"and to think only a couple nights ago, you were so dicouraged, thinking you were going nowhere."
i received that text message on friday march 2nd. three days after a long, emotional, heart broken conversation with my best friend on the phone. she simply asked me, "so whats next for kate?" and i lost it. i didn't know. i was confused. stranded. sick of waiting. i was in the same exact place as i was five years ago when i graduated from high school. in sacramento. living in my parents house. stuck.
if only i knew what the next few days, next few weeks, would hold for me.
after my discouraging phone conversation with char i talked to jordan (high school friend who moved to florida) on the phone. i told her about my conversation the night before and how discouraged i felt. she knew my dreams of getting out and finding a new start and how i felt like i was going nowhere. the two of us had always talked about getting out together. we both grew up in sacramento and dreamed hard through our four long years of high school. the only thing that helped us get by was convincing ourselves we would load up our 1967 vw bus the night of graduation and take off to tour the country. to finally get out of that black hole town. but sadly, that never happened. life got in the way. immature fights and realistic dreams set in. and only a year after graduation jordan got married and before i could even process it--she moved across the country. without me and the 67 vw bus.
during our talk i told jordan how i feel it is impossible to just pick up and move to a completely new state across the country when you dont know anyone or anything about the place. and finding a job? who is going to hire a girl from california for a job in north carolina or wherever i go? after my woe is me rant jordan sat there for a few seconds then said, "why dont you move here? you know me, you know the place, and it is on the east coast." i went and visited her for a month last summer and had a blast. sure florida is the hottest place ive ever been but it wasnt unbearable. and she was right. it is on the east coast. i had just never considered living in florida.
ive always dreamed about living on the east coast. being raised a west coast california girl i was always living in the place people considered the "it" place. whenever i told someone where i lived i was given the reply "lucky". it didnt matter where in california i was from. just that i simply lived on the golden coast. sure, i love where i live and i am in love with california. but i always wanted something more. i wanted to stretch my wings as far as i could. reach them and dip them into a new ocean. a new body of water. i wanted a different way of life. simplicity. something american. something wholesome. i still hope one day i find my all american town where i can proudly wear a dress with cowboy boots, roll all the windows down in my red chevy, and listen to the good ole boys sing of their back roads and southern roots.
but for now...ive found my stepping stone.
i considered her proposition for a few days but didnt really think hard on it til friday. i called her and asked if she was truly serious about me being able to live with her. she talked to her husband and they both thought it was a great idea. i called charla and asked her what her honest to goodness opinion was. in short she said, "you have to do it. what do you have to lose?" i knew she was right. only a few minutes after i got off the phone with her i got that text message and i knew it was set. i was moving to florida.
i went to dinner with some of my closest friends that evening and talked to them about my idea. one of my friends is 26 and the other is her mom; my old coworker and dear friend. i knew i would be getting two completely different perspectives and wanted them to lay it on my thick what they thought. their concerns, questions, and mostly their honest opinion if it was a good idea. after hours of going back and forth and exploring all options the three of us came to a unanimous decision.
it was the perfect opportunity for me.
so once i got the easy stuff out of the way i knew i was in for the hard part. finding a job from across the country.the next day, saturday morning, i spent most of my time browsing through craigslist and shooting out my resume to every single place listed under the jobs tab. after about a half an hour a new email notification popped up. i had applied to an autobody receptionist ad because that is what i do here at my current job. i explained in my cover letter i was going to be moving to fort walton as soon as i found a job and was eager for an opportunity to be considered. after a half a dozen of emails or so he told me he would contact me later the following week for an interview. shortly after our conversation ended i got another email from a wedding company i had contacted for more information saying they had a hiring event and interview day set up for saturday march 31. just a few short weeks away. i sent the lady a link to my wedding tumblr that i post pictures of my favorite things and told her i would love the opportunity to meet her. i am a person who loves to move fast. but the end of the month would be here before i knew it and i knew that it wouldnt be smart to move on the hope that i would nail a seasonal job with a wedding company.
i spent the following days praying, researching, and talking non stop about the possibility with jordan and charla. after a few more emails exchanged with the autobody shop i had an interview set up for friday the 9th. just one week after i decided to start thinking about florida.
after an hour and fifteen minute interview with mr.roberts he offered me the job as a receptionist at the brand new autobody shop he was starting. i couldnt believe it. i called my parents and the few friends i told and shared with them the news. it had only been a week. a week and i had a job secured across the country. the next day i made it permanent and accepted the job and bought my one way plane ticket. a plane that would be leaving in only 17 days. two days later on monday i went into my job and put in my two weeks notice.
and here i am now. only one week away. and i honestly cant believe it. its amazing how fast things can change. how you can go from completely hopeless to full of hope in a matter of days. where one friday you are dwelling on an idea and the next you are completing an amazing interview.
i am still so in awe and so thankful for this opportunity ive been given. i want to cherish every moment of it and never take advantage of the fact that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
i dont know whats in store for me. i already started making plans to explore new states and hope to eventually make my way up in the north carolina, virgina, and maryland area. but for now im not making any more plans. i am going to live in my moment to moments. i am going to soak in every day i have left in california with all of those i love most. i am going to enjoy what little comfort i have left in my safety zone. because in seven days that will all be gone.
i will be in a new state. on a new coast. sleeping in a new bed and staring at four new walls. my parents will be 2,600 miles away; not a few feet. and i am not going to be able to call my friends to hang out on a moments notice. and to be honest, all those things have been hard to accept. its something ive never had to experience before and the whole idea of it all terrifies me. but i know that not all people get this kind of opportunity and i would be silly for not taking it because i was scared. the most growing ive done has been when i was uncomfortable and not in my comfort zone. just a few weeks before this opportunity came up i was journaling and these were some of my thoughts.
"to be honest, the idea of leaving home scares me. i have lived in the same house since i was five years old and slept in the same bedroom just as long. of course i have left home before and ventured out into the world for weeks at a time but i always came back. there was always the comfort of knowing that in a certain amount of time i would be back in the familiarity of my life. unlike a lot of people i know i never left to go to college. its not that i didnt want to but it just hasnt been written into my story. most kids get out of their hometown around the age of 18 and start new lives on different campuses around the country. sometimes even around the world. and i have always envied them. because they found a way to leave home and find a community of people who have the same exact circumstances as they do. and by doing that they were never alone. that is something ive always wanted. to leave the life im living behind and abandon it for something new, something different. ive always wanted a new start but for some reason that opportunity has been put off longer for me than most people. i still wonder why. maybe im not ready. because if im being honest with myself what would i do if an opportunity presented itself to me? would i leap into it head first unafraid of the consequences? would i be careful about my decisions and take my time in planning? or would the whole idea of something new terrify me to the point where i risk missing out in it for the familiarity of things that are certain and concrete? honestly, i dont know."
well, i guess i do know. because even though ive done all those things i listed i settled into the first one. because i am diving in head first. ive never been a toe in the water kind of girl.
im taking the plunge.
im taking my chance.
and im having faith and complete trust in the Author of my story.
fort walton beach is going to be my future for a while. i cant wait to trade in my west coast roots for a little florida sunshine <3
the timing with my job and everything worked out so perfectly that i am arriving before the wedding company interview so keep your fingers and toesies crossed for that!