Alternate titles to this post include:
Say Hello to Lauren’s Anxiety!
Holding Readers Captive While I Panic About My Life Choices
Join Me on a Compelling Journey of Pre-Move Jitters
Mostly, I’m excited to quit my job, start school and move halfway across the country on my own… mostly. Still, this is a huge life change that’s happening in a month and a half. Though I’ve done huge moves before (NC to MA, MA to TX), I always had Tim with me to help. He was the fearless leader in all those life changes — the guy who drove the massive Uhaul 20 hours without complaining. The one who always reminded me that I was anxious and worried about things because I hate change, but everything was going to work out great in the end.
Right now, I’m trying to be my own moving cheerleader… but it’s not easy.
There are a list of things I’m really excited about, and I’ll share that later this week. Right now though, I feel the need to voice what I’m concerned about. My hope is that a year from now, I’ll reference this post and say Look how I overcame those fears and am being a badass writer now! instead of potentially curled up in a fetal position surrounded by a stack of critiques and regretting all of my life choices.
Today, a month and a half out from changing my life, these are my big fears. Some silly, some not.
I’m Leaving a Huge Support Network
California is not going to be totally friendless, thanks to a mix of my old friends that live within an hour of my new home, blogger friends I can’t wait to meet and what I’m sure will be a really neat mix of people I’ll be going to school with. Still, I can’t help but feel like I’m walking away from a good thing. I’ve never had a better social network than I do here in Texas, even in my home state of NC. Any weekend (or honestly even a work night) that passes, I can pick up my phone and find somebody who wants to hang out with me. If you don’t know any other life than that, consider yourself lucky. When I lived in MA, Tim and I were so lonely for friends. We had a hard time meeting others and connecting in that frozen land, and I would not have been able to bear the loneliness if it weren’t for him. If CA ends up being similar to MA in terms of friends and a social scene, I’m not sure what I’m going to do on my own.
I’m Going to Have to Use a Laundrymat
I’ll be the first to tell you that I’ve lived a pretty damn comfortable life thus far. Growing up upper middle class, and living close enough to home during college 1.0 to do laundry at my parents mean that I have never known the magic of schlepping your clothes around for cleaning. Is this an absolutely ridiculous thing to be worried about? Yes, yes it is. Tim always said I only showed my blueblood snobby side to him when I complained about taking the bus (terrible) and insisted we have a washer/dryer in every place we ever lived. Now with a bare bones budget in CA, I had to forego my W/D hookup dreams. I know a few of you are snickering right now, and I don’t blame you. When it comes to washing clothes, I’m a bit of a princess.
I Don’t Have Dog Care or a Vet There
Right now, I’m super spoiled when it comes to my canine furbabies. With (formerly) two roommates, I had plenty of people available to watch the dogs when I was out of town. Also, my small animal vet is just the best. He’s a rare mix of reasonably priced and thorough with my dogs. Now that Eliot is reading the later years of his life, I’m going to be needing a rational vet more than ever before. Also, I hope to take advantage of a lot of micro trips and traveling during my fairly flexible school schedule, but won’t have financial means to pay for a lot of expensive dog boarding or sitter visits.
I’m Uprooting Simon From his Happy Place
My horse is so happy where he lives right now, and always has been. Currently, he’s fat and sleek and enjoying 14+ hours of turnout a day. He has a best friend he lives with that results in only the occasional, minor bite mark and he has a half lease that tremendously helps me with bills. My trainer loves him and understands his silly little brain’s high maintenance needs. Though I will be taking my time to find the perfect, budget friendly place for him in CA, I wonder if I’m being selfish taking him with me. It’s going to be a huge financial hit that I can’t really afford without dipping into savings, and no matter how great of a place I find, I know that CA will be a huge adjustment for him. I hope the answer here is just taking my time and putting his needs first, because I’m not sure I can handle two years without being able to go sit on my nerd horse or lay my cheek on his shoulder after a tough day.
I Feel Like I’m Being Irresponsible
This is something I struggle with, even if it doesn’t show at times. Do I regret making the decision to quit my lucrative career and go to school? On the eve of everything, I honestly don’t. I feel like if I didn’t take this chance, I’d always regret it. Still, there’s a voice in the back of my head that is loud and is yelling to me about how much money I’ll waste on this little adventure. Even though school is paid for (thank you Fellowship and UC school system), relocating to and existing in an expensive state is not cheap. I can’t shake the feeling that walking away from financial security to try my hands at writing, an extremely unstable and unprofitable field, is bat shit crazy. I repeat to myself on the daily that nothing is final, and after my degree I can always come back to the tech world if I please… but this is a huge risk. I hope it pays off in fulfillment, some level of success via publishing or some other too-early-to-be-defined kind of way. I really do.
I’m Stepping Into a Bigger Pond
Please forgive me if this last bit is overly arrogant, because I don’t mean it to be so… but I’ve always been pretty good at writing. Not always the best, but towards the top of the class. I’ve worked my ass off to win awards or get little recognition here or there, and I like that I’m considered pretty good. In my life, I don’t need to be amazing at riding or the most pretty or the funniest, but I need to be good at writing. It’s something that defines me, and I’m about to go to an amazing program where every person attending feels the exact same way. The talent in these MFA programs is thick. Everyone is used to being the best of their class, and everyone busted ass to get to the same place. I’m terrified of being swallowed up and finding out that I’m not as good as I thought I was.
So there it is — the honest, no thrills Oh shit post before my move. If you think I’m extremely negative, come back in a few days to read the other side of things. Life is always a balance of pros and cons, hits and misses. This plight to California will be no different.