If you’ve followed me for any length of time, or know me in real life, you know that anxiety is something I talk about often and experience way too often. A little history: my anxiety probably started (or at least I began to notice it much, much more) the spring before I entered PT school. I recall being at work a few times and experiencing almost black-outs, extreme nausea and dizziness, and just feeling “out-of-body”. I didn’t know what was happening, so naturally I went to my doctor. I got blood work and had an EKG done – was actually sent to a cardiologist where I performed a nuclear stress test (yes, add needles and my anxiety sky rockets, great idea), was tested for vertigo and had an echocardiogram done. $300+ later, my heart was functioning perfectly and my blood tests were fine.
Long story short: I eventually figured out it was anxiety and I learned ways to deal with it myself – running, solo time, deep breathing, keeping my blood sugar level, and staying hydrated. Naturally, when you add big life changes, weeks of testing in school, board exams that cost $700+, etc. my anxiety would increase. Enter big life changes.
I made the decision earlier this summer to move when I finished graduate school. I had many reasons behind this decision:
- I’ve been in the DMV region for my entire life (except 4 years of undergrad on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.) I need something new.
- Now is the time to do it: I have a best friend from home still in the area and a few classmates who stayed in the area; but I have nothing tying me here besides family and a few friends; I’m young; I need to experience different places.
- I have friends around the country – I just needed to figure out where I wanted to go
- I don’t think I would thrive in a place where I didn’t know anyone – so I wanted to choose a place where I knew at least 1, if not more, people.
Then I needed to figure out where I was moving. In my head were a few options: Baltimore, Maryland; Raleigh, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; Philadelphia, PA; or just moving down in to D.C. Slowly I started to knock options out and by the beginning of the summer, I was down to 2 options: Philly or Texas. In Philadelphia, I have one of my best friends from undergrad, as well as a few others from undergrad that I know well. I also had been to Philly many times to visit my friend, and know her friends pretty well at this point. Texas was an option because it was different. So very different than anything I’ve experienced and I’ve been to visit a few times and loved it. The one downfall – my friend who I would move down there to be with had future plans of doing travel PT – thereby leaving me alone in a city I don’t know well. I didn’t think I would thrive.
Then my friend bought a house in Philadelphia. She needed roommates. The house would be “ready” by September/October. The timing was perfect. I had made my decision. Philadelphia it is!
So what’s the problem? This is a huge life decision. I’m nervous. I’m scared. I’m excited; so excited. But I’m anxious.
- I’ve become a sort of homebody. Living at home through grad school was great. Don’t get me wrong, I’m SO thankful that my parents let me live here throughout the past 3 years while I got my Doctorate. But at the same time, I became a huge homebody. I would turn down plans because I honestly preferred to just lay in my bed. It’s my comfort zone. I would limit the amount of fun I had at parties, just so I could drive home and be in my own bed. It’s definitely the introvert in me; but I think that it’s become a bit crazy. I can’t wait to break out of that, but at the same time, it gives me anxiety that I’m stepping out of my comfort zone.
- I’m scared of beginning my career. What if I walk in on day one and forget everything I know? What if I make a big mistake because I forgot something so simple? I’m ready for this; I know I am. But I’m so scared of making a mistake and of not remembering things.
- I’m moving in to a work-in-progress. I always pictured that where I would move to would feel homey and I could make it my own and it would be perfect. I’m moving in to a house that is 100+ years old and is not finished. We did just get a couch; but there are still boxes and construction supplies littering the kitchen and dining area; there is crumbling tile in the bathroom; there is missing molding around windows and such. It will be beautiful once it is finished – but it makes me nervous that I’m moving in to a house that isn’t 100% homey just yet. Also – no AC. Yikes.
- What if I don’t like it? I know this is move that needs to happen. For my own self-growth, for life, for career development, for so many other reasons. But what if I hate it the city? I have no concerns about my roommate/landlord. We are cut from the same cloth, sisters from another mister; we have the same values, the same fitness and health goals, and typically always want to do the same things. She respects my need for solo time and I respect her needs to constantly be mopping or vacuuming the house. That aspect will be perfect and I cannot wait to live with one of my best friends. It’s everything else that gives me anxiety.
- I don’t have a job yet. I am moving in to her house the first week of October. But I don’t have a job yet. I have an offer on the table, and I have a promising interview that I need to crush next week. But it’s a bit crazy that I’m moving without a job. YOLO?
- I’m leaving my nephews. C wasn’t born here and didn’t move here until he was 3. I didn’t know what I was missing, having nephews so close to watch them grow. S moved here when he was a month old, and B, of course, will be 1 in two weeks. I’ve watched them each grow in to 3 amazing little boys, and I’ve been spoiled having them 2 miles away, being able to see them whenever I wanted. Now I’ll be 2+ hours away from them and will have to rely on FaceTime and pictures to keep up with them
- I know where everything is here. I don’t know where anything is, there. I have to search on Google Maps for a grocery store. It’s the city and I can’t find parking. How do people park here and grocery shop? Isn’t there a Giant somewhere? Where am I? This doesn’t look like the best part of to-… why is that man not wearing pants? I locked my car, right? … Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but I’m nervous about being in the city where I have to Google where everything is – thank goodness for Siri; am I right?
- We have 5 channels. I’ve been spoiled with a lot of TV channels. My friend got the local channel package – so we have 5 channels. It will be a change. But thank goodness for Netflix and live streaming.
- I’m ready. I’m ready. I’m ready. I know I’m ready. It may suck the first few weeks. I’ll need to get in to my routine. I do better with structure. I thrive on having things set on my schedule to do. It will be better when I have a job. The stress will melt away (Right?), I’ll be settled in to my new life.