Change is Not as Scary as Florida

Summer’s quickly approaching, and for a lot of people around me, that means searching for internships. All this can be really intimidating because it’s the first sign that change is coming, the first sign that soon we’ll all be pushed out into the real world to fend for ourselves. This got me thinking about other changes I’ve experienced in my life and I thought what better time to write a column about it than now. 

I grew up in Florida, unfortunately. I lived in the suburbs of Miami for my first 18 years of life and I absolutely hated it. I probably get that from my mom, she’d been wanting to move to the North East since I can remember so my whole life was, “When Ally graduates I’m getting the f*ck away from Florida.” And that’s exactly what she did. My mom, my stepdad and I moved up here the very day after my graduation. 

When people move away from the place they grew up, it’s normally very bittersweet. These stories usually consist of people dreading leaving everything they’ve ever known and all of their friends that they grew up with. This was not my story though, because I had been waiting for this for 18 years. I didn’t really get along with the kids I grew up with and I disliked almost everything about Florida.

There was one thing I was scared of though. After a lifetime of looking forward to the big move it was finally here, what if it didn’t live up to everything I was dreaming it to be? What if we moved up here and I disliked it just as much as Florida? This was a feeling that I’d never thought I’d have: Being scared to leave Florida. 

Because of this I actually went back down to Florida for five weeks that summer. I’d gotten to Norwalk, where my parents had moved, and didn’t have any friends, couldn’t find a job and I freaked out about this maybe being the wrong move. So I did what any sane person would do, I went right back to the place I wanted to get away from because it was familiar. 

At the time I thought that it was the right thing to do and what would make me happiest, but now looking back on it, I’m not so sure. I did have fun those final five weeks in Florida but I regret going due to my fear of something new and not because I truly wanted to be there. 

When I got back to Norwalk the apartment we’d moved into had become totally different. All the furniture had been delivered and it started to look like a place people were actually living, not just moving into. I was disappointed that I hadn’t been there with my mom to see this huge transition in her life that we’d all been waiting for. 

The next week was my first week in college and I was having the time of my life; I adjusted to the change faster than anyone could have imagined. That first year flew by and then it was time for summer again in a place I didn’t know, with no friends. I actually ended up quickly getting a job at a local restaurant and having a pretty good summer. Sure, I didn’t know many people and I wasn’t doing the normal summer activities that everyone else was doing, but it was fun in its own way and much better than spending the summer in 100 degree weather in Florida. 

Not to be super cheesy, but I guess I’m writing this as a sort of example to just go for it, or as Shia Lebouf would say, “Just do it.” Life and change can be scary sometimes but if you let fear hold you back then you’ll never know if moving forward could have made you happier, or caused you to lead a better life. And failure isn’t even that bad in the long run, so if you’re contemplating a change in your life I’d say just f*cking go for it.