I have been wanting to write this post for months and months, but I hadn’t felt like I was ready until recently. As many of you might know, in September I moved from the Midwest to Seattle. I decided to make the move for my career, but more importantly for myself.
Moving to Seattle was not the first time I had moved somewhere on my own or without knowing many people. As a little background, my family made three big moves when I was a kid. First we moved out of the city to the suburbs, then to Minnesota, and then to Kansas City. Each move was so difficult for me. At first it was moving to the suburbs, no big deal but this girl didn’t know much English. The move to Minnesota was definitely the most painful, it was just the four of us (my immediate family) which was something we were not used to at all. After a less than two years in Minnesota came the move to Kansas City, which was difficult but for different reasons. My sister and I were at the age where it was harder to make friends and were just getting settled in to our new lives in Minnesota. After I graduated high school in Kansas City, I made the decision to head to Saint Louis University where I did not know a single person. The fall semester of my junior year I studied abroad in Shanghai (with a little extra push from my dad) where I was the only student from the US in my program. I promise this all ties in somehow…
Anyways, so I moved out here a few months ago. I always say it was because of my job, which is partially true but I put Seattle as my first pick. Why didn’t I put St. Louis, the city I had been interning in and going to school in for the last four years? Well, let me tell ya. I needed a change again. All my life my parents have been pushing me and my sister to be better, do better, and to get out of our comfort zones. I couldn’t imagine staying in the same city again for more than four years unless I was starting a family.
Part of the reason why I chose Seattle over St. Louis was because I knew that I needed to be influenced by different people. I knew if I had stayed in St. Louis I wouldn’t have met new people and made new connections at work. I would have continued to see my friends from college and talk to the same managers at work. Its not that I wanted to ditch my old friends and coworkers, its just that I could already see myself becoming close minded. I knew that staying where I was was not the best thing for me to do my first year after college. It was time for me to be uncomfortable again. I played it safe for almost four years in St. Louis and it was time for me to start over again.
This move was a huge decision, but it was one I had to make on my own. I knew that no matter what I chose my parents would have supported me and that I would manage on my own. I think its just very easy to get comfortable with a city, a group of friends, a job, etc. but you don’t always want to be comfortable. If you’re comfortable for too long, you stop growing. I saw this move as an opportunity to make advancements in my career, meet new people, and see a new side of the country (hello mountains!)
We hated that my parents made us move but it made us independent and grow as individuals. If you were to ask us today we would say it was the best thing for us. We wouldn’t have been pushed to meet new people, to learn new things, or to make the best out of a really crappy situation. And that’s exactly what I chose to do when I decided to move to Seattle. I chose to put myself in an extremely uncomfortable scary situation, start working in a different area of my company, move across the country, and live alone for the first time in my life.
Since being in Seattle I have not regretted it once. Of course having to fly home for the holidays can be frustrating, but my family will always be there for me when I go home. Don’t get caught in a job, a city, or a routine because its easy and comfortable. Push yourself to learn something new, meet new people, and do something for yourself and no one else.