Change and Decisions

In my last post I was torn between deciding on what path I’d like to take after graduating university in a short couple months.

On one hand, I wanted to completely uproot my life and move down to Georgia. On the other, I was going to stay right where I am, at least for the next couple of years. As you can probably see, the choices were on opposite ends of the spectrum.

A spectrum that was 1443 kilometres long.

As drastic as it sounds, I’ve been preparing for this move since I started university. I was content in my little town but I yearned for something exciting. Something more. I wanted a new place and new people. I wanted change in my life and I just wanted to move on. 

Because I was so convinced that there was more for me outside of this sleepy part of the country, I never considered the idea that staying where I am for a little while longer, might not be the worst thing.

Until this year that is.

In my current (and final!) clinical placement, I realized that I could be really and truly happy working right here. I didn’t need to move hundreds of kilometres away. There is opportunity here, I just need to be patient and willing to look past the normal.

So I decided. I’m going to stay right where I am for another couple years. After a little experience, I can relocate and allow myself to take the step I’ve been considering for so long.

Initially, I was a little nervous to tell my friends and family. All they’ve heard from me for years are plans to move. Would they be disappointed? I mean, here I was again, chickening out from making a huge change. Taking the safe, dependable route rather than being brave and leaping into the (somewhat) unknown.

Contrasting to my expectations, everyone was overjoyed that I would be staying in town for a little while longer. There were happy tears, smiles, and sighs of relief.

Personally? I fell into the feelings of relief category. I took a huge breath and let out all of the micro-stressors that weighed on me whenever I considered the move. The pressure was finally off. I could relax. I could enjoy my last summer of being as carefree and kid-like as possible.

All of the great literature and films will tell you to take risks and embrace the unknown.

Take the leap.

Be open to failing.

But those grand statements neglect to prepare you to manage life as it actually is. They focus on what you have to gain, minimizing how much you can actually lose. Failure isn’t the even the worst possibility. What about losing your innocence?

What about squeezing out the last bits of you that have held on to viewing the world as a child?

A place full of wonder and magic. A place where you can still catch snowflakes on your tongue and crunch through piles of leaves.

When you take those leaps through life, you end up accumulating quite a bit of baggage. Reality is a lot more stressful. It’s what happens when the film credits roll and the screen fades to black. What happens after you take the risk? Are you thriving or just barely surviving?

For now, I’m choosing stability. I’m choosing to take gradual steps to end up where I’d like to be. I’m taking more time to fully enjoy the remnants of my childhood before being swallowed up by the big bad world.

I mean, it would be completely unfair of me to pin my high hopes on the poor unsuspecting state of Georgia.

So I’m going to work on being happy because of me, regardless of where I’m living.

– S.

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