I left my cubicle and moved to Washington almost exactly six months ago. I lived at Lakehouse in Redmond with Kim for three months, at Burning Man for two weeks, and then Central Washington with George for 2.5 months. What have I learned? How has this experience changed me?
It’s a lot to take in. I had big plans for my free time and lists of projects to accomplish as I was exiting the 9-5 grind, but found that what I really needed was a deep breath and space to run around outside. I sort of feel like a kid saying that. Or like a parent talking to a kid, I guess. You’re going to be fine, just go run around outside! I don’t mean that in a dismissive way, actually I feel more exasperated than anything that my takeaway is more something I’d forgotten than something new to learn.
In all of this upheaval of leaving my Bay Area life I think the healing for me was learning how to really trust myself again, which I think I’d lost track of. To trust that I can move to a new place, make new friends, discover new things, evolve my relationships, manage my time (sometimes), and be happy. Not all of these things at the same time, but a little bit here and there. I had to work up the nerve to leave my job and the Bay Area for almost a year before I actually did it. This move to California is going to be my third move in 6 months and I don’t feel scared. I know I can do it and choose to do it because I think it is the most fulfilling option for me right now. That feels good. For the first time in a loooonnnnng time I have an idea of what I want to do and don’t feel afraid to go for it.
Leaving is hard- I’m going to miss living with George in magical Central Washington where things just seem to click and every car ride is a beautiful adventure. But then how could you not love a place that puts a picture of a dog on a jetski on their travel guide? A DOG ON A JETSKI.
I’m moving to my hometown Paso Robles to become an apprentice glass artist and get to know my parents as adults. I’m sure I’ll have much more to say about this in future posts.
Right now I’m just happy that I took this plunge. When I reflect on the last six months I just start grinning. I’ve had a huge smile on my face the whole time I’ve been writing this post. I want to keep gushing about how much I loved living with Kim and picking summer blackberries in Seattle, or how liberating it feels to live by the river in the middle of nowhere and realize that I don’t need anything but the outdoors to feel fully alive and engaged. I feel so fortunate that I’ve had this opportunity and grateful to the people who helped make it possible. I don’t know how to capture in words what I feel. Maybe you already know this feeling? Maybe you are thinking about doing something new? Maybe you should go for it too? My only regret is how long I remained unhappy because I was too afraid to bail on something that wasn’t working for me.
What pushed me over the edge was a fortune cookie I got from the crack-ball restaurant I visited with Kim in Seattle when I was tentatively considering a plan to Do Something Else. I still carry this tiny slip of paper around in my wallet, because even though it is super cheesy, it was what I needed to hear for everything to click-
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”