Advice from an old me
Since I'm sheltering in place, there isn't much to do. I decided to go through my phone and look at some of my older notes. I came across one that I wrote on August 13, 2018, at 2:37 AM. It looks like I wrote it a day or two after I'd moved to Nashville, or possibly the night before, or possibly over the course of before and after. Reading it made me smile, and I think we all could use a smile during these uncertain times. It's so interesting to look back on the thoughts you were once thinking. Check it out.
So I’m moving. I really want to be excited and optimistic but at the moment I’m feeling nervous and anxious. I’m not very good at expressing that, especially to people close to me. I like to be the strong one, the go-getter, the not afraid of anything one, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to be this person ALL THE TIME. It’s exhausting, and I know I don’t have to, but it makes me extremely uncomfortable to even imagine myself being anything other than this way. Truth is though it’s a big life change. I'm nervous. I have a million scenarios running through my head. The last time I up and moved somewhere without knowing anyone I faced a lot of challenges. I felt really alone. I made some good friends but I also lost people that meant the world to me. I still miss them. I think about them often.
I know I have great potential, and I have higher expectations of myself than I think anyone around me has. I need to remind myself to be human sometimes, and what’s nice about songwriting is I can be. I can share things and feel empowered instead of embarrassed.
Because in songs, anxiety, sadness, jealousy, anger, are things you can embrace instead of push down. You can be desperate or crazy or vengeful or spiritual, and connect to people rather than feel like you’re being judged.
I know deep down I’m excited. I’m starting a brand new adventure and am probably going to have the time of my life. But at this moment I feel really alone. In college, I started rush week right away so making friends with my Rho Gam group and the girls on my floor was easy. But there is no “welcome week” to adulthood. No booths full of smiling faces and clubs to join (and sadly, no free stuff.) It feels different. And I know it will pass and I’ll be okay but I’m nervous. I hope I like my job and I make some friends and I’m fighting the urge to just call it quits and go home to my dog.
“So here I am in my new apartment it a big city they just dropped me off” - Taylor Swift
Moving to Nashville felt a lot like the time I traveled to Costa Rica in high school. It was my first time out of the country and I was really excited about the trip, however when I arrived at my homestay that excitement immediately turned to “what the hell did I just get myself into.”
It was a strange place with unfamiliar people and big scary bugs. It eventually became a place I could laugh, learn and feel comfortable. But that was the farthest thing from my mind on that first night. That first night It took all I had just to make through to the morning. What I wanted to do was get on a plane and go back home.
If I had done that I wouldn’t have gotten to know some really cool people, white water rafted in the rainforest or swim in volcanic hot springs. I wouldn’t have had some of my life’s best stories to tell.
So as I sit here feeling afraid and lonely and out of my element, I remember a quote from a Nebraska Women’s Leadership Network Conference. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” I know this by experience, yet I’m still afraid. I think that’s okay. What’s most important is pushing through the moments of fear and letting the real adventure begin.