Better Here

I turned 32-years-old last week. I had to think about it, for a moment I thought I was 31. I don’t really like birthdays. After 21, the passage of time doesn’t really seem worth celebrating.

Yet here I am, a week later, feeling pretty proud of what I’ve done in these 32 years. Navigating adulthood hasn’t always been easy and I’ve made plenty of mistakes to get here. I took an enormous leap when I moved to California. And another when I gave up and moved back east. Buying this house, hundreds of miles from anyone I knew, was the biggest leap of all.

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For the first time in my life, I’ve been making my own decisions. I’m not compromising on the things I’ve wanted to do for so long. I’m not waiting on someone else to do them with me—or worse, for me. I’m not curating my personality, my desires, or my dreams to fit someone else’s narrative. I’m not bending over backwards to accommodate a lifestyle I don’t want. I’m not changing who I am to appear more desirable, to a man or anyone. (My dating record can attest to this and that’s fine with me.)

You might be thinking, “Jess, you moved out on your own seven months ago—why the sudden revelation?”

I feel like I’ve finally reached a turning point since settling in here. There were some really dark days along the way. I questioned if moving out here was the right choice, if I had thrown away something irreplaceable, if I could even do this on my own. But here I am, figuring shit out.

Maybe I needed to survive my first winter. Or maybe I needed time with friends around the new BBQ grill (which I assembled myself).

Or maybe it was just realizing I’m better here. This was where I needed to be.

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