Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I'm terrified to move to Boston.

That's not entirely true. It's not the moving, the finding-a-place, the packing, the unpacking, the knowing no one, the big city, or the new surroundings that terrify me.

It's the fact that after I take this step, I don't know what's next.

There's nothing on my horizon 'cept
a bottle of cheap wine
I could keep freelance writing and editing my heart out. I could resume publishing (read: writing, revising, mailing, holding my breath, getting rejected, and once in a blue moon getting published, because them's the brokes, kids). I could keep writing/editing and get a part-time job at one of Boston's many publishing companies just to get me out of the damn house once in a while. I have three or four blog ideas-- real blogs with clear focuses and posting schedules, not the random smatterings of photos and free association posts that comprise the Handbag -- that I want to start. There are new writing markets and niches I want to enter. There's so much in life and in my career that I want to do and after the Great Boston Migration...I've got to decide.

In short, I've got to take a deep breath and step somewhere.

Before I entered the treacherous land of the creatively self-employed, everything I read cautioned that when you succeed, it is entirely your own success...but when you fail, you are the sole reason for your failure.

That's a terrifying threat waiting in the shadows. So it makes a girl wary of her steps.

And it makes her pray for some handrails, a headlamp, or some painted arrows on the wall.

Maybe a spirit guide.

I'm secretly praying my spirit guides are the Animaniacs.

So, readers? Did you ever know you had to start travelling somewhere, but you didn't know which direction to take? What did you do? How did you decide? Let me know in the comments.


  1. Been there, lots of times. Sadly. Just close your eyes and step, you know the way, don't let the road scare you in to standing still.
    I trust the animaniac's because Dot is just so cute.

  2. "don't let the road scare you in to standing still."

    That's a beautiful sentiment. And it describes my current state beautifully.

  3. My best advice is "just jump".

    I have found that when I jump, there are new and better things out there. I moved to LA because the boy with whom I was having a passionate love affair moved to LA. Problem is, HE thought we were just friends with benefits, not soul mates.

    But in LA, I met my soul mate.

    Job wise, let your skills lead you to the next step. And if you just need to work for a while so you can eat, go ahead & take that "just for now" job. Your skills will keep.

    I took a "Just for now" job that eventually led me to my current dream job.

    Jump. The Universe will catch you!


  4. Don't worry, you'll run out!

    Ok, you won't, but you'll be miserable. You need some medical MJ. Just relax my friend. You haven't even gotten to town yet! So much opportunity, you'll know when you get there and get settled in.

    I wish you were at Campbell County Memorial, so I could say "quit worrying, let's grab a Starbucks..or a martini..." By the way, if you were here, I would really be worried for you.

  5. I'm actually in the process of finding ways to be "creatively self-employed" as you put it, and I'm lucky to have a supportive wife who's kind of pushed me over the cliff recently. But I also have a comfortable place to live and a steady income whilst I try things out. So I don't envy your dilemma. Good luck.
    It Just Got Interesting

  6. I think you're already doing pretty good, you just gotta take that leap into the unknown sometimes. I'd actually be very interested in getting some advice from you on doing freelance-- it's something I'm trying to do myself.

  7. I'm going to be cheesy here, but just believe in yourself and you'll be just dandy. There, I said it. And I whole heartedly believed it.

    I was absolutely terrified of life after high school graduation because I didn't know what I wanted to do. Biology? Journalism? Literature? There was a whole range of things I wanted to try, but I could only pick ONE.

    So I went with Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Theater and this is what you're left with: me.

    You'll do much better than me. Don't be scared! It's an adventure! (And yes, the Animaniacs would make awesome spirit guides!)

  8. I think we should talk live. That's creepy, for sure, but I have so much to say on this subject. Mainly, don't over think it.

  9. Making a change is alway scary. My hubby and I have a saying--it always works out, not exactly how you think it will, but it always works out.
    Step, one way or another and you will land on your feet. Forward is a good direction.

  10. It is scary, but you can be fine. Regarding the failure thing, you should try to free yourself from fear of failure. Failure is a great teacher. Most millionaires failed their first attempts at making their money, you know.

