I had an epiphany yesterday. If I was offered a job outside of New York today, I’d be ready to take it. I feel like I could leave the city without any regrets. I’ve accomplished what I set out to accomplish here. Is that crazy? Maybe I’ll feel differently tomorrow. And this is not to say I’m packing up and subletting my apartment. Just that I feel like I’m in a settled place in my mind and my heart.
In October 2011, I gave myself permission to go crazy, spend a ton of money and move across the country. It was like I was pendulum tied to the left for so long that when the knot was loosened, I took a huge swing to the right. This is an analogy my therapist liked to use. I called her late last summer on a freak-out day when I felt like something wasn’t quite right.
“It’s OK!” she assured me. She said it sounded to her like I finished that big swing to the right and was starting to settle toward the middle. She told me it was a good thing. If I didn’t make that swing, she’d be worried about me. Similarly, she told me to expect to go back and forth a bit before finding my new happy place in the middle. I hesitate to use words like “settle” or “rest” because neither of those words describe my happy place.
But I’ve found happiness NOT jumping from one thing to the next without a break. I don’t need to everything right now. I can do one thing at a time. When I was swinging, I’d go to bootcamp and then a date on Tuesday and out with friends then running on Wednesday and grocery shopping and NYU on Thursday and a Broadway show on Friday then come home and write some magazine articles.
Now, I can drop things I’m not that into, and I can take a day or two off.
This has been quite the journey, and I’m glad I could embrace it. I feel like so many people are given opportunities like this, to rewrite their stories, but it freaks them out, so instead of taking that big swing, they try to hold on to the ties holding them back.
For me, though, I want to take it for all it is. This is a one-shot thing in life. And I want it.