’s damn hard to get out of that warm spot. So when this decision about moving to NYC loomed above my head, I had to stop listening to all the bull my head kept bouncing back and fourth. I couldn’t question it; it had to be a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. The whole process happened quickly. We bought plane tickets and on a weekend signed our apartment lease. Then it was getting the moving truck, paring down our belongings and packing the rest away. It seemed so hectic in the moment, but looking back, it all came together pretty fast.
I had to get out of my comfort zone at the same pace. Living with someone in a new place, trying to figure out transportation, just finding the direction to the grocery store – my focus was no longer on these fleeting thoughts that had always filled my head. There wasn’t any time. Instead, concrete questions had: Should I apply for this job? Is this item in my budget if I want to fly home for the holidays? And it seemed that the less attention I paid to the ‘what-ifs’ and half-hearted notions, the better off I was.
Moving away has made me grow up and be a little more centered. The decision forced me to grow up. No, I definitely am far from perfect and make mistakes on an everyday occurrence. But I’m definitely trying more. In doing so, I don’t give myself much time for the nonsense of life – the gossip, grudges, or petty judgements. And, I'm definitely not trying to dish out the advice like I used to ... because seriously, if I'm not taking it, who else should have to?
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