Santa Monica 

I worked as a manager for A Major Chain of Books for several years. It started out as a part time gig when I was caring for my grandmother during the last year of her life. It was perfect, I was surrounded by books and I basically spent my paycheck there. The best bonus was all the coffee I could drink.

I took that as a challenge: game on.

After my grandmother died, I accepted a full time position as a special orders clerk, working my way up to a manager. In many ways, it was one of the best jobs I ever had. I got paid to read, listen to music and drink coffee. What more could a gal ask for? 

I was in my late 20’s, and had given up my career as an accountant, my home & basically my life to take care of my grandmother. She had serious heart issues and couldn’t be left alone. When she passed, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I went to work, I read, I wrote and I worked out. I was leading a glamorous life.

I wasn’t sure if it was grief or boredom, but for one hot minute I contemplated moving to LA. I would be transferring with the company. It was the perfect do over. I had dreams of going to Venice Beach, seeing movie stars, being part of the scene and being seen. I flew out for an interview, was put up in a swank hotel and had a lived it up for a week.

I felt like one of the glamorous people. I was offered the job, found an apartment and was ready for a life reset. I had two weeks to pack up my life, move cross country and start over. At that moment, I felt like I won an academy award. 

I would like to thank…

And just as fast as I was ready to move on, a massive panic attack hit. It was shortly after I arrived back in NJ and I grasped the enormity of what I was about to do. I spent the weekend in bed, in the fetal position, paralyzed by fear. “Friends” kindly informed me that I must be insane if I was going to go through with this crazy idea.  I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t allow myself to let my wildest dreams come true. It was a combination of fear, anxiety, and self loathing that led me to eventually turn down the offer and actually change jobs out of shame.

Sometimes I’ll have thoughts about what could have been cross my mind. I know everything about my life would be completely different. I try to live my life without regrets. I don’t want to be rocking away in the nursing home, wishing things had been different. I want to look back and smile, because I freaking lived my life. I want to squeeze every second out of every minute of every hour of every day from now until they drop me like I’m hot six feet underground. I want my obituary to list all my accomplishments and have it take up a full page in the paper.

Regrets are for those too afraid to live.

My failed move to LA was a very valuable lesson. I realized that my anxiety needed to get under control because it impacted my life in a way I refuse to experience again. It also came to my attention that I valued other people’s opinions more than I should have. Most of all, I didn’t believe in myself, and that caused more issues than I care to recount. 

We can live beside the ocean

Leave the fire behind

Swim out past the breakers

Watch the world die-Everclear’s Santa Monica

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