  11. Mary--Oh, I'm eating now...but not much else. Sometimes I look longingly at the world outside my wallet. I don't need to be rich. But being able to buy a new pair of underwear every now and then might be nice. I'm gonna jump. Tentatively.

    Onion-- EEEEEE SO EXCITED! I hope doors will just magically open there, like it's a wonderful whimsical land where life answers grow on trees...ummm...it can happen...right? No? Well, I'mma still enjoy me some clam chowder and lobster ravioli.

    Brent-- I definitely jumped in the pool without knowing how to swim and learned as I went. It's rewarding, it's wonderful, I know how lucky I am...but I also know that I want MORE than I currently have. It's a slow process, I won't lie--but being pushed over the cliff is going to make it so much easier for you to "swim" and not "sink." Good luck!

  12. Alexandra-- I've actually thought about doing some "So You Want to Start Freelancing" posts. Maybe I'll give 'em a go.

    Chanel-- I minored in theatre tooooo! If nothing else, it made me eligible to write theatre reviews and pieces. Also, screenplays/scripts. So. There's that. Just gotta find that silver lining, amIright?

    Nicole-- Is it pushy or controlling to demand cocktails? But seriously, I feel like a startled deer. Caught-in-the-headlights. Just gotta move or I'll get run over, I 'spose.

    Vandy-- Hell, if I fail, I can just turn around and start something else, right?

    Dang-- Tell that to my neurosis. I kid! But I do have a fear of failure. I need to get over it. I've failed at many things. What's one more?

  13. Self-confessed coward right here. In your shoes, I would be the exact same. I'd love to say GO FOR IT! but I know it's easier said than done, so instead I'll be sitting her, cheering from the sidelines, supporting whatever you decide to do and empathising with your indecision.

  14. With optimism and an amazing support group, everything will be alright. I lived in another country for a couple of years and made that move without knowing what's in store. It was tough but it eventually went just fine. There's beauty in the unexpected. :)

  15. All the time, my love.

    But I choose to wander down paths alone, because I thrill at the adventure of it.

    Take your gorgeous self out on the town and get your chat on, kitten.

    I suspect you'll not be alone for long.

    And when all else fails...take a much needed break to England.

    Just a suggestion.

    - B x

  16. Whatever you end up doing, trust your instincts. Listen to what the Animaniacs in your head are saying, because usually, they're right!

  17. the animaniacs are ALWAYS right. i was wakko one year for halloween. i was like 15. hmm.

    anyway. we're moving back to new york. on may 18th. and we still don't have a place to live. so i get the whole losing your damn mind thing.

    but willy wonka said it best: they all come out in the wash.

    it all comes out in the wash. maybe not the first time. maybe you need to spray some spray'n'wash on that shit first. maybe you have to make sure you don't put it in the drier after the first wash to be sure you don't help the stain set in even more.

    but it all comes out in the wash. you just have to go with the flow sometimes. and be anxious and ridiculous about other things. which is not easy, but it can be done.

  18. I am one of those creatively unemployed that are writing and editing, and while I have one book out, a second one waiting in the wings, and things are starting to up-tick money-wise.

    Still, wading in the non-traditionally, gainfully unemployed writing world, is always uncertain. It's a lot of spinning around, picking a direction, and hoping you picked the right way to go, and trying not to miss opportunities along the way.

    What helped me last year was outlining what I really wanted to be when I grow up; do I want to write books? Articles? Blog the rest of my life?

    Well, once I narrowed down my focus to what I really wanted, I got on a path, and I've been fairly productive in it since.

  19. You're part of a great Odyssey and you get to stumble through parts of it and direct yourself through other parts.

    Ultimately, we learn the only truly important part about making a decision is simply making the decision and taking the action. It's not a valid question to ask if a decision is right or wrong, because "wrong" decisions are simply decisions with outcomes different than what we expected.

    But guess what? So are "correct" decisions, almost all the time. Life is funny that way.

    I've had to make some weird decisions in my life, and every time - even now - I have to remind myself that just making the decision is what counts. The fear over if it's right or wrong is self-created.

    11,000 ft over Central America in a small helicopter, lost, at night, clouds obscuring the ground, with only peaks of mountains breaking the clouds in places, with a 20 minute fuel warning light blinking away at me and I had to decide a direction of travel to find a way to land, or the lack of fuel + gravity would decide for me. I'm still alive.

