Remember all those boxes I told you about, the ones sitting in my garage waiting to be unpacked? Well, here’s the good news: I’ve finally unpacked everything I brought home from college. The bad news?
I have to pack it all up again because I’m getting kicked out of my house.
Now, I don’t want anybody to jump to rash conclusions or call Child Protection Services (that still applies to me at age 22.5, right?) because it isn’t my parents who are kicking me out. In fact, my parents would be totally fine if I stayed at home, continued looking for a job and saved the pitiful income I’m raking in from a string of odd jobs. As glad as I am to have this option, though, it feels a little too easy right now.
Therefore, I’m kicking myself out of the house and moving to Seattle in two weeks.
I’ll be the first to admit, though, that just up and moving to Seattle probably is not the best idea I’ve ever had. First of all I’ve never even visited Seattle, so I don’t actually know if I’ll like living there. Of course, everything I’ve read so far makes it sound like a fantastic place to live but you also don’t see me packing my bags for Mars just because I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles last week.
I’ve also heard a rumor that it rains a lot in Seattle. You know that song “Age of Aquarius” from the play Hair, with the chorus that goes “Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in”? I actually used to think they were saying “Hail the sunshine, hail the sunshine” and I would think “That’s me! I’m a sunshine-hailer! I live for the sun!” And honestly, if I weren’t tied down to this whole Judaism thing I’d probably be a full-time sun-worshiper so I’m not quite sure this sunshine-less existence is going to work out.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I don’t have a job waiting for me in Seattle. Yes, I know it might seem like a pretty bone-headed move to put myself in a position where I will effectively be paying to conduct a job search, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I value my independence much more than any potential financial drawbacks.
I have to admit, though, it took me awhile to reach that conclusion. When a friend from college first emailed me to say she had taken a lease on a house in Seattle and was “looking for a third roomie and I know this is less than a 0.1% chance, but if you feel like picking up and landing in an awesome city, you are totally welcome to be her!” I of course had many romantic daydreams about heading West like a modern-day pioneer on the Oregon Trail, only driving a U-Haul instead of the team of oxen that would have pulled my covered wagon.
And so I laid awake for a few nights after receiving that email, listing the pros and cons of a cross-country move in my head. When I couldn’t stand to toss and turn in bed any longer, I would get up at 3 or 4 a.m. to practice saying “I’m moving to Seattle!” in the bathroom mirror to see what if felt like. I researched whether it made more sense to fly or drive cross-country. I wrote out a list of important questions to ask myself, including musings such as “How will I say goodbye to everyone on the East Coast?”, “How much will it cost to move?”, and “Is it worth moving out of a rent-free room to go to a place where I don’t have a job?”
The next logical step, of course, was to tell my parents I had decided to vacate their house. The only difficulty with this step, though, was the fact that I’m awful at having Important Life Conversations. I actually happen to be a fairly horrendous verbal communicator so the thought of saying “I’m moving to Seattle!” aloud was slightly terrifying, especially given the frosty reception my other proposed life plans have received from Mom and Dad over the last few months.
Therefore, instead of saying anything I typed up a 10-page report outlining my thoughts on the subject and presented it to my parents during a special Family Meeting I called to order during dinner one evening. In the end my parents and I had a good conversation about me moving out, I told my family and friends about the upcoming move and I’ve already started packing for the mythic land of Starbucks and Nirvana.
And I know this isn’t a perfect plan; as another friend wisely pointed out to me, the newness of Seattle isn’t going to last forever. While I might escape the suburbs by moving West I won’t exactly be escaping my joblessness. Crazy as it might sound, though, that’s not a drawback to me. My gut is telling me that it’s the right time to kick myself out of the house and I am more than happy to just go with my instincts at this point.
Don’t get me wrong: it has certainly been a challenge to find ways to keep myself busy during my last few months of joblessness. At the same time, it has still been a pretty cushy life and I think I’m ready for the real challenge of paying my own rent, navigating a new city, cooking my own meals and – who knows? – maybe even finding a job.
Note: Seeing as I’m still searching for a job, and seeing as this blog usually tends to be about more than just my job-hunt, anyway, I’m definitely going to continue writing after moving to Seattle. Be on the lookout for some travel writing and photos, too, as I get to know my new city!