How I uprooted my life
Everyone always posts about how they made it from A to B, but no one really tells you how they do it, unless you ask, of course.
This is how I uprooted my entire life, to start a new one, in a (somewhat) smart and strategic way. Not everyone will be in the situation I was in, I understand that, but maybe, you can apply some of this to yourself if you are a young twenty-something, or hell, fifty-something, looking to make a major change.
1. I dug deep to find my authenticity and truth.
For so long, I went back and forth and back and forth on what I wanted. Stay in Reno and get my MBA. Stay in Reno and get a dog. Stay in Reno and get an apartment. Move to Montana and open an event planning business. Move to San Francisco and work in tech. Move to Boston. Move to NYC in 2, 3, 5, 10 years.
You get it.
These plans were all great, however the one thing I was missing was stripping away my fear. Because, what I truly wanted, it was scary as shit. I had an amazing job, one where the people I worked with were incredible, my bosses were like family, I made a great income, and I was a Director at 24 years old. Everything was set, everything was easy.
Moving away from all of that good — into something unknown, well, it was scary as shit.
And I knew I was on my own.
So, I would make plans to stay, spend money on material items in search of that true happiness — only to feel a little more empty each time. I had dark moments as I searched for who I was and tried to suppress my inner heart that was telling me to fly.
I tried to stay put.
Once my dark days got bad enough, I realized that I needed to be honest with myself, no matter what that meant. Even if that meant I wanted to be a showgirl, even if that meant I wanted to move to Iowa.
I needed to be honest about what makes me truly truly happy.
Because I couldn't do it anymore.
I couldn't take on responsibilities trying to be who I thought I was supposed to be. I needed to do what I wanted to do — I needed to be who I was.
And so, I finally said it out loud. I wanted to move to the east coast. And I wanted to do so soon. Not in 2 years, not in 10. I wanted to do so now.
I wanted to fly.
And as scared as I was, as much as I knew I would be leaving my safe nest and going to a place where I would be told my work needs help and my speaking needs polished — I knew it was what I had to do.
I decided to come out of my skin and be authentic to who I was. A professional in search of something a little different, a girl with big dreams that runs a blog on the side. That's me, that's all.
2. I ripped the bandaid.
Though I had known for quite some time (try four years), that this is what I wanted, I always put it off... again trying to create "smart" plans and letting my fear get the best of me.
The universe did a few things to put me in my place.
I had numerous talks with friends in which they told me to go. Or they had moved to LA, or they knew someone who did — whatever it was, they were inspiring me to do it. And as scared as I was, my gut said "go."
Two days before I quit my job, I put a deposit down on a brand new apartment. A brand new apartment in the heart of Reno with picture-esque views of the mountains and downtown, perfect interior design, and amazing amenities.
"This will make me happy, I'm establishing myself," I said, while my gut said, "no, actually it won't."
But I ignored my gut, and I put a deposit down anyway.
Here comes the universe.
The landlord I was dealing with, was the same landlord I had dealt with two years prior when I got my apartment in downtown Reno just out of college. Though I was young and just starting out, even then I knew it's not what I TRULY wanted to do.
The complex also had one more one bedroom open. Two years ago, there was only one more apartment for me open, too. When I told my co-worker about the one opening and the same landlord, he thought it seemed meant to be. I did too, but for an entirely different reason.
I realized then that I was literally in the same place I was two years ago. A nicer apartment, a better title at work, a nicer income, sure — but I was doing what I had done all along... I was trying to buy my own happiness.
Thanks, universe for forcing me to realize the lesson I thought I had already learned.
But still, I persisted. "This is what I want," I said.
The next day, I put down my deposit on said apartment.
Two hours later, my mom sent me a video.
I had a trip planned to go to Boston in September for work. My parents were going to fly out and meet me for the weekend. Now, prior to me telling you this, let me back up and tell you that my favorite song of all time is "Boston," by Augustana. In case you're unfamiliar, the lyrics go something like this, "I think I'll go to Boston. I think I'll start a new life. I think I'll start it over, where no one knows my name."
My gut has always wanted me to live out the lyrics of that song, I just always tried to ignore it.
Alright, so again, two hours after putting down my deposit, my mom sent me a video.
It was of an iPod (who uses those anymore?), playing that song. Toward the end of the video, she spoke to the camera and said, "but not to start a new life, just to go have fun!" (she was getting excited for our trip).
I watched it, and my gut and my heart said, "no, I don't want to go for fun. I want to go for good, to start a new life."
I texted my friend that knows me VERY well. And said, "I can't do this. HELP." And she immediately knew what was going on.
In short, she told me to stop being scared and get my life together to do what I want. She mentioned taking out a loan and going like, tomorrow, but I knew I needed to do it my own way.
That night, I called my parents and in an ultra dramatic phone call, told them my plan of attack.
The next day, I got my deposit back, and quit.
Thanks, universe, for compelling my mom to send a really weird/goofy but meaningful video with exactly what I needed to hear.
3. I did it my way.
When I say "I quit my job," don't go thinking I'm all fearless and was leaping into the unknown.
