I've tried writing this post more than a few times during the past two weeks. I've tried recapping the people I've met & the things I've learned from them. I've tried putting into words just how huge it was for me, who's perpetually homesick, to leave home & do something drastically, dramatically different than everything I'd prepared myself for. But I can't find the words, & it's disarming. The bottom line, I guess, in the simplest terms possible, is that it was entirely worth it, & that because of it, I'm someone new. I'm the same me, of course, but I'm also a completely new me. And I guess I don't know how to say it any better than that.
I didn't expect to fall in love with the place & the people, who kept me here longer than originally planned. But I never planned to stay here, either. I always knew this was a temporary locale, that I'd return to the Midwest - & probably to Ohio, though I can't expect most people to understand why I love such an economically depressed state. I've been waiting to go back, living a life here that I've always known would end with my heaving a combined sigh of relief & devastation as I pull my moving van over the state line.
And now? Is that time.
So here's the big announcement, which many of you already know: At the beginning of October, I'm moving back to Ohio.
It's a huge announcement, really, & there are a ton of unknowns. I don't have a job lined up, which means there'll be a mad scramble of sorts as soon as my feet hit the soil in the Buckeye State. I don't know what I'll be doing or where I'll be headed, & I'm keeping my options open - starting with Cleveland & Columbus, but with an eye on Dayton & Cincinnati & everywhere in between. I'm hoping to find something that will allow me to write, whether that means a writing-all-the-time-at-the-office gig or a simple 9-to-5 that gives me time to do some freelancing in my personal time. I'm frantically trying to make connections, seek advice, point myself in the right direction, whatever the heck that means.
And yes, the prospect of beginning again is terrifying. it's overwhelming, daunting, awful, every synonym under the sun. I can't fathom starting over, with no idea what comes next - unsure of my next job, my next city, my next set of friends. My next life. There's an impending sense of doom, like maybe everything is about to fall apart or implode, but at the same time, it's mixed with equal parts excitement about the possibilities.
I am 26 years old & totally lost, but I guess I'm not the only one. I don't know what I'm doing, & "scared as hell" doesn't begin to cover it. But here I go anyway. See you soon, Ohio.
*****This post is part of Jewels of Elul, which celebrates the Jewish tradition to dedicate the 29 days of the month of Elul to growth and discovery in preparation for the coming high holy days. This year the program is benefiting Beit T'shuvah, a residential addiction treatment center in Los Angeles. You can subscribe to receive inspirational reflections from public figures each day of the month. You don’t have to be on the blog tour to write a blog post on “The Art of Beginning... Again”. We invite everyone to post this month (August 11th - September 8th) with Jewels of Elul to grow and learn.