Packing up everything and just hitting the open road. Going somewhere, anywhere that’s not here. Everyone’s had that fantasy at some point or another, but very few act on it, let alone commit completely without at least some sort of safety net set.
But I did.
I convinced myself to pack up my car in a single afternoon to move across the country the next morning. I was leaving Minnesota to move to Boston. I had no job lined up, no permanent housing, no bed. I was going to look for a job and maybe a reason to stay.
I learned quickly just how terrifying it was to stare into my future and not be able to see anything. I couldn’t even picture where I would be staying, because I didn’t know. All I knew was that the spare bedroom in my friend’s apartment twould be available for me during the 4 month duration of her internship.
But it was this massive unknown that truly helped me learn just how much potential my own future held. Humans seek comfort in a carefully planned future, so much so that it often limits them to the boundaries they themselves create.
In putting myself in a setting where there was absolutely no plan, I was able to aspire to anything.
Of course, it wasn’t that easy. I had no idea just how big of a toll existing in a constant state of confusion would take on my mental strength. I wasn’t familiar with the simplest things, like grocery store brands, let alone local geography. All sense of distance is completely different in the East Coast than in the Midwest. I got parking tickets, didn’t know the rules of the road, and was personally offended when I had to pay a toll on a highway.
Despite my struggle to find a job, familiarize myself with the surroundings, and find myself, I still managed to muster up an incredible amount of positivity and resilience.
I had no choice but to continue over every barrier I found in my way. I needed to do this for me, to prove to myself that I could. And that outlook forced me to succeed because there was really no other option.
The true independence I achieved wouldn’t have been possible without this leap of faith. After my friend returned to our home state to finish school, I was on completely my own. I lived with strangers, worked for minimal pay, and had next to no friends. I had to learn real adult responsibilities like how to register my car in a new state (harder than I thought), how to figure out my own insurance, and how to navigate the job market. And it was never easy. The moment I reached a feeling of stability, though, with a successful full-time job and comfortable home, it made everything I struggled for that much more rewarding.
Above all, I learned tearing yourself from a comfort zone can only result in personal growth. Even if I had failed at securing a job here, I would have returned to the Midwest with a bruised pride, but even more determination and self-assurance that I could make it on my own. Moving was the hardest thing I have ever done. But the development I saw in myself as a person was what made it the best decision of my life.
If you’re debating moving away from or out of your comfort zone, do it. You’re absolutely way stronger than you think.