How It Feels To Leave A Life Behind

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Since high school, I have been saying that I am moving to California. First it was for college. College came and I didn’t make the leap for a few different reasons. I told myself it was okay because I would get the opportunity again when I apply for master’s degree. When application time approached, I visited schools such as UCLA and USC with my grandparents. Simultaneously, I applied for jobs at home. I’m not sure why I did that if I knew I wanted to move, but I did. I got offered a job working for the state of Connecticut and took it. I figured I would work a couple years, save money,  have the job help pay for school in CT, and then make the move. Two years was quickly approaching at my job and my masters was not completed and there was no plan to move.

I was torn between wanting stability and wanting adventure. I couldn’t tell if I would be okay leaving my family behind and starting over. I didn’t know if I should be content and appreciative of the career I had and all the benefits that came with it.

Ultimately, I chose adventure and this is what it felt like to leave.

 

The hardest parts of my decision, by far, was the acceptance of leaving my family and friends. I come from a big, crazy, and loving family. My mother was young and a single mom when she had me. We lived in my grandparents’ house with her younger brother and sister.

My grandfather drove me to and from school everyday. It was convenient for him since he was also the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math teacher at my school. He was also my softball coach so it was easy to take me along to practive and games after school.

When my mom and I moved into an apartment, it was less than 10 minutes away from my grandparents. Even after I graduated from his school and went on to high school, he still came to the apartment every morning to bring me and my friend to school.

The house that my mother and I eventually moved into when I was in high school, was across the street from my grandparents. She was also the social worker at my high school.

My extended family, such as my grandparents’ brothers and sisters were around me often. My bestfriend lived a street over and I could walk to her house whenever I wanted.

When I went to college, I lived in a dorm, but made sure to come home often to have dinner. I spent many weekends at home. After college, I moved back home.

When I decided to move across country, it hurt to know that I was going to miss big days with these people. I won’t be at birthdays, taco night at my best friend’s house, and every holiday besides Christmas. I felt bad that I wouldn’t be able to be there for my friends when they needed a night out. I felt bad that my godson was going to grow up and not see me all the time.

One might argue that there is FaceTime, phone calls, Skype, texting, snapchat, Instagram, and every other platform that we use to keep up connected. Although I apprecaite those things, I think we all know that it isn’t the same. There is also a three hour time difference, people work, and people make plans that don’t coincide with your available time.

At first it all sounded so negative, but here is the positive. Everybody that is important in my life, wants me to be happy. They want me to get the adventure that I’m seeking. They want me to be successful. They will find a way to make our relationship stay close. Friends and family are there for you even when it is not convenient.

It is inevitable that I will give up things that are important to me, but there are also gains.  I will explore a new state with new opportunities. I will meet new people and make different connections. I will become more independent. I will see and do things that I wouldn’t have done if I never left home.

Home will always be there. If I compeltely fail and fall on my face after this move, I can always go home (fingers crossed that isn’t the case). Someday I may even chose to go home because I have gotten everything I needed out of this journey. My friends and family will be there when I do. Regardless of what happens, my relationships will be okay. Love knows no distance.

 

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