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Welcome To The Real World

Hello from Augusta, Georgia. (Which is really strange for me to say, just so you know.)

I have always lived in WV. Heck, I've lived in the same house and in the same room for 22 years. I went to the same high school as my grandparents, parents, and sister, and my family knew the parents of everyone I hung out with. Now, here I am, a few hundred miles away, without my family and my dog for the first time. Granted, I am lucky enough to be living with my sister, brother-in-law, and niece, but I digress.

I didn't move here for fun, though. I have been coming to Augusta off and on since my sister moved down here a few years ago. After I graduated college, I decided to put Augusta in my job search and seven months later here I am. Someone finally thought my resume was good enough for an interview and eventually a job. But, that meant that this was all becoming surprisingly real. I couldn't complain about not having a job anymore because I suddenly had one. I couldn't remain in my childhood home for the rest of my life because I had decided to accept a job offer with three states standing between it.

Needless to say, I was scared, anxious, and more than a bit sick to my stomach. I wanted this; I wanted a new start, a job, to spend time with my family down here. But, what I didn't want was to pack up half of what I own into my car and watch as my parents waved goodbye to me from the porch on a cold December morning. At 22, that really shouldn't have bothered me as much as it did. Especially considering how much my family talks to each other and makes plans to see one another. But, there I was, changing every sad or slow song that came on my radio and trying to keep any and all tears from making a fool out of me.

At 22, I have already spent four years away from my family at college. I lived with my sister for months or weeks at a time during the summers. But, this seemed more permanent, even if it wasn't. If someone had told me it was going to be this difficult to move away and start a life, maybe I would have just sucked it up and stayed in West Virginia. But, for some reason, I've always thought that somewhere better was waiting for me out there.

I'll let you know if I'm right.

Yesterday, I started my new life. I went to orientation where I learned nothing and hated those five hours of my life. My boyfriend assures me that's how I know I'm in the workforce. I'm not impressed. Within those five hours, I asked both my mother and my boyfriend if I could quit yet. I reported to work this morning.

I'm not sure what I was expecting out of all of this. Maybe that it would feel different, like going to college. But there, my biggest worry was writing essays and making sure my friends didn't end up with alcohol poisoning and in a ditch on the weekends. Now, I have to worry about taxes, maybe having to work on weekends, and not having the summer off. Apparently, the real world actually continues after May/June. And, obviously, there are a lot more pressing issues that I'm choosing not think about right now due to the amount of anxiety it would add on to the heaping pile that already exists.

I guess what I've learned so far is that it's not as glamorous as you make it out to be, especially if you aren't lucky enough to already have someone with a house that's willing to let you live there for an extended amount of time. Leaving home means leaving everything you've come to take for granted or the things that you're used to. You're literally uprooting the life you've lived every day for however many years and planting it somewhere else. It's not going to be easy, but it doesn't have to be hard either. You're always going to miss the people in your life if you're not with them. You're always going to wish to go back to those "good old days". You're always going to question if you're doing the right thing.

I'm not sure if there's a good answer to those questions. It's way too soon for me to figure that out anyway.

But, I'm not thinking of this as permanent. I think it's scarier to think there's no way out. This is a stepping stone in the path I'm creating for my life. I have no idea how many stones will be laid in it and I'm not even sure which way it's going, but I know the only way I'm going to find out is if I try.

I'm scared, sad, nervous, excited, and anxious, but I know it has to be done. Things are changing, and I'm learning that I have to let that happen. I can't hold myself back, I have to see what I'm capable of. And if it turns out I suck at the real world, maybe my parents will let me have my room back!

The first stop doesn't have to be the last.

Wish me luck!

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