Mid-air jumping in front of the Red Fort in Delhi DEFINITELY was the right decision here.
We're going to ignore the fact that I gave you all the silent treatment for five months. Instead, we're going to move on to bigger and better things, like adventure, catching up on where I've been, and doling out a little life advice. Capish?
A lot's happened in the last 150 days. March 30th was the last time I blogged and since then I've been to the Indian Himalayas and back, tried and failed to climb Mt. Rainier (bad weather, not because I'm a softy, obviously), used yoga to get over a very, very broken heart in Portland, flew to Rochester to remember my grandmother and eat a lot of Italian pastries, slept in a tent for two months in the Montana and Washington wildernesses (is that plural?), came back to Portland and ran/drove for 24 straight hours with my running relay team at Hood to Coast, and hunkered down to make another scary, life changing decision. And that decision is that I'm moving to Montana until I get tired of killing my own food for dinner or I so desperately miss true water-boiled bagels on a lazy Saturday morning. Whichever comes first.
How do I know this is the right decision? I don't. Do we ever know? Maybe not, but that's a little too existential for me today, so let's get to the concreteness of decision making that includes a list.
1. Narrowing it down doesn't mean closing the door.
When I was making my Pro/Con list a few weeks ago about where I wanted to be for the next stretch of my life, it was basically me saying "Hm. I could live ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD THAT I WANT." And then that shit got overwhelming so I just picked the two most recent places I'd been that I liked and shut the door on a full-blown anxiety attack.
Instead of getting all "well, what if I actually should be going to Thailand instead?" and I just shrugged a bit and said "Well, it's Portland vs. Montana and if my decision doesn't sit right with me, then I'll reevaluate in a few months. And THEN I'll go to Thailand and hang with ladyboys and revel in the baht to dollar exchange rate."
And seriously? If it doesn't work out? Then I'll have learned something about myself and my life will go on and the world will continue to do this (imagine me looping my finger around in a circle). But it's not like this is the last decision for the rest of my life. How many times in your life have you totally planned your next career/life/housing move down to the very last detail and some piece of it has totally blown up and it turned out not at all in the way you intended it to be? For me, like a thousand million times. So I'm slowly learning that decisions like this that are seemingly life-changing are just that. Life-changing. Not life-ending.
2. You can live with your Cons list.
Ah, again with the old Pro/Con list. Yes, I actually sat down and wrote one (or, like, a hundred). It went something like this:
Portland Pros: Family around, good transportation network, true city, progressive community, lots of opportunity to get involved, I will never be bored.
Portland Cons: Living with family makes me lazy as hell, living with family makes me feel like I'm 18 again, living with family, living with family, living with family. Oh, also, Portland has shitty weather all the time, always.
Montana Pros: Big outdoor community, the ability to create my own space, nicely sized friend network, lots of time to reflect, easier to work on my BIG GOALS without the immediate influence of safety nets, very very very very cute boys everywhere with nice bodies. I will get to constantly be on the New York hustle to make a living. But this shit is cheap.
Montana Cons: No delivery anything. No city to speak of. It's totally fucking cold in the winter. I will have to constantly be on the New York hustle to make a living. And that shit is exhausting.
After all the writing and reflecting, I decided that I can live with the cold (Montana ain't got SHIT on a Rochester winter) and I can live without delivery Indian food, but I wouldn't be able to live in a place where it was hard for me to motivate because of the safety nets around me. And whenever I'm in Portland, I get lazy because I know that there's someone to take care of me if my shit gets bad.
That might sound counterintuitive but I know myself well enough to know that if there's an easy way, I'll take it, and so sometimes, in order for me to really go for my goals and pursue the kind of life I want to live, I gotta throw myself face first into a difficult situation and swim for my goddamn life. Sometimes, it is just all about the hustle.
3. You are totally fucking scared out of your mind.
Check. Every time I even think about moving into my apartment in Montana (oh, speaking of, I need furniture too. Shit.) my stomach flips. Like big time. Because it's MONTANA. Like, a state that didn't even register with me until a few months ago.
And, truth? I'm scared. I'm scared that I'm setting all these goals and making a progress sheet, and lining up a network and that it's going to turn into one giant clusterfuck. I'm scared that I'm ruining my current job history and I'm going to be totally unemployable because my resume is one job at McDonald's away from looking like I have totally gone off the wagon.
But channeling that inner yogini, feeling that fear is a good thing. It will fuel me to really make my life into the one that I want, or else I will sink. Without fear, we are just moving along in life, not changing, not growing, just existing. And if there's something that you all know that I love, it's a really huge opportunity to make a big change.
And I am taking comfort in the fact that, this past weekend, after seeing my whole NYC work family again, that I got a lot of quizzical looks, but an even bigger number of high fives and pats on the back. And lots of "Oh, you're young. Go to Montana. LIVE YOUR LIFE!" That's what happens when you're the youngest on the team by almost a decade. Nostalgia working in your favor. And they promised to set me up with their networks in Bozeman, and write me recommendations if I needed them.
So, I'm off to the west. Look for me here a lot more, because this blog and my writing are big, huge goals for me in the next few months. Writing, relating, teaching, educating, learning, growing. Super abstract but also super necessary right now. I've only got 3 years left in my 20s and I'm determined to make them the best, most exciting, most fantastic of my life.
What do you do when you have big, crazy decisions to make? How do you justify your decisions when you aren't sure if they're right or not?