When You Start To Live For Yourself

Written By Emily Michalski - Recent college graduate, learning the world little by little. Facebook: @emjmichals & Instagram: @e__m_ily

When You Start To Live For Yourself

 It’s 2pm on a Tuesday and here I am, sitting with legs outstretched on my bedroom floor staring at the few years of clutter I’ve accumulated in this small bedroom. I have no idea where to start; I look down at my mismatched green and blue kid’s socks, my toe peeking through the thinning material on my right foot, I mentally add this to the growing list of things I need to buy in the next couple of months. I pick my cuticle raw and my stomach does a nervous flip as I think about how many times I’ve moved the past couple of years in and out of dorms. “Except this time you’re moving into your own apartment, Em.”

I exhale deeply, and stare at my phone, waiting for the screen to light up with an incoming call about my orientation and new hire training schedule, knowing that it starts Monday and I’m finishing my two weeks Wednesday through Sunday at my old job. I close my heavy eyes contemplating taking the rest of the week off from my old job. “I’m leaving anyways,” I tell myself. I’m tired, anxious more than anything but I have a hard time making a distinction between the two anymore. I take another sip of hot coffee, the warm bitterness hitting the back of my throat and rolling all the way down to my stomach, adding to the flip-flopping. 

“How the hell does anyone do this?” I keep asking myself that as I continue to pick the skin on my finger. If I’ve learned anything the past couple of years being a twenty-something, it’s that nothing goes as planned. Exhibit A: I’m moving in a couple of weeks. Not even a few days ago, I had only just downloaded this ridiculously confusing budgeting app to my phone to only start saving for a place of my own. One of my friends however, came in out of nowhere looking for a roommate. Of course, I gladly accepted, knowing that living alone isn’t an option for someone with my income. 

Exhibit B: This new job? Also, out of nowhere. I took what I thought would be my “dream job”, in the beginning of the summer, everything I thought I possibly could’ve wanted – (the first offer that came to me fresh out of college with a bachelor’s degree and the smell of desperation oozing from my pores.) So, here I am, currently about to sell out for two dollars more an hour, and regular weekends off with benefits.

But the entirely crazy part of all of this is that I’ve never been the girl to nose-dive into anything without analyzing the jump first. I plan; I think it over, talk to people. It takes me months to make a decision, but the older I get, even these past few months, I have slowly realized that I can’t keep staying in one place because I’m afraid that the ground might fall out from under me. I’ve been sabotaging myself for years over-analyzing everything, killing myself to calculate every move, I make, biting my tongue bloody and taking on extra hours at work, scheduling myself one commitment after another as not to inconvenience anyone else. 

I’m tired of staying in one spot, wearing my wishbone where my backbone should be as people like to say. So many people telling me that I need to be happy with what I’m doing, but I’m not listening to that anymore. It’s time that I start creating my own happiness, to start jumping a little more instead of hovering on the edge, to stop being afraid of what could go wrong. It’s time to put away my old anxiety I’ve worn for so long and see where I go. So, that’s what I’ll do, and I’ll pack up the old, and run with the new.