I don't like the weakness inferred with walking away. There's a surge of courage that's needed to walk away, to move forward, to propel yourself to the next big adventure, which is just what I did about six months ago. I left the safety net of my loving family, secure job and close-knit friendships behind in Chicago to explore Minneapolis for a while.
I’ve always been driven by knowledge, not necessarily academically, but in finding new passions. I primarily transferred here to finish my bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota (basically a bullshit piece of paper to prove I can survive the twisted and financially crippling education system) but I also wanted to expand my horizons and explore the next phase of my life.
Here's what actually happened: dropping everything I've known for the past 20 years and starting from scratch scared the shit out of me.
The first month I couldn't confidently tell people what street I lived on. I was exceptionally good at walking in circles (and sweating profusely). Constant waves of overwhelming frustration crashed onto the shores of my mind. The mix between shitty (except for one) roommates, little to no money to my name and academic overload completely broke my spirit.
I had multiple emotional and physical breakdowns. I felt deceived. Did I make a mistake? I can always go home, I thought. My pride wouldn't let me wander down that road. The truth is, you can always go home. But I was getting so accustomed to blaming any and everything for my problems that I decided my mindset had to change or else my depressive behavior would spiral out of control.
So I took a step back and viewed my situation. Was it really as terrible as it seemed? I made a list of what was causing my self-destruction (and god dammit I love making lists). By truly dissecting my life, I realized this: that everything was fixable. EVERYTHING. There’s no need to detail every single problem I faced. My journey is different from everyone else’s. But I sure can list some universal wisdom that came out of that moment that altered my perspective on dealing with these particular hardships.
1. Be open-minded.
Not every opportunity will live up to its description so don't be afraid to reject it or change your mind.
2. Be realistic.
Start workin', ya bum! Sell old jewelry, stop drinking bullshit $5 cups of coffee. Focus on the necessities: food, bills, living quarters.
3. Be forever curious.
This world is way too big to not ask why.
4. Be sad.
When sadness arises, commit to it. Sob like a child. It will feel soooo good.
5. Be kind.
Our society has enough cynicism. Amazing things happens to kind people, I promise.
6. Be a fighter.
My father taught me this. Passion and tenacity are key ingredients to succeeding. Most of the time we have to fight our fights alone, but those battles carry the most value. So shine that armor.
7. Be confident.
Make decisions firmly. Don’t bat a pretty little eyelash while doing so.
8. Be classy.
Enough slutty Instagram pictures for attention, jiggling assess on social media and stop striving to be a “boss ass bitch.” Ladies, these doings are fueling the fire for disrespect.
9. Be grateful.
Enjoy the sunrise every morning. Let it remind you of the new day and how much better it will be than yesterday.
10. Call your mom.
A call to mom makes everything better. I always miss my mom. I’m lucky to have been raised by such a selfless, kind and compassionate woman. A true inspiration. I love you mom! Thanks for being the bomb (and getting me coffee).
This life shit ain’t easy. The highs can be short lived and the lows can be brutal. But fuck, we need it in order to sculpt character. Keep moving peeps, “cause only fools trip over something that be behind 'em.”
Until we meet again, I’ll take a medium roast coffee with cream and a dash of sugar.