changing course


A couple of weeks ago, maybe even a few weeks ago now (because it makes such a difference), I tweeted about how I was moving back to my hometown in Montana to live with my mom, work remotely, and save up some money and pay off debt. The plan was to then either move back to Portland, or start fresh in Seattle where I could be near more of my close friends. It seemed like the best and quickest way to get back to the Pacific Northwest, where I think I might end up eventually, and I was feeling lonely and depressed in LA (as you can read in previous uplifting posts).

Honestly, I just didn’t know what else to do with my life.

The day I told my boss I was moving, I sat down in his office and told him how I really needed to save money, I was broke and lonely, and it was time to go home for a bit to get my shit together. I even waxed all nostalgic about the beautiful quiet winters in Montana, the great expanses of wilderness, the incredible huckleberry shakes. He was encouraging, and I was feeling great about it!

The second I left his office, I burst into tears. Not wild sobbing or anything, just silent tears streaming down my face. I sat in my cubicle for the next few minutes, trumpeting into Kleenex and trying to muffle my cry sounds, wondering why I was taking this so goddamn hard.

After that, every time I had to tell someone new about my decision to move, I cried. It’s not that I felt like I was making a mistake, or even that I was giving up, but I think… just a little, I felt like I was about to leave something before I was ready to go.

I’ve made a lot of big, life-altering decisions in my 31 years of life. And this is going to sound silly, but I’d never felt more distinctly that if I went through with this decision, if I moved to Montana, another reality would branch off and there would be two Megs: the Meg who moved to Montana, and the one who stayed in California. And I knew, I knew, that the Meg who stayed in LA would find happiness. I could see her so vividly, and felt so clearly for the first time in life that either option — staying or going — would work out.

But I had made up my mind to move. And there was nothing keeping me in California.

Then a kind of magical thing happened. Not because it was preordained, or mind-blowing, or even out of the ordinary; more like a perfect storm of small things coming together to open up a door for me.

In a previous post I talked about reconnecting with my ex. Over Christmas, we texted a lot. We caught up on news from old friends, rehashed all the video games we’d played over the last four years, and — against all expectation — he apologized for some hurtful things he’d done when we broke up. Things that I’d been holding onto for all those years, like scar tissue over an old wound. Then he told me that every decision I’d ever made, all the decisions he knew about anyway, had been great ones. He said I was an amazing person, and that no matter what, he knew I’d do great things.

I never understood what “closure” meant until then. I felt like a weight had been lifted, like all the bitterness I’d clung to just evaporated, and I was finally free to let go of so much heavy garbage.

I could be truly vulnerable again.

I won’t get into the specifics of what happened on New Year’s Eve. Let’s just say I found myself in the company of a boy I liked, knowing I was leaving LA soon, no longer hindered by the years of bitterness that had followed me through life since 2013, and I had consumed 3.5 Coronas in quick succession (listen, I’m a lightweight). So I did something that I would never have done even a week earlier. I said “fuck it,” and made a move.

He reciprocated.

I know nothing is guaranteed to work out. Life is complicated. I may end up moving to Montana eventually. But for the past few weeks, I’ve been happy here. A door opened, and I look through and see myself on the other side. I see myself here, in Los Angeles, doing my thing, living my life. And y’know what? It’s good.

It feels really good.

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