The Way It Is, The Way It Was

A few weeks ago I drove across the state and rented a home. It is two hours away from my friends and family, in a city where I currently lack employment, and all I have are memories of the city as it was when I completed my undergrad in 2004. I’m terrified by this decision to move my small family so far away from everything that we know and love. I’m terrified my child will not adjust easily and be miserable. I’m terrified I’m going to fail and not end up getting my master’s degree.

It was by no means a snap decision. This has been floating around in my brain since 2004. It has taken 12 years, a failed relationship, a child, several service industry jobs, and a job that physically wears me to my fibers, to come to the conclusion that I would rather fail than continue to exist in comfort. My life is comfortable. I live in a nice apartment, a beautiful city on the shores of Lake Michigan, with great friends in close proximity. So what is this need to disrupt my entire life?

There is a characteristic trait I have that doesn’t allow me to be satisfied. I used to think of it as the Christmas syndrome, where you spend all this time waiting and hoping and being excited about the five minutes it takes to open presents. And then it’s over, and there’s this feeling of disappointment. It’s a super disenchanted way to view life; we prepare for the big events, they don’t live up to the hype so we move on to prepare for the next one. I no longer live this way, because all those little moments with my son, the books before bedtime and the way we snuggle on weekend mornings, how we make guacamole and pizza together, the way he grabs my hand when he needs a small sense of comfort and connection, these moments are amazing and as close to perfect as I have. I want to keep as many of them as possible, store these in my brain for the moments when all I can do is stare into space and try not to drink because fuck it all. I don’t want to be the type of person who knows the grass is all the same color but is still constantly trying to find something greener, but I am. I am that person. So, despite the fact I don’t take the small things for granted, it doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with the mundane and the stupid depressive feelings in my head. And all those stupid feelings of inadequacy.

Years ago, an old coworker called me nomadic, and I suppose there’s a bit of truth in that statement. After all, I’ve moved more times than I can count on four hands. I’ve lived in ten different cities, three different states, and moved twenty-two times. I think part of me wants to see and experience as much on this earth as I can before my time is up, and that’s battling the part that loves to be known and have those places like Cheers. I love knowing my librarians, the serves at my favorite diners, the bartenders at my bar. Yet, I want to meet people and have as many conversations with them as possible. So, I’m going for it, because I can’t not go for it. Next year, provided everything goes according to plan, I will be back in college, doing it the right way. I will be learning and forging connections and meeting people and showing my child that sometimes, you have to follow your dreams even if they put you so far out of your comfort zone it is terrifying. And exciting.

So, amidst all this political melodramatic backdrop, I’ve made a decision for me. For my family. I want  to be the best and strongest role model for my son, and this is definitely the right step.


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