There’s a lot of things I love in this life.
I love finding money in my pocket.
I love singing in my car.
I love warm laundry right out of the dryer (before having to fold it which I don’t love).
I love people who are really, really nerdy but in a charming way.
I love when I tell a joke and I don’t mess up the punchline before getting to the end.
I love flowers for no reason.
(which by the way NEVER happens to me, but I like to think at some point someone will send me a spontaneous floral arrangement and that day will be the day I can actually say I love getting flowers for no reason, and until then I’ll speak on it as more of an abstract idea as opposed to a literal act).
I love oatmeal for pretty much any meal.
I love quotes said by really smart or insightful people that are put on greeting cards and then mass produced and sold in moderately priced boutiques.
On behalf of one such greeting card, (that I bought this previous summer during a particularly (excuse me) SHITTY day), I have found a lot of profound strength through the message in times that I felt weak.
The card itself is pretty simple. It’s not some long descriptive tirade about seizing the moment and being yourself and dancing in the rain naked (though I do believe in all of these things).
It’s only two words.
It’s a constant reminder to me that at any point, at any time, at anywhere, you can make a new start. Obviously it’s kind of perfect for a new year. People like to start a new slate. Every Sunday the week starts over. Each new year you have another midnight to make a change. But if that’s the only times you attempt new beginnings, well..you’re sort of missing the point.
So what is the point exactly? Well…I think it’s that you have a conscious option every single second to do something new. Maybe not an extreme life change but definitely an opportunity to think differently and work toward a new beginning.
But a lot of people don’t. They get stuck in the same ol, same ol, 9-5 routine with no plan to take a step forward or make any changes. And if they are happy with that, GREAT! But most of the time, i have to think it’s not happiness at all, it’s just fear or worse, laziness.
I like to think I have always tried to not be one of those people. I like being spontaneous. Getting out of my comfort zone. Trying something new. But even this.. this is a little different. A tad bit.. bigger.
In 2 very short weeks, I will pack up life in Kansas City, Missouri and move to a place I’ve never been before, where I won’t know anyone, to live with people I’ve never met.
I am moving to Malibu, California.
Now before you go and think I have lost my mind (which in truth, might be something I can’t actually avoid), allow me to explain. As time has gone on, from graduation to here, it’s become increasingly clearer to me how temporary Kansas City needs to be for me. It was never a permanent transition, but instead a small building block in a bigger plan. I knew eventually, at some point, in the near future, I would have to leave. I didn’t see that as being so immediate, but you really can’t pick the choices you are given in life. Sometimes, you have to just say yes, close your eyes, jump off a cliff and hope that you somewhere between the air and the ground, you learn how to fly…or at the very least, fall with dignity.
So on a whim, I applied to be a live-in nanny for a family on the west coast. My dream has always been to move to California (specifically San Francisco) but as my lease reaches the end of it’s term and I begin to let go of the things that drew me to Kansas City in the first place, I realized that I was in a rare moment of opportunity to actually “begin anywhere“.
So here are the facts:
1. I am going to nanny (part-time) and live (full-time) for a family that lives in Malibu, California.
2. I’ll have my own place off of the people’s home which is right off of the beach.
3. I leave in 2 weeks.
I’ve never seen nannying as something I want to do for the rest of my life. And I’d like to take this time to reiterate that fact. But for me, it’s the best networking I have ever done. When you are in someone’s home, taking care of their most prized possessions, you already have developed a level of trust that no amount of happy hours or young professional events could ever attain. If you continue that relationship, and continue to be a valuable resource for this family, the trust turns into affection. Affection in that they WANT to help you, since you are helping them. Most parents understand after meeting me that babysitting their child is not my life’s ambition. I will do the best I can while I am there but I don’t plan on being there to watch the kids graduate from High School. That’s an understanded agreement. I’m temporary. But in a way, isn’t everything?
I recently was offered a part-time marketing position in Kansas City. And the thing is, yes, this is an opportunity. But I wouldn’t be moving to Malibu, if I didn’t think it was a bigger one. I don’t think it’s any mystery at this point that I want to write. It’s something I should do. Anytime you find your passion in this world, you should do everything in your power to be the best you can possibly be at it and make sure your life work at the very least, involves doing it. And to me, my connections and networks in Southern California will be far superior to anything that I could and have been able to find in Kansas City. And because of that, this is something I need to do FOR ME.
And that’s really hard.
For several reasons.
First of all, I’m happy in Kansas City. I have an amazing friend base. I love my apartment and I really like where I live. And I know this news will come as a surprise and upset a lot of people. I know I am putting an emotional burden on my parents and other people I love. I know that it’s a huge risk and that I might hate it. That I might fail and crash and burn and have to come running home like a pathetic, weeping, dignity-less waste of a human shell.
But if I don’t try? If don’t do something that truly scares me? Well to me that’s the bigger failure. I know what’s waiting for me in Kansas City. I know what’s expected. I know what my life will be like. And I know, if I have to come back, it and all the people that come with it, will still be here.
But to me.. it’s the moments where you aren’t really sure if you are falling or flying that I believe you truly live.
People talk about doing things that scare them.
Maybe they take a cooking class when they typically set their kitchen on fire when trying to prepare a meal.
Maybe they get up on that kareaoke stage and sing for a crowd of strangers even through their crippling stage fright.
Maybe they stand up to someone who has belittled and mocked them for years.
And yes, these are all good examples of doing something that frightens you. But I think to really scare yourself, you have to do something that you aren’t entirely sure of the outcome. You pray it will be for the best. You hope that it will take you somewhere. But truthfully? You don’t really know. And jumping into the unknown (by yourself no less)… is there anything scarier than that?
But there are benefits.
There are rewards.
Because the best part about doing something that really scares you is that when you don’t have anyone but yourself to turn to, its only then that you find out what you’re made of.
I love quotes said by really smart or insightful people that are then put on greeting cards and mass produced and sold in moderately priced boutiques.
But so do a lot of people.
They hang the cards in their house.
They mail one to a friend.
They read the words when they are feeling sad or dejected.
Each an inspiring monologue to get them on their feet. Beautiful. Whatever.
Here’s my question though. How many people actually read these words and DO what it says?
Yep, here I am “seizing the moment” on my couch with my bowl of cereal and season 4 of Desperate Housewives.
Here I am “being the light I want to see in the world” as I online shop the sale section at J. Crew.
Here I am “living as if this is all there is” at the same bar I go to every weekend with the same people I have hung out with since high school.
And hey, don’t let me rain on your average parade if that’s what you want out of life. There are people who never move from the town they are born in and live every day just as content as the day before. Go, them! But what I am saying is that if you want something more? If you have some kind of dream? What’s stopping you? Are you waiting for another beginning? Some stroke of movement at midnight? It’s not going to happen. Metaphorical new slate midnights are happening every second of every day. It’s your choice to actually act. It’s your choice to actually do what these “inspiring” quotes suggest. Sure, there’s risk and a chance of failure and the fear of the unknown but what great story doesn’t have those factors? There’s never going to be a “right” time.
There’s only now.
Which is why moving to Malibu is not only my shot at a new beginning but also (hopefully) a springboard to better things. It’s my chance to “begin anywhere”. And it’s terrifying. But it’s also exciting.
I believe that I have more to offer this world than being an above average (thank you) nanny to affluent families on the west-coast. But that’s my first move. And for me, as a writer, as a person, as someone who just wants to live as best they can.. It’s something I have to try.
And so with that, I hope I can maybe inspire something in all of you. You’re only stuck if you want to be. You can make a new start at anytime. You can begin anywhere.
Midnight begins now.
To taking the road less traveled..