“Hey, Mom. I’m going to move halfway across the country to live with this guy I met online.” Most moms would stop dead in their tracks, slowly turn to face you in a way that’s reminiscent of Chucky, and gape at you with narrowed eyes. Or if you had this conversation on the phone, there would be silence on the other end.
No warning. No preparation. The screech that would make even the manliest of men feel ten inches tall. And the floodgates would open as your dear, sweet mother yelled at you for being so stupid.
But did I get that? Nope.
In fact, the only thing my mom said was, “Milwaukee?”
I guess my mom is used to me dropping things like this on her. But it’s only fair. She tells me I’m going to have a new sibling every two years.
So that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the internet has evolved from being the a breeding ground for creepy middle-aged men with fetishes for little boys (yes, I know they still exist. Shut up.) to a place where a kid from a small town can be flown to Australia and cordially invited to room with a dude they’ve never met.
On a more serious note, I’m always amazed by the way things work out for me. Despite knowing that everything works out for me, I tend to forget until I get hit upside the head with a new and exciting opportunity.
I’d been planning to move to Portland this September, but still didn’t really know how to do it. I was coming out of a severely apathetic and depressed phase, so my momentum and work ethic were slow going. Then I had the courage to walk away from an incredible toxic situation.
Right after that, I got an email from Drew telling me about the Great Adventure and cordially inviting me to room with him while he trains at his old dojo in Milwaukee.
I was actually stunned for a second. And then confused. And then excited. And then confused again. Here was this opportunity that literally fell at my doorstep. It was completely opposite of what I thought I’d be doing in September. It would take place on unknown territory with someone I’d never met nor really established a relationship with.
So I brooded over it. I contemplated. I marinated and seasoned. I let it stew.
The idea of accepting for all 3 months seemed daunting. I was torn between full commitment to Milwaukee or full commitment to Portland. Then I realized I could do both. It seemed a little silly that had overlooked this option before, but I did. Whatever.
So, I finally wrote Drew back and committed to 2 months in Milwaukee.
But why did I accept?
Because even moving to Portland was safe. It’s 2 hours away from where I live now (also where I grew up) and to me, Portland really isn’t that big of deal. I love the Pacific Northwest culture. I live and breathe it, but it’s nothing special anymore.
So, perhaps it is an attempt to re-remember just how special being an Oregonian is. And perhaps it’s to give myself a clean break from the negative things in my life that I’ve stepped away from.
It certainly is an attempt leap without a net. I’ve been caught in this webbing for far longer than I anticipated and it’s a damn comfy place to be, but I’m not growing anymore.
Milwaukee is the space between the nest and the cold, hard ground. I’ve either got to fly or come crashing down. And being a crash test dummy is getting old.
As usual, this came at the perfect time. Things like this always do. I can never say no to adventures that will help me grow and expand my horizons.
And so, I’ll be getting well acquainted with Milwaukee and our resident Rogue Priest in a little over a month. There is not an ounce of hesitation or regret. I’ve never felt more sure about a decision in my life.
(Plus, Drew and I are going to get pet penguins who will wear cool sunglasses and serve drinks at parties. It’s hard to deny penguins.)
Note from Drew: I did a reciprocal guest post for Lex that you can find here.