Is it ever really possible to truly start over?
My job is okay. It’s not what I want to do long-term, but it’s a resume-builder and it upgrades my Friday nights from basement beers to dive bar cocktails. My co-workers are great, the benefits are above average, and, while working for a start-up can be stressful, it’s a textbook good opportunity that I know will pay off in the long run.
My friends are okay. I’ve got a small group of people I really love, but sometimes I still feel like a high schooler, always in the same clique. I’ve never branched out too much, maybe because I never really had to. Which is fine, when you’ve got a group with some great members, but it makes it tough when those people are off having lives of their own.
My life is…well, it’s just okay.
Living in New York is fantastic when you’re happy. Everything is strolls through Central Park and smiles from crooked-toothed bartenders and taxis at-the-ready at 4am and celebrity sightings and Macy’s Christmas windows.
Living in New York is painful when you’re unhappy. Everything is dirty streets and overpriced salad bars and Woody Allen neuroses and coldness. Maybe it’s my frustration speaking here, but even on its best day, New York is still a cold place.
As independent and determined as I am, I’ve never really done anything risky or bold simply because I felt like I needed a change. I went to college just a few hours away from my hometown– visited home a lot, lived home for the summers, worked locally, and in time got my undergrad degree just like I was supposed to. Jobless, without significant leads, I moved back home after graduating, and eventually started working in New York. I told friends and family that it just made sense — why move away or look for a job anywhere but New York, when my parents’ house was such a convenient commute? I could live rent-free, near old friends, right next to the hub of media careers.
The truth is, the easy thing (the convenient thing, the comfortable thing, the frugal thing) has also kept me stuck. I’ve accepted things that have not made me happy. I’ve done things because I knew they were safe. I’ve fallen into a life that would be so easy to forget if I made a change.
The problem is, who you are is not simply who you believe yourself to be. Who you are is what you do, and what you’ve done. Changing your life doesn’t just mean changing your job or your surroundings or your friends. It means making a complete overhaul, making new decisions, acting on a new plan.
Last month, I got an interview for a job across the country in San Francisco. And not just any job, but an entry-level position with *insert the giantest-name company you can think of in your industry of choice*. On the interview, I learned that the position was incredibly similar to my current job. The difference being, of course, that it would be in California.
Before the recruiter could start talking about the details, I backed out. “I’m not going to move cross-country to do the same thing I do now”, I told myself.
But not, weeks later, I’m wondering…why not?