As promised in an earlier post, it’s time for a rousing game of “Where Will Hannah Be Living In Six Months!”
Will it be:
A. Western Massachusetts
B. The Boston area
C. Montreal, Quebec
D. Austin, Texas
E. Seattle, Washington
F. Madison, Wisconsin
G. Somewhere in North Carolina
H. Vancouver, Canada
I. Los Angeles, California
J. San Francisco, California
K. Frankfurt, Germany
L. Somewhere in Poland
M. Burlington, Vermont
N. Some other, as yet undiscovered location.
O. Any of the above
If you answered, ‘O’, congratulations, you’re right! For those who are unaware, I will be moving to some sort of new location at the end of October, and I am very excited/nervous about it. Brandon currently has one job but is searching for a new one, and when he finds it we will be moving to that unknown place, which is potentially one of the above locations. I have been getting an increasing number of probing comments and questions about this from well-meaning friends and coworkers (yes, my work knows I will be leaving. :'(), most of which are along the lines of these:
- Why are you following some guy around?
- Why are you leaving a perfectly good job in this economy?
- What do you plan to do once you get to this unknown place?
- What if you can’t find a job?
- Why are you leaving the most beautiful/wonderful/best place to live in the whole country? (subjective statement I know, please don’t hate me I love it here)
- What about your school loans?
These are all legitimate questions that I find myself asking a lot as well, along with these ones:
- How important to me is money/being comfortable vs. working on things that I love and that matter to me?
- What can I afford to do right now?
- Do I even really want a career at this stage of my life?
- Is future me going to want to throttle present me if I have no retirement money because I was too busy pissing it away on ‘following my dreams’?
- What do I really want?
I’m sure my friends and colleagues mean well with their questions, but this is the stuff that keeps me up at night. If anyone thinks I’m not considering this stuff, they are wrong – I think about all this pretty much constantly, and I have come to a few conclusions.
The fact of the matter is, this all may totally fail. I might come crawling back to my job after a miserable six months away, begging them to rehire me and telling everyone how right they were about what a terrible idea it had all been. Or…it could not fail. It just might be possible that I could end up going on an excellent adventure with my best friend, seeing new places and trying new things, and getting the chance to see if I can make a living (or part of one) with my writing. Maybe I’ll have my strength tested, and find out I am more capable than I ever thought possible. It could be that, 10 or 15 years from now when I’m ready to settle down and have a family of my own, I could return to Vermont, the best place in the country (that I’ve seen so far), and make a home here knowing full well that this is the place I want to be and where I want to live out my days. But, if that happens, I will settle down with the knowledge that I saw a lot of things and lived a full life, and wasn’t too afraid to try.
The bottom line is, I don’t want to live with ‘what ifs’ and regrets. I don’t want to stay here, stagnant, and then look back in a decade when I’m tied down with a family and wish that I had done something else first, something exciting and important and brave. I don’t want to look back and wonder what could have been. I want to know. And if it turns out that it’s terrible and I hate it and I run screaming back to New England, I am ok with that. That would not be a failure, in my eyes. If that happens, I would come back not wondering but knowing that this is the place for me, and where I truly belong.
Am I scared? Very much so. But I have never let that stop me before, and I don’t intend to start now.
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can.