This week, I watched/stalked several friends as they moved away from home or out of state, for the first time since college. It’s always been a dream of mine to just pack my things up and go, just like some of these friends.
But realistically, in my world, there are things called leases, job contracts, and relationships that will keep my suitcase empty until (at least) May.
Many of you will think, “Well, why cant she just go, if that’s what she really wants? Leases can be broken, or apartments can be sublet. Job contracts are only ways of determining salaries, and relationships can be made elsewhere or kept stable with extra effort.”
The truth is, I’m just not brave enough. I’m not like Ms. Seattle or the two Ms. Floridas, who seemingly found a destination and went without reassuring measures (i.e. have a job).
But a lack of bravery isn’t just stopping me from moving. Here’s a look of all the things I would do if I only had “the nerve.”:
10. Moving away
- What it would take: A new job that pays better than what I have currently (it honestly wouldn’t be that hard to find)
- What I would risk: My current job, a great relationship, and breaking a very expensive city lease
- Then when?: My goal is to be out by the end of June.
9. Telling people off
- What it would take: Coming to terms with the fact that there are certain people in my life who I find ridiculous or toxic.
- What I would risk: “Friendships.”
- Then when?: Undetermined, but if I might hit a breaking point soon.
8. Performing in public
- What it would take: A band and some alcohol
- What I would risk: Looking unworthy of my four year degree and countless years of voice lessons and band practices
- Then when?: As soon as someone jumps up on my offer to form a alternative folk band/or when I get good enough at guitar to want to post something online
7. Cook complicated dishes
- What it would take: Someone, who is equally brave, to ask me to make it for them
- What I would risk: Food poisoning
- Then when?: After maybe 3 or 4 more months of this cooking 3 new meals deal I’m on
6. Take a CTA bus alone (to anywhere)
- What it would take: Alcohol, alcohol wipes, and a destination not reachable by car or El line.
- What I would risk: Germs, robbery, and depending on the amount of old people, pee covered seats
- Then when?: Hopefully never
5. Run a 10K
- What it would take: Well, I’m on that “journey” now, but I’m having some mental blocks that need to be plowed down
- What I would risk: Being the “big girl running.”
- Then when?: March is my target. Yesterday, I managed to run outside for the first time in months. It was great. And I’ve been honestly flying through my re-do of C25K. It seems like I’m getting back that running strength that I had 2 years ago when I ran my first 5K.
4. Go to a concert- alone
- What it would take: Alcohol and an amazing band everyone else hates
- What I would risk: See “CTA bus” risks
- Then when?: As soon as I can come up with the money to even treat myself to a concert.
3. Pay off my credit cards completely
- What it would take: A savings account with more money than 2 months emergency rent
- What I would risk: Same savings account
- Then when?: When I get that dream job in a different state/country that will pay me double of what I am earning now
2. Wear high heels to work
- What it would take: Insoles and the mysterious disappearance of all of my flats
- What I would risk: Falling on my ass or face
- Then when?: Do they have classes for how to walk properly in heels? How about one on how to make foot pain disappear?
1. Tell everyone important in my life just how much they mean to me
- What it would take: Deciphering who those people are and what I should say to them.
- What I would risk: From most people, nothing. From some, an entire relationship
- Then when?: …
Speaking of important people in my life, a certain boyfriend and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. This year has flown by. I know it’s corny, but it really does feel like yesterday when he called me up for the first time (while my car was being towed). And then his second call took place during a friend’s breakup. It seemed like we weren’t going to even be able to talk, let alone go out on a date or have a relationship.
Our first date was pretty typical, sports bar for food and a terrible teenage cover band followed by a night of drinks in Elmhurst. Our first kiss was in the parking garage, thinking we were saying goodbye… And it continued like that for the rest of year. We’d spend one night a week together- mostly at the Elgin Public House.
In January, it became much more serious as our one day together became two. We seemingly became official without it ever becoming official as I met his friends and family. I said the three words first, while laying down, unafraid of what he was going to say back. He relented a week later, a day after his birthday, in my kitchen, eating my supposedly vegan chocolate chip cookies.
And when I moved to the city, closer to him, we became the couple we are today. I’m so glad to have found a man that I can laugh with, scream at, and try new foods with. He constantly challenges me intellectually and keeps me on my toes with surprises and excitement. He’s always willing to be present when I need him, drive my car when I’m tired (or park it in a difficult spot), and make me mix tapes for when I’m feeling blue.
But most importantly, he’s the man I’m always willing to share my homemade popcorn with. And seriously, that takes some bravery.