To go or not to go… that is the question. And this is the debate I’ve been having with myself for the last 6 months.
6 months ago I made one of the toughest decisions of my life — to say goodbye to someone I loved in order to find myself. This period of change has been a rollercoaster, to say the least. How does one “find themselves”? Where do I look? What am I even looking for? The only answer that seemed to make sense at the time, was to search for myself as far away from Philadelphia as possible. For the last 5 months I have been undoubtedly convinced that I was moving to California the day that my lease ended. I had no plan, other than packing up Rollins (my dog) and driving across the country.
We’ve all been there. With that anxious, overwhelming, bulging knot in your stomach. Whether caused by heartbreak, loss, or the pressures of everyday life, we’ve all been in a place where it seems that the only rational solution is to have a full on 2007 Britney Spears meltdown and run as far away as possible. It’s a natural human instinct to run away from unwanted, overwhelming and stressful situations. However, although it might be a natural reaction, jumping ship and abandoning our stressors rarely solves any problem.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Drake’s track Emotionless didn’t strike a chord here…
I always hear people complain about the place that they live
That all the people here are fake and they got nothin to give
‘Cause they been starin at somebody else’s version of shit
That makes another city seem more excitin’ than it is
Don’t get me wrong, California is one of my favorite places in the world and I have wanted to live there since the first time I visited San Fransisco back in 2012. I’ve always loved everything about the west coast – the weather, the culture, the vibe… however, recently, it seemed like the only thing I actually loved about the idea of moving to Cali was that it was 2500 miles away from Philadelphia.
One afternoon, while sipping wine on the rooftop deck over looking the ocean, I had a conversation with my mom that would change everything. We were talking about my plans for leaving — the logistics and what the hell I was going to do when I got out there. I really had no answers… I just kept saying “I don’t know, I just need to leave.” Her response was, “you know you can’t out-run your problems, right?” And she was right. I was trying to run away from everything that had been causing me pain. Heartbreak, financial worries, and this looming dark cloud that said “it was now or never.” I had this mindset that because I’m 28, single, and have a relatively portable career, that if I didn’t go now, I would soon be tied down and stuck in Philadelphia for the rest of my life.
A couple problems with this mindset:
First off, I would never marry someone that would make me feel “tied down.” I’m in no position to give relationship advice, but I do know what love isn’t and it ISN’T that feeling of being stuck. One thing my mom also said was “Morgan, my life didn’t take off until after you were born” — once again, she was right. When I was 4 years old my family picked up and moved to Melbourne, Australia. We spent 3 years there and travelled the world as a family. Granted, I don’t remember much, but my mom sure does. Just because she had a husband and an adorable, perfect child doesn’t mean that she can no longer do the things she always dreamed of.
Second, would it really be the worst thing in the world to be “stuck” in Philadelphia? This is where I give a shout out to all my friends. My broken heart was put back together by the love and support that these people have shown me over the last 6 months. Why would I want to run away from that? Also, my career is on the rise and I am finally allowing myself the time to find my voice in the ED advocacy world. Life is just going pretty f’n well…
Listen, California will always be there, but I will go when I am ready — not because I am running away from something or someone. I am all about taking risks and doing things on a whim, but only as long as you are doing them for the right reasons. Fortunately, I “found myself” at the top of the Art Museum stairs, I have found a happiness in Philadelphia that I haven’t experienced in a very long time and I know that this is where I belong for the foreseeable future.
Heartbreak happens, death happens, LIFE happens, but that pain and darkness do not last forever. When you’re in the midst of chaos, you have two choices — either run away or fight like hell to get through it. Sometimes the biggest breakdowns can lead to the biggest breakthroughs and your strongest weapons will always be the people you surround yourself with and the mindset you choose to have. The rain will clear, the storm clouds will roll out and one day you will find what you’ve been searching for all along…
Trust that the Universe has everything under control.