“Making it” in a new city
Life is so crazy huh?
When I think back to a year ago, I feel like I’m in the same place, but also a completely different place.
As I sit here at the Red Bicycle coffee shop sipping a latte, writing while listening to Ben Howard, wondering where this crazy life is gonna bring me in my future, I realize I’ve been here before, last year. Not literally here, at Red Bicycle, but this time last year I was doing the exact same thing. I may have been at German Village Starbucks, and have changed from laptop to iPad, but I am still listening to Ben Howard pondering the same thing, with latte in hand.
I might be in the same place, sort of, but I am definitely not in the same place as I was a year ago. Last year I was searching for meaning in my own life, hoping to positively impact the world in some way (I’m still hoping for these things) but beyond that I was searching for opportunities beyond Columbus, Ohio. I had dreams and hopes I would spread my wings as an individual and see if I could “make it” in a new city.
I finally got the opportunity to move from Columbus to Nashville in September of this year. I quit a job I thought I was for sure done with, left an apartment I adored, sold most of my shit, (actually a very freeing experience) and moved.
When I arrived on September 18th I stepped out of my jam packed SUV took a deep breath, and thought to myself, now to the “making it” portion of the move.
The first few days were filled with seeing friends I had become acquainted with through Karen. Lots of dinners out, lots of wine, and lots of fun. It felt like a vacation. I was so happy.
Insert the start of work here.
When I started my job I realized very quickly it was not at all what I had signed up for. I was hoping my next professional position would be challenging and stimulating like my previous position which I held for over three years. I’ve been raised to be a hard worker, and I love it. The feeling of accomplishment after a good but challenging day of work is one I will never tire of. Having this job made me realize how much I actually liked my last job, a thought I never imagined. I missed my old bosses who I adored and my coworkers who over the years had become great friends.
As my days at said non challenging job wore on, I felt less and less on the track of “making it”. I was unmotivated, cranky, sluggish, and had no energy to meet new people or do anything fun. A few weeks of this went on before I realized, what did “making it” really mean to me? I had moved to a new city, (which I wanted for years) I was living with Karen again, I already had friends in Nashville, and I had the opportunity to go meet new people and make a new life for myself. I had accomplished so much of what I had hoped and prayed for, but I didn’t feel like I had “made it” at all, I was miserable.
Girl who is never satisfied, right? At least that’s how I felt. After some serious reflection and meditation I realized my happiness and my experience in Nashville were MY responsibility to take care of, and my responsibility only. My weeks had been spent waiting for happiness to fall in my lap. That’s not how it works. I knew better then this.
After kicking my own butt a bit, I decided to take control of my life in Nashville, and turn it for the better. With a sign off from my parents, (I’m too lucky they are so supportive) I quit my job that I hated, and decided to change my attitude completely. I needed to take some time for myself and also I needed to look for other job opportunities. Scariest decision ever to quit a job with no job lined up, but it was definitely the right one.
Between job searching hours, my life became everything I needed to soothe my post move anxieties. I asked kar to go on dinner date nights with me, (we have the best dates) which we hadn’t done since I moved, I could take barre classes during the day, I finally got our blog up, I could take a walk if I wanted, my days were my own. What I loved most was that I was free to post up at a coffee shop and read a book or write all day, my favorite things to do. The life I was living is one I hope to live sometime in the future.
Although I am back in the “real world” now with a new job, I am so thankful for the time I spent completely off. It was a retreat for my spirit and I’m much happier with my decision to move after having this time. Above all that, I’m happy I screwed the “making it” pressure I was putting on myself from the start. “Making it” in a new city doesn’t mean what I originally thought; immediate success in a budding career, having a bunch of new friends, crazy new social life, and a relationship out of a romance novel. That’s just unrealistic. “Making it” to me now means keeping your head above water after a huge life change. It means saying screw you to the safe decisions, even if that means unemployment, following your heart, and taking charge of your own happiness, it really is up to you to be happy or not!