I’m by myself flying across the country to Chicago because spending one more second in the town I live in made me feel like I was going to either drown in my own anxiety or rip off my skin.
I am a flighty, unsettled person. I can’t help it. My dad moved us around every three years since I was born and it’s cursed (or blessed) me with this constant hunger to leave the present behind.
Even if things are going perfectly well wherever I’m living, I still have the constant desire to go where the wind blows me.
I could be considered a runner. When things are tough I get especially anxious about staying in one place. This could seem like a flaw, but I’m thankful for it.
So, yes, perhaps I do run and perhaps that causes me to wish I appreciated where I was when I so eagerly chose to leave, but I choose to believe it’s taught me a few things.
Moving teaches adaption, in my case at least.
When I was young, I hated leaving. I had friends who’d spent their whole life in the same house. They had marks on their walls showing years of growth. They had friends they’d known since kindergarten. I never had that. I was always the new girl and when I wasn’t, we’d leave again.
Now that I’m older, I realize that being forced to move to towns and cities where I didn’t know anyone taught me to always be open to new friends. I was incredibly shy when I was a child.
So shy that my parents sometimes worried there was something wrong with me–maybe I was a lemon, defective.
For the most part, my best friends were my dogs and little brothers. It was somewhere around 7th grade after my fourth move that I just grew out of my insanely quiet personality. If you met me today and I told you that I was once so shy that I couldn’t even say “here” when my teacher called roll in class, you probably wouldn’t believe it.
Some may even consider me obnoxious–definitely outgoing.
Sure, I really have only one friend I’ve known longer than 5 years. I don’t have childhood friends I keep up with, but I have fantastic friendships anyway. Some of the most wonderful people I know, I’ve met in the past two years of my life.
What I’m saying is don’t be afraid to leave just because you’re rooted and comfortable.
If you have a gypsy soul just waiting to be set free, don’t hold yourself back. If you have the thirst to move, then move, whatever the reason may be. Perhaps you’re going through a breakup or you hate your job. Maybe you’re growing away from the scene you’re in.
One of my good friends loves to travel. She’s taken trips all over the world, but she’s lived in the same house her entire life. She constantly talked about leaving this town and uprooting, but could never do it. She could take random two week trips any chance she got, but vacations aren’t scary.
Moving is scary. Leaving the only life you’ve ever known is scary.
I talked to her for months about picking up and going somewhere. She wanted to so badly, but was too scared to do it. After coaxing her to spread the wings she’d belted down, she finally did it.
She got a job, picked up and moved to another city all in a week. She’s now loving the experience that taking a chance gave her.
The first move is the scariest.
The hardest part is that initial risk–the gamble that what you’re doing is the right choice.
You might ask yourself, “Will I make enough money?” or, “What if I don’t meet people?” Maybe you’ll ask, “What am I leaving behind and is it worth the sacrifice?”
What better way to find the answers to all those questions than going out and experiencing them? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to look back and realize that I played it safe.
It might be hard and it might not work out, but challenging your fears is never a mistake, whether it feels like one or not. If I grow from a mistake, I don’t regret it because if it feels like courage, it is.
So, if you’re anything like me and have a hunger for change, then do something about it. If it doesn’t work out, at least you tried and that itself will give you the satisfaction of liberating yourself from your own fear.
If you’re tired of where you are or you’re going through some hard times, yeah, you can stick it out and grow from the struggle, but that is not your only option. Leaving to a place I’m completely unfamiliar with does wonders to my gypsy soul and I think it would do wonders to yours, as well.
Satisfy the thirst for risk taking. Feel the exhilaration and learn from it. Free yourself from your own cage and you might just open the door to a whole new world you only dreamed of experiencing.