Recently a lot of the times my life hasn't made sense is because of things that have happened at me. My friend dying, my dogs dying, life just happens sometimes. Usually it's a series of mishaps. This situation is different. I have entirely created this situation for myself.
And for the first time in a long time, it's not a bad decision I have made. Well... maybe I have made a couple of good decision in the past years, but I've also fucked up a number of times.
So, I'm currently in my second year of AmeriCorps and I had been applying for full-time jobs for when my term of service is up- in July, with no avail. I applied to seriously so many jobs I lost count and I barely heard back from any of them. I finally came across another AmeriCorps position by accident and my initial reaction was, "fuck no. Not again."
I love helping people but I hate not getting paid lots of money. Such is the struggle with life, right? You're either in a job that's stressful that you hate and you're making a ton of money- but you're always stressed. Or you're in a job you love that gives you purpose and you don't get paid enough- and you're always stressed about the paycheck. It's really tough to find the middle ground.
But then I started thinking... AmeriCorps helps to pay relocation fees. So they pay to help you move...
I have always hated Philly. I grew up in the suburbs but I was in the city a lot, my dad lived in Fairmount when I was a kid so I did grow up a lot around the city. Nothing is more fucking annoying to me then when people try to tell me where I'm from. I know Philadelphia and all of the surrounding suburbs like the back of my hand. I went to high school 30mins from my house and I went to an all girls catholic school so by association I know all the other all girls and all boys catholic school kids from the suburbs class of '09.
I went to summer camp with all the kids from the mainline so I know those schools and I know of all those kids circa 2009. My dad also lived around there so I grew up around there as well. Now half of my friends went to Abington High School so I know a bunch of those kids too. The list goes on...
I'm a wanderlust even in my own town.
And let me tell you- a lot of people never leave Philly.
I think I'm an optimist with a negative attitude. I like to think the best of situations but I also have a constant negative outlook on things. Some people would be like NOOO you're so bubbly and happy go lucky!! But my best friends know I'm a fucking Bitch. Capital B.
So naturally, I've always wanted to get away from here. I had that hometown itch from a young age. I actually use to wish I grew up in Louisiana back roads or something so it made sense for me to want to get away from home, very Sweethome Alabama.
So I left.
I went to VT, I made friends and I lost my mind.
Then I came home.
Coming back to Philly was the antithesis of my being. I wanted nothing to do with this town. I also wanted to die, I was extremely depressed and well... I was getting sober.
Sometimes on anniversaries people say Happy Birthday because when you choose to get sober you choose a new life, wether it's conscious or not. In making that choice, I began to start to create a new version of Philadelphia.
Over the past four years I have made the best friends and managed, with some help, to create a life for myself that is beyond anything I ever thought I could.
But the idea of leaving Philly has always still been in my head because it was planted there a long time ago.
So back to AmeriCorps...
On a fluke I applied for a VISTA Leadership position in Greeley, CO. Why not? I thought if nothing else it would be informational. I heard back from them the next day and was offered the position about a week later.
I have always wanted to go to Colorado next. Why? I don't know. I wanted to go to New York originally but not anymore. There's too many people and it makes you an angry person. I want to feel more alive, not more stressed out. All my friends from VT who have moved to CO seem to love their lives.
So....I accepted the CO position. And now I am moving to Colorado.
Like what the fuck.
Now, I've had this revelation. After the shock that I'm moving in settled in, which happened about two weeks later aka 20 minutes ago. I realized... I do not hate Philadelphia. In fact I love it. And it's not because it's where I'm from but it's because I have finally, after 25 years, have made it my home.
GREAT... great timing to realize this...
I love my friends that I have made here. I love the kind of people in Philadelphia. I love the food. I fucking love my friends. I love biking around this city, I know where the hills are and the short cuts and how long it will take me to get anywhere. I love the family I babysit for. I love being close to my family. I love knowing everyone here- and that was something I hated.
I'VE NEVER EVEN BEEN TO COLORADO AND NOW I'M MOVING THERE.
Oh OH OH and on top of realizing this, a guy- an actual guy I didn't meet on the internet, who seems like a decent-not-a-complete-asshole is actually interested in me right now. This hasn't happened in like two years... probably for reason I have created...
And like that would be so typical of my life that some tragic love story forms and I leave for Colorado...
Per usual I'm getting ahead of myself, because like I said he's just interested, but still- it gives me something else to stress about...
Like what the fuck.
I'm really scared. Change is hard and scary.
But I know I need to do this. I know I will become resentful of everyone and everything in Philly if I don't do this for myself now. And if it's horrible I can come home. But I have to follow what I want.
I wrote this for myself a little while ago,
"Trust yourself and love yourself enough to go somewhere new. You have never in your life lost your true friends. You know who you will lose and who you will gain. You are strong, smart and have the heart of a traveling gypsy and you must go. Don’t get stuck in Philly. Think about how small philly is compared to the universe and think about the small amount of this universe you get to explore."
I wrote that before I even applied for this position. I have to do this. You can't be Lauren, you always go to Paris.
To my friends, I will never leave. I will come back. A year is a small blip of time in our lives. One of my best qualities is that I can stay in touch with people. I love you so much and I look forward to you visiting me and telling you of my travels.
You are such big parts of my life and I could never really leave you.
SAMANTHA MORGAN YOU ARE MY BAE AND I LOOK FORWARD TO YOU VISITING ME WITH SOPH. LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
Also I'm not leaving Philly until like late July- August so everyone calm down.