It was late March and nothing felt real to the point of emptiness. I had quit my job and committed myself to an adventure I wasn’t quite ready for.  An unforeseen series of events left Todd and I in an unexpected position. A position that would allow us to travel the world for 4 months under the single condition we would return to the west coast upon our return.

It was something we had always talked about doing. In the future, of course. With proper budgeting and planning. It was the coast we eventually wanted to to end up on. Sometime in the next 5 years, however. And it was truly the opportunity of a lifetime. How could you possibly say no? Or even hesitate?

But in the midst of all the excitement, I never slowed down enough to let myself experience it. Feel it. Be scared about it. Or upset about it. Try and understand those feelings. Accept and maybe even embrace them.

Instead I started planning. Thinking only about what the future months would look like. Where our future home might be. Forgetting completely that it was here, in New York City. It was with the family we had built here. The apartment we loved so dearly. It was in the horrible, smelly commute I had grown accustomed to. And the late night outings to our favorite restaurant for desert and wine.

My job. My home. My friends. My city. They were all disappearing in a few short months. Those pillars I used to define myself were shifting around so much they could no longer hold the weight of my identity. And from it my confidence seemed to flee as well. Making everything around me unrecognizable. Making me unrecognizable.

I was lonely for my own stability - my own acceptance, love and support. And even though I have been in perpetual motion for the last several years of my life, I forgot how much change can make you feel broken. And lost.

I forgot how much making a huge change in your life can stir up the darkest of insecurities. Make you second guess every decision that led you here. Make you crave the familiar rather than the unknown. I am not sure what scares me more - not having a job, leaving the wonderful life we built so recently, storing our things with no address to ship them to, traveling to far and uncomfortable locations - the list goes on and on. But so does the one with all the reasons I can’t wait to leave.

And so I guess maybe it’s ok to have both. Necessary even.

As I pack boxes and get ready to leave New York, it feels like I am also storing the memories of our time here. Acquiescently wrapping the framed photographs on the walls, folding up the overused air mattress, and filing business cards from the restaurants we wanted to return to but never did. Honoring and remembering all of the moments we shared. And in doing so, my confidence and excitement finally began to outweigh my fear. 

23 days to go.

Chelsie Fish

Slightly exaggerated stories of love, life and travel.