This is one of our Inspirational Interviews in which we talk to people who have imagined big dreams, made them a reality, and are living a life they love. Today we are talking to Sara about her decision to pack up her life and move across the country.
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m 28 and I blog at Guide to Being Awesome. I live in Los Angeles now, but I’m from all over the place, which makes my answer to “where are you from” anything but simple. Some places I’ve lived include Boise, Idaho; Chicago, Illinois; small-town, Connecticut; and New York City – and I’ve never lived anywhere for longer than about 7 years. I have a gigantic blended family with a total of 6 younger siblings and multiple parental units. I love being outside and I also have a cat named Waffles.
2. What does living a “super awesome life” look like for you?
Giving myself permission to change, even if the changes aren’t how I expected myself to be; letting go of expectations; learning to give up grand mental plans.
3. Last year you decided to move across the country totally solo which is incredibly awesome and brave of you. What made you want to do that?
I had been toying with the idea of moving out of New York City for several months when I lost my job in December 2011, but I wasn’t ready to leave right then. Also, the only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to leave – I had no idea where I wanted to go! Convincing myself that maybe all I needed was a good shake up in my routine, I moved apartments and got a new job by the end of January. Just a few weeks into my new job, though, even my amazing new apartment (with exposed brick!) and exciting job weren’t enough squash that relentless restlessness.
Moving to Los Angeles started as a pipe dream – one of those, “Hey, maybe one day I’ll move to LA” things, right up there with African safaris and hot air balloon rides. But then in March I lost my job again and I knew I had to make a huge change. For me, that change meant leaping head first out of my comfort zone and moving to LA for real!
4. What were some of the challenges you faced when leaving your job, friends, and community back in NYC?
Leaving my huge family on the East Coast and five years’ worth of friendships was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and I totally struggled with nagging doubts and fears. I loved my life in NYC and I loved NYC itself – so much. It’s a magical place and my life, at least on paper, was thrilling. But one of the hardest lessons to learn was that just because I loved that life didn’t mean that it was the right one for me to be living anymore. It didn’t happen overnight, but once I had that realization, moving became easier because it was simply the right step for me to take.
Uprooting yourself from any constant – whether it’s a city or a relationship or something else – is going to be incredibly difficult. I think the key is being 100% certain that it’s the right move for you – and you know you’re 100% certain when the worst case scenario stops scaring you!
5. What was the biggest reward in moving from NYC to LA?
Well, I don’t have to lug all my groceries for blocks and blocks. I can wear t-shirts in January, too! But seriously, I think so far the biggest reward has been simply the fact that I did it.
6. What little things in life right now make you do a happy dance? Big things?
My giant jungle cat, Waffles. Palm trees lining the streets. Constantly warm weather. Realizing that in the six months I’ve been out West, I’ve made actual, lasting friendships.
7. In the movie of your life, who would you want to play you?
Maybe Jennifer Lawrence? Mostly because she’s crazy-talented and also drop dead gorgeous.
8. What is one thing you’d like to change about the world?
9. What quote best represents you or motivates you in your current place in life?
This image is all over my fridge: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m02j4fu4Kl1qiqf01o1_500.jpg
I also love this quote by Gail Caldwell: “The universe insists what is fixed is also finite.”
10. What inspires you to continue living a life you love each day?
Knowing that when I’m happy with myself and where I am in life, I’m more able to appreciate all of life’s adventures!
Thanks so much for sharing, Sara! This interview came at a perfect time for me since I’m moving to Canada next week! Have any of you ever considered a solo big move?