As stated previously, I was in a leadership role in my company, and my colleagues were close friends. Being in leadership, I was involved in a lot of future planning with the company. And, I truly wanted to help them as much as I could throughout the process of my departure.
I knew I needed to be honest about what I wanted to do.
And, selfishly, I needed to get the weight I had been carrying for quite some time regarding my future plans off of my chest. Even more selfishly, I needed to be held accountable.
So, I gave my employer a 5 and 1/2 month notice. Making my last day December 1 (it was June).
Many people I told thought this was odd, "why would you give that much time?" they asked. And I explained.
It just felt right. I was blessed to be with a company that respected me and I too respected them. It was what I needed to do. And if they let me go sooner, then they let me go sooner and I would figure it out (I literally had like no savings at the time of quitting).
In addition, I had made plans like these MANY times, but I always made excuses to spend my money or change my plans. Putting in my notice made me accountable. I didn't have a choice but to figure out my next step.
4. I started believing in myself.
It's kind of a weird thing. I spent the year prior to this decision going into some VERY dark places mentally. Before doing this, I didn't believe in myself at all, I didn't really like myself much, and I kind of had given up on the east coast dreams because it seemed so daunting.
Once I made this choice, it felt so right, that I finally started regaining my confidence. I was scared shitless, don't get me wrong, but I knew deep down that I could do this. And honestly, if I couldn't, at least I wouldn't live a life of regret for not trying (as I KNEW I would).
Once you are real with yourself, it's amazing to see how much you can actually do.
5. I had back-up plans.
So like, I totally started believing in myself don't get me wrong, but I'm still a realist, too. I'm a planner (#duh). And one of the reasons I had never done this is because of said planning. I was always planning, never acting. I was always making sure it was great, never actually doing it.
Anyway, I knew I needed some back up plans for this move JUST in case I ended up sleeping in Boston Commons, you know, for peace of mind (#anxietyprobs).
I asked a bunch of friends and my parents that if, worse comes to worse, I knock on their door, I could live on their couch until I figure it out.
They said yes, so at least I knew I wasn't totally doomed if I failed.
6. I realized not everything had to be perfect.
On this same note, I realized that my "perfect" plans, they weren't working. Sure, I could save 30K for YEARS and then move with no worries. Sure, I could get a perfect job after potentially YEARS of applying and then move. Sure, I could get my masters first. Sure, I could make sure I had the perfect body and hair before I went. BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT I WANTED. These were just excuses to put it off.
I was worried about not having enough money for health insurance, healthy food, my workout apps, etc. I was worried about not having my budget dialed in perfectly and everything being so easy. I was worried about getting a new phone and everything in between.
I was worried.
But things in life aren't meant to be perfect. Life is messy af. Life is weird. Life is crazy.
And what's a (crossing my fingers) few months of uncertainty for a lifetime of knowing I took the plunge?
So, I realized I didn't need the perfect set-up to get to my dreams. Because the perfect set-up... it was never going to happen.
There is never a good time. So be smart, figure it out, AND THEN DO IT.
7. I did have a plan, though.
Real talk, I did have a plan (obviously).
I knew I could save a certain amount in the 5.5 months I had left working. I knew my friend in Boston would let me crash with him until I got on my feet. I brushed up my resume and started researching companies in Boston as well as tried to start earning some extra cash via freelancing and remote work (that I could even take with me once I was unemployed). I calendared when I was going to start applying for jobs and making connections. I made a list of things I needed to do and when I needed to do them (sell my car, etc). I went over my plan with people in my life I trusted to let me know if it was all straight-up stupid.
And I also knew, that if something bad happened with my health, my car, my current job, or anything else — essentially, if life happened — I would need to re-evaluate my plan. And I accepted that.
Which brings me to my next point.
I remained open.
I did tell people of my plan, as it was now official, but I also was very open about the uncertainty of my future. Boston in January was my plan, but if life had other plans for me then that was what would happen. I was open to NYC and other places, I was open to pushing down the line a bit if I had to, I was simply open to what the universe had in store for me in the next few months, while also praying to God that everything would work out as planned, and also believing it would.
7. I lived my truth.
Idk, you get it. I basically was just honest about what I wanted and how my current situation could get me there. So for everyone reading, I would say just be true to you, let it shine, and figure out how YOUR situation can get you to where YOU want to be.
I'm writing this in June just after the decision, mostly because I didn't want to forget details and I'm still in a daze. Hopefully, you'll be reading this in spring of 2018 when I'm all settled in my new home... if not, well, I wonder where I'll be...
I want to thank my previous employer, my friends, my mentors, my family — everyone that has helped me to get to where I am today (don't know where that is yet). While deep down Reno wasn't right for me at this moment in my life, the people that have been there along the way and my last job have set me up for my ultimate happiness and I am so beyond grateful for the foundation it has set. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This was not an easy decision because I had it so good, but it was one I needed to make, for me.
**Interestingly enough, I wrote this before receiving my job offer and leaving earlier than expected. Funny how the universe works when you put your mind to something.