The Things You Learn From Moving 1200 Miles Away


A couple of months ago my roommate/bff/life partner Laura and I decided that it would be in our interest to pick our bags up and leave town. We were ready for a fresh start, in a new area, with new things, new people, and new bullshit to try to figure out. So here we are, in Seattle, where the sun don’t shine and I deeply offend people by listening to country music.

Deciding to move was the first of many big decisions. The initial idea was spontaneous and was probably brought along by a five day streak of bad days. Nothing sounds better than poofing to a new place when you aren’t happy. There were plenty of days right after where we questioned our choice. We were leaving some great friends, a work that was comparable to the family you always fought with, and the family that you actually share DNA with.

But in the midst of all our questioning we still found ourselves making plans for the big move. I think that deep down we knew that it was something that we really wanted to do but at the end of the day we were just scared shitless. And I mean actually shitless. But despite my nervous stomach and nervous mind, there were actually a lot of reasons I knew we were making the right decision.

I knew I wanted more adventure in my life than I had allowed myself in the past.
 I was ready to leave the bullshit behind. I had grown up and spent most of my life in San Diego. But with familiarity in territory comes a higher chance of dealing with all the crap you dealt with in high school with all the friends that you had in high school. You find yourself growing in different ways than your closest friends but sticking those friendships through because of the history. And at the end of the day, it’s not healthy. And we all know that I wasn’t gonna try to change my eating patterns to be healthy. So I said fuck it, I’m relocating.

The actual planning process for the big move involved intense patience, extreme organization, a Costco pack of sticky notes, a dash of motivation, and a couple sticks of incense to calm you the fuck down when things aren’t actually working out. Laura and I got our shit together about a month before the big day. We had sticky notes covering our walls with stuff that we needed to set up. There were piles all over our house with things we were keeping, things we were thinking about keeping, things we were gonna hold a forum to talk about whether we were gonna keep it or not, and things were definitely getting rid of (all the stuff our exes ever got us).

And I’m gonna be honest we left a kitchen full of boxes of stuff we didn’t know what to do with the day we left. And chances are it is still there.

I learned while gearing up to move that I have a lot of stupid shit. I mean I know I’m not gonna be on hoarders at any point in the future but I have realized that I have become too sentimental to let my things go. Like the Backstreet Boys CD that my mom got me one Christmas. I didn’t even like it then. But I get this goddamn lump in my throat when I think about how hard she probably searched to find a CD that I would like because she was just being a good mom. So…yes, I brought it with me to Seattle…okay? Because even though I have a lot of stupid stuff, it’s okay to hold onto memories.

The goodbyes were a very tough process. A tougher process then I thought it would be. My mom and her four gal pals came into my restaurant on my last day of work and last day in San Diego. It was Halloween and they dressed up as moving ladies to represent my move. They had puffy painted shirts that said, “4 MOMS WILL MOVE YOU” in absolutely poor-puffy-paint penmanship with backwards hats on. I loved it so much. I will never forget that, or them, or their kind souls.

My brother and his girlfriend had joined them for breakfast as well. I didn’t want them to leave because I didn’t want to say goodbye. I literally felt like I was swallowing an apple, whole, with the core still inside, and the sticker on it, for two hours. So naturally I cried when they left. Serving the rest of my tables after that was a little awkward. I was dressed as Dwight from The Office with tears down my face. I was putting pathetic on a pedestal.

But crying in an Dwight costume on my last day at work showed me that I have some amazing people in my life and some friendships that I will never let end. My family was an obvious difficult goodbye. We are a small little cult. We support each other and they have shown nothing but support and love in this whole process. But beyond that I have some incredible friends in San Diego. Two days before we left Laura and I held a goodbye kickball costume party. It was a last minute kind of deal with a weird location and a weird time with the time change. An overwhelming amount of people came out to play and dressed up. We all ran around in the dark playing kickball in costume, shooting the shit, and drinking beer. And while kicking balls, shooting the shit, and drinking beer, it made me realize that no matter how far away I am those people and memories will always be there. And I’m really lucky to have them both.