The Long Goodbye

Saying goodbye to the old life, and hello to the new

As I write, there are but three days left until I get on the plane and bid farewell to my old life. The last few weeks have been a flurry of events that have left me with little time to reflect on the enormity of what’s happening – something that my friends aren’t shy at pointing out; “This is huge”, “I’d be shitting myself if I were you”, and so on.

In a way it’s a blessing. For months I’ve been pretty ambivalent and/or gung-ho about the whole thing. “I’m moving to New York” was delivered with the same weight as “I’m going to have chicken for dinner”. Perhaps it’s because the process has taken so long, or perhaps it’s just that, subconsciously, it was the best way for me to deal with it. I’m not really sure. What I am sure of, is that Shit Got Real about six weeks ago.

I now find myself embroiled in a cauldron of conflicting emotions. This is, no doubt, a huge change and a huge opportunity. NYC is widely touted as the best city in the world, and it’s a place that I’m very much enamoured with. Having survived London easily, I’m not phased by the idea of living and working within its American cousin. I’m finally going to be close to my girlfriend, who I’ve been with for nearly a year, stuck in the at-times frustrating ‘LDR’ scenario. On one hand, I’m still running and leaping for this opportunity with hands ready to grasp it.

On the other, however, I really don’t want to go.When this all began, it was at the end of a pretty shite 2016. The year had started full of hope and promise, and was drawing to a close with disaster at almost every step. The job was floundering thanks to acquisition, my dream of owning a home had gone up in (figurative) smoke, and my personal life was a weird mess.

When I moved back to London, my housemate and I made a pact that 2017 would be the year of ‘No Change’. We had both been through a tough time and resolved that the following year would be one of rebuilding.
Obviously my part of that pact went out the window pretty fast, but the point is that when I met my to-be-girlfriend, and when I asked if I could move to America, in my mind I had nothing worth sticking around for.

Fast forward eleven months. I’ve made an incredible bond with my little group of housemates, so much so that the idea of leaving them behind upsets me more than anything else.
After years of dabbling with my passion for cars, I’ve finally started to find a group / sub-culture / whatever you want to call it that I could get involved with. Ironically, it came after I sold my car in preparation of the move. Nevertheless, it feels like somewhere I could belong, and have a whole lot of fun.
I was somewhat blindsided a few weeks back when I discovered that, had I not been moving, there was someone who wanted to make me a job offer for a position that would have firmly eclipsed anything I’d done thus far. A true ‘step up’ the career ladder, and one that would push me firmly into the area I’ve wanted to be for a while now.

Now the idea of moving isn’t what it was in December 2016. Then it was ‘so long crappy life, hello new and exciting opportunity!’. Now I feel like I’m genuinely letting go of some really great things, as well as turning down amazing opportunities, in order to take a step into a world where I might not get any of those things.

Realistically however, that was always the case. I just looked at it a different way back then because of my circumstances. This has always been a huge risk, a big step into the unknown. Just because I now recognise that, it doesn’t really change things.

In three days I’ll be on the plane, looking ahead to the next few months of new and exciting challenges. What will keep me centred is knowing that all this amazing stuff still exists back home, that there is a safety net should I ever need one, and that I know more than ever what it is I’m looking for to keep my life rounded and happy.

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