“Find yourself before you bind yourself”. These were the words that fumbled out of my mouth yesterday as I sat surrounded by my coworkers and told them of the progress I had made on my new post-grad plan of moving across the country to San Francisco: a city I’ve never been, a city in which I know virtually no one, a city in which I do not yet have a job.
To my coworkers, these words probably sounded like me trying to justify the seemingly quick decision I had recently sprung on them. It was only a week ago that I had told them in the first place that July 31st would be my last day and then I was leaving the state for the time being. But to me, the words sounded like a mantra I have been subconsciously telling myself for months now – yet until that moment I had never and could never verbalize it.
Ever since graduation and probably before that, I have not felt particularly stimulated by my current environment. The thought of actively searching for jobs and potential roommates in this area has left me feeling stifled, less-than-excited, and bound to a place that I don’t truly want to be. I think not going far away from home for college probably has something to do with this, although I think it was definitely the best choice for me at the time to stay close and I’m so glad I did. Either way I’ve always known there was something more out there for me to find, somewhere else out there for me to go but I was too scared to bring it up or pursue it.
All of that changed recently when I started thinking about a conversation I had with my English Professor in his office back in April. I had just come back from Paris and was rambling on and on about how I could see myself living there one day, being completely content wandering the streets and stopping in cafe after cafe. The only setback was that I did not speak the language at all (as was made evident by the time I went into the mens clothing shop looking for dress socks and was led to the ties instead).
“San Francisco”, my professor said to me “is the closest America will ever get to Paris”.
Wow. Paris was magical, eye-opening, and borderline life-changing. If San Francisco was anything like Paris I had to get there – and quick. But finals and graduation came and went and I had forgotten what my Professor said until these stifling, binding feelings creeped up again about starting my adult life here. “I need to get out and explore life elsewhere before I settle in to a career or a life here. I need to challenge myself, to try something new, a change.”
And once I started actively pursuing this new plan – telling my family, friends; looking for housing, jobs – my fear, my stress, my anxiety, disappeared. I know this is what I’m supposed to do. I know that I have the support of those closest to me. I know that I am young, unattached, and will never have this opportunity again.
Find yourself before you bind yourself. It seems fitting that these words just fell out of my mouth yesterday but I think they had secretly been there, fueling my decisions all along.
image via here