I Moved Across Country! No, It's Not That Scary

Greetings from New York City - where the streets are busy, but you're even busier - truly. I haven't stopped moving for about 72 hours now and I feel so damn powerful! But I also know my kombucha kick will soon give out and I'll collapse on the nearest surface from exhaustion. Fingers crossed that the three hour time difference between California and New York doesn't cause some weird, slightly pathetic form on jet lag. So far, so good. 

To update, I boarded a red-eye flight Tuesday night from LAX to embark on a new journey across country. I moved to Brooklyn, New York - the most electric and eclectic city - to pursue my writing career. And while this was something I've wanted to do for years, it is still dramatic in a sense. I mean, couldn't I have just moved to LA, or stayed on the West Coast? Yes, but what's the fun in that?!

I expected an overwhelming wave of serotonin to flood my life when I moved. Instead, I'm oddly comfortable, already engraving myself into the muggy streets and crowded shops. Graffiti-streaked walls and subway stations are becoming destination markers. And quite honestly, I haven't looked back. Sacramento seems like a distant memory, an airy, whimsical learning and growing opportunity... but nothing more than that. Southern California will always be my roots, but I'm pursuing my own life. A chance to start over, if you will. 

Over the last couple days, as observers witnessed my call-to-action, my inbox, DM's and messages filled with questions and comments. Most of them pertained to a supposed inane fear of mine, asking if I made an impulse decision fueled by my love of "new." While I cannot deny that this theory is true, I can also attest that moving across country is really not that scary. Here's why:

Support. To the 5 billion people that tell you no, listening to the one person that tells you yes (even if it's yourself) is all you need. Whoever the "support" is, hold onto it by all means. I met one of my best friends in Australia in 2015, and surprise! She lives in New York. I was able to have a host, tour guide and realist all while deciding if New York was a destination city or a permanent home. Support removes the "inane fear" I mentioned above. It's the reassurance and strength you need when making significant decisions. 

Simplicity. Moving doesn't have to be a dramaticized event. Neither does starting over, or ridding fear from your vocabulary. Anything that pertains to you is personal, the good and the bad both equate solely to you. Because of this, no one has to (or needs to) know what you're doing - that's our social media-minded generation talking. I think millennials in general (me included) are programmed to share particular moments of our lives, yet continually overshare to seek and receive emotional interaction. If I end up "failing" in New York, I will do so as loudly as possible, because I want to be transparent through this experience. But regardless, who really cares? You shouldn't. I don't. 

Independency. If you're in control of your actions, you're in control of your fate. Even the most codependent person has hopes and wishes of their own. Following through with those hopes and wishes, despite what one is fearful of losing in the process, is 1. normal and 2. okay. A common notion of moving or traveling  against the status quo is the need for protection from whatever interacts with you - until you're comfortable with your surroundings. That notion is completely ridiculous, and not only hinders growth, but defeats the purpose of pursuing said amazing things (moving or traveling). I'm living in a new city filled with an abundance of people I do not know, things I do not understand and lessons I have not learned. But I will. I don't need someone to experience newness to protect me, otherwise I'm susceptible to receiving whatever is placed in front of me. And by doing that, I'm not really living for me, but rather, a construed, isolated idea of life without consequence. I'll pass. 

Instinct. I knew the moment I arrived in New York for my 21st birthday, how much this city means to me, how much it already meant to me. I still have a black pillow of the Brooklyn Bridge I received when I was 12. I'm now 22 and currently staring at the Brooklyn Bridge. It can happen. At the end of the day, if you follow a gut instinct, despite all contrary, it will work out.

Unfortunately, social media frames an unrealistic perspective of life, which is why it was so shocking when I moved - all anyone on the internet knew was that I had the means (not really) and drive to do what I did, backed by an aesthetically pleasing picture displayed for strangers, frenemies and followers alike. What was missing, was the reality of the situation. Let's not talk about the financial struggles, personal ties cut and frustration in my career field. Let's not talk about knowing three people in the entire state and being directionally challenged in a transportation system-fueled city. Let's not talk about the six months I put into creating this website to promote myself and my work - while still jobless and constantly questioning my own intelligence.  But actually, let's talk about it. Because that's actually life

As one of the most indecisive, analytical and worrisome humans out there (a true Virgo), I know if I can do it, anyone can. Timing is different for everyone, but for me, the time is now.

I'm not going anywhere but up. 


Carly Quellman