If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I worry. I worry about everything from what I’m going to say tomorrow to the state of the world as we know it (which is, to be candid, pretty crazy at the moment – but that’s another blog post!).
Yes, there’s many of you out there who are going through the same thing – and here’s me reaching out to you. Because I get it. Those anxieties, those seemingly endless worries, are horrific. I hate the way I feel on a daily basis, but I get through it. We all get through it someway, somehow. After all, we always have out safety nets, our comfort zones to fall back on when the world feels overwhelming.
So, what happens when you leave that comfort zone? I’m literally finding that out.
Two weeks ago, I finally moved out of my parents. I say finally, because I’m thirty this year, and I thought – hey, it’s high time I got outta here! Well, something to that effect anyway – I’m lucky enough that my parents are still together after thirty years, and they have a nice home with lots of animals to hug! (Two dogs and two cats to be precise – we’ve definitely had more over the years…).
Ok, yes, I went to University. But, being candid here – I commuted the first two years and only in my final year did I move into a house with some friends. That final year saw me technically move out and become a *shudder* ‘grown-up’, but again being candid, I went back home twice a month because I’m such a home girl. And after University came to an end, what did I do? I moved right back in with my parents.
My excuse was graduating in the summer of 2008, which we all remember as being the financial crash. But candidly, I had no clue what I was supposed to do.
Anyhow. Flash-forward nine and a half years and I have taken the biggest step of them all – moving out of the parents. I tell you, moving out sucks when you suffer from anxiety. It doesn’t matter if you’re renting with a friend, buying a place with a partner, or simply finding your own space, it’s terrifying at the best of times.
So what are my plans now I’ve taken the plunge?
Take each day as it comes.
I’m always considering that question right at the back of my mind – “Am I doing the right thing?”. But, the thing is, I’ve realised I can’t know that right away. Moving away to University was slightly different. I had the option of going home, and in a way, University is just an extension of school and college (sixth-form college for anyone in the US!).
Moving out of your childhood home is scary. Let’s face it, meeting any change and going with it is scary, but if you don’t do what’s scary, if you don’t face up to real-world challenges, you’ll never experience anything – or at least, your experiences will be less than they could be.
I read an amazing little book over Christmas that highlights the essence of this, and more types of journeys besides. If you’re a reader (and like philosophy and animal stories), I highly recommend it:
Essentially the book is about the question: “Should we be in a perpetual and aimless state of wandering, or must always have a goal in mind?”. But the story covers far more ground (philosophically and spatially) than this.
In a way, the book pushed me to leave my comfort zone. I’d been thinking about moving out for a long time, but wasn’t sure on the right timings. I’ve a passion for reading, and for me, this was the push to get me going, but if you’re wondering whether it’s time for you to move out, don’t rush into it, but don’t wait forever either. The right time will happen – it may be a friend is looking to rent somewhere and needs a second person to move in. It may be you find that perfect new job but know the travel will be insane unless you move that little bit closer. The right time will definitely let itself be known.
Now I’ve moved, I’ve got other things to think about – establishing my comfort zone.
Because the moment you make that decision on moving out, of leaving your comfort zone, you actually don’t realise what that will mean until you’ve finished every bit of planning and packing and look back at your empty room. You won’t notice the fears until you sleep those first few nights in the new space – especially if you suffer from anxiety like me.
All I can say to those who have taken the leap – make your own comfort zones. Do what you like doing best. If it’s crafting, set-up a craft table. If it’s reading, make sure you have a bookshelf and take all your favourite books and those you’re eager to read (even if you don’t have space for all your books!). If you love sports, find local gyms or local teams within the first week. Make time for friends – schedule hanging out days, and even schedule time for heading back home to see your parents/siblings.
And above all – take each day as it comes. Accept that even if you’re unsure today, tomorrow is a whole new day.
“In any given moment you have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” Abraham Maslow