    The journey is the living part of life. Just do anything.

  20. Harley-- Oh, you aren't a coward at all! But I think it's always scary to climb into a pair of Big Girl Shoes and then try to walk. Thanks for the support =)

    whynotpat-- Living in a foreign country's on my bucket list, so I'm jealous of that experience. I can't even decide where I want to live-- Spain? Ireland? England? Australia? Japan? Sigh. Decisions.

    B-- I think in a past life YOU were a spirit guide. A sexy, straight-talking spirit guide who wears killer heels.

    insideoutandbackwards-- But they're all talking at once! Which one do I listen to? ;)

    steph-- Wakko was ALWAYS my favorite! And we don't have a place to live, either. I really can't work out the time period on that since we're renting...I mean, should we just go on up when the lease ends? Go up before? I HAVE NO IDEA. And it's scary. But we'll get through it. And we'll find that perfect affordable Boston house...(yeah, right)

    K. Syrah-- Thanks for visiting and thanks even more for your excellent advice. I NEED focus...but I have a feeling it's going to take a couple months (years?) til I finally decide on what I want/need to do.

  21. DM-- Brilliant advice. I just need to move somewhere. Do something. Anything. And stop DRIFTING.


    I'm like the Queen of Transition... moved a lot and done a lot in the last few years, and each time it WAS terrifying.


    Instead of growing a pair, just grab the world by the willy parts and realize you're in a brilliantly liberating situation to take some chances - the mistakes you MAY encounter are worth the quest to make your mark. I'm jealous of your new life and chance to do yo' thang, girl!

    I had something more sentimental, but I can hardly match the comments above, so that's all I've got... :)

    We're rooting for you!

  23. It's time for animaniacs, and we're zany to the max, so just sick back and relax, you'll laugh till you collapse, we're animaniacs!

  24. I have given an award to you in my latest bitchfest...er..blog. Enjoy.

  25. My feeling has always been that if something scares me, then that is exactly where I need to go. I liken it to being on an airplane, ready to jump. It's terrifying, and the "wise choice" would be to sit your ass back in the chair, buckle in and be safe. However I've found too often that I've strapped myself to a chair only to have the plane crash.

    Jumping is scary, especially for someone like me because I'm so impulsive that I never check to see if I'm wearing a parachute, but the comforting thing is that you've taken the decision into your own hands.

    Have I told you this analogy before? I'm afraid that I might have because I use it a lot since it so accurately describes my feelings on change and risk. And I might have been imbibing with Senor Cuervo if I've said it before.

    Either way, just do your best to relax and let it flow, darlin'. You're brilliant and no matter what you do, it will be stellar.~ xxoo

  26. New beginnings are always scary. But I know you're gonna do it. They've pretty much given every awesome advice there is. Just do what you love and you're gonna be awesome!!! :)

  27. Celia-- If I had 1/8 of your willy parts, I would be a much better person today. I adore you.

    Jenna-- At first I was like, haha! Jenna and I are soul mates, we love Animaniacs and can quote the theme song together...and then I realized it TOTALLY fit the post, too. They really ARE my spirit guides! I knew it! Now, if I could only look like Hello Nurse...

    Rebecca-- *off to go read blog and bask in awardiness* =D

    Gnetchylove...I love you, my favorite cereal killer. And now I'm OFF TO RULE THE WORRLLLLLLLLLLD!

    Or at least write about my *plans* to rule the world. Either way.

  28. I've never moved and started fresh before so I can't say from experience, but keep doing what you love and remember, life is a big adventure.


  29. Honestly, I'm not sure I'm the best person to answer this question. Remember my move to Washington? I threw darts at a map to decide where to move. The only piece of advice I can give is to do SOMETHING. I know that sounds silly and simple but its so easy to get lost in your options without ever making a choice. Close your eyes and pick a direction. If its the wrong one, you'll know and you can always turn around. When it comes to your carreer, there really is a do-over button. You won't get any younger but you can start over. :)

    I think I might have been even less helpful than the Animaniacs. I think I deserve a special prize for this considering they would be pulling you in at least three different directions. You'll do well and you'll be okay because someone as fantastic as you only has those options. :)


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