Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Big Ol' Life Decision!

No clue how to preface this…

So. Um. I’m moving to Alabama. *

I’ve been talking with a friend and she’s invited me to be her roommate. And to help me with navigating the system of loans and grants so I can go back to school. The cost of living is just so ridiculously low there that my money would actually go somewhere.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I just… I need a new start. I need to get out of LA because I can’t financially survive here. Plus, well, I’m tired of living here. I need a change. I need a clean slate. You know what I need? I need to be that 18 year-old, fresh out of high school, who goes out in the world and has an adventure. Even if I am 31 and that adventure is Alabama. Heh.

We discussed money and rules and quirks and neuroses. I think we’re both laid back enough that any issues that may arise can be worked out. I asked her two pertinent questions. 1) Do you have air conditioning and 2) does Auburn have sushi?

As terrified as I am (of going to a new place; of being too stupid for school; of failing in general) the only thing that really worries me is mom. But I’m thinking I’ll get her a cell since they don’t have phones in the rooms. I feel selfish leaving her. Selfish and horrible. But I don’t know what else to do. And, if things go well, I’ll be there for several years – I can work on bringing her out to a nursing facility there.

I’m tired of being afraid. Of new places and people. And, maybe, ultimately, that’s why I want to do this. To prove I can. To prove I can survive and maybe even thrive. To prove that I’m worth taking risks for.

You know…I’m excited. Really fucking excited. Completely terrified but excited. I never ever ever saw myself as capable of doing this. I never ever ever thought I’d get the courage to leave Los Angeles. Or go back to school. Or take such a dramatic turn at the fork in the road.

I guess the Great Southern Fried Adventure is a go anyway!

I totally win the Completely Out of Left Field award!

* Barring any unforeseen and insurmountable issues.

30 comments:

  1. I think this is a wonderful idea. Like you said...a fresh start...a chance to begin again...make new friends...have some optimism for the future. Your mother will understand...and I bet she will be the first one to tell you to go and don't look back. I hope you can do this....it seems like a window has opened and you can look through it to see a new and better life.

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  2. Heidi - re: a cell for your mama, my great aunt is on every type of assistance/disability $$ under the sun and she gets something called Safe Link. Totally free, basic cell phone, with 200 (?) minutes on it per month. I'm not sure if they do Cali, but there might be something comparable in-state that she could get.

    Good luck!

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  3. That sounds fab. Best of luck, awesome lady!

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  4. Well, hopefully you find something here. It's definitely not like LA...Actually, I'll go ahead and call LA a polar opposite. Auburn is surrounded by lots of podunk.

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  5. you know, i have been reading you for a LONG time, i rarely comment but i want to say i think you are one of the most talented writers and the way you can pour words onto a 'page' is truly magical. i read your account of the psych ward and was just blown away by your ability to write down your emotions - something i have always struggled with and envied others who can. you have certainly been dealt an intense hand at life and i think you are a unique, intelligent, and strong person. i hope you continue to blog regularly as i would love to follow the next stage in your life. i truly think you can be something fantastic. p.s. i'm from la too (whittier) and it blows, your smart to get the hell out. my parents have been trying for years and can't seem to find a way to make a move financially so i say more power to you - life is short! cheers!

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  6. Good for you, Heidi! I think you are making a brave and exciting decision. I will send you a little money to help with your move when I get paid next!

    Cheers,
    Tobey (longtime reader, first time poster)

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  7. YAY!!!!!!! I know everything will work out for you!!!! You're terrified, but so? Just DO IT AFRAID!!!! Good luck on the move!

    xoxo

    V

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  8. Boiled peanuts! Fried chicken! Crawdads! Fried Green Tomatoes! Holy Crap!

    I'm rather envious :) And totally happy for you

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  9. Whats really weird is that I have followed you awhile, rarely comment, but was thinking about you the other day and decided that you needed something to happen similar to whats happening now. Best of luck and congratulations!

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  10. wow! i expected you to move somewhere, but alabama sure wasn't in the consideration realm. congratulations on taking your life and working out what you can do about what you need. i'm sure your mom will understand even if she will miss you like you miss her. she'll be well taken care of and that's the important part.

    good luck and keep us informed as things go for you.

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  11. Dude, this is going to be seriously epic! Yeah, it's alabama, but there are plenty of adventures to be had, and I'm gonna make damn sure you have them.

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  12. I'm delurking to say congratulations on this huge decision. I've been reading your blog for quite a while. I think your courage in facing your challenges is nothing short of incredible. And this...well, the decision might be genuinely out of left field, but it makes perfect sense. I'm sure I'm not the only lurker wishing you all the best.

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  13. What does mamma think about this?

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  14. Heidi. I don't comment on your blog very often, but i've been reading you since your beginning in diaryland, and i have seen you go through hell and high water. sometimes what we really need in this life is a fresh start. some place new where no one knows us and doesn't have expectations of us. and in that way we can truly grow into who we are meant to be.

    Good luck on this new adventure in your life. I'm proud of you. Hopefully you will make it out there and things will begin to change for the better for you.

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  15. Wow. I've been reading you for a long time and never thought you would be so cold as to desert your dying mother. Peace out.

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  16. Yes you do win the award! Wishing you tons of luck. Moving cross country alone is scary, but having a supportive friend will make all the difference. Sounds like a fresh start is just what you need!

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  17. Having undertaken a cross country move a year ago I applaud you. It takes a lot of guts to believe in yourself and want better. And, I found that a clean slate allows you to explore new possibilities. I went from a middle school teacher to a director in a non-profit mainly because I was pre-labled as an educator. So, follow your dreams.....GOOD LUCK!!!

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  18. Wow! HUGE!!!!!! I've never lived more than 30 miles away from where I grew up, so I totally understand how weird and huge this must seem. But it sounds so far like it could be really awesome!!!!!

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  19. I left my mom to move to another state. She had cancer. I planned to visit her every two weeks. She died 12 days later. I never got to see her again. I still live with the guilt. Please be sure you know what you are doing, Heidi.

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  20. This is a GREAT thing for you.

    I normally wouldn't address this, but I think it needs to be said because of some things other people are mentioning.

    I've been reading your blog for a very long time, and while I understand that your mother is always going to be your mom, and it will be hard to leave her in a facility while you go on and live your life (not homeless as you would be if you stayed in LA) you know that you ultimately are not responsible for her, and actually should have left your family a long time ago. She is the only one left now, and while she is still a security blanket, she turned a blind eye away from open abuse for years. She will always be your mother and you can love her as such, but you don't owe her a life of servitude for giving birth to you. I don't think you should cut her off, because she is your family, but realize that getting away from your former life could be a huge breakthrough emotionally and in turn physically for you.

    You should love your mother, and write to her and call her. But you don't owe her your life.

    Good luck my dear. I hope and pray you follow through, because this could be the best thing you've ever done for yourself.

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  21. Good luck Heidi Ann Spiderman, it's gonna be awesome. Send me a rad ass postcard when you settle in. :)

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  22. I definitely think you should move...but not to Alabama! It'd be counter productive to move to a place you'd be unhappy. Is there a way for you to visit beforehand? Of all the cities I've visited in the south, the only ones I like are Austin, TX, and Nashville, TN. The rest are...not cool.

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  23. I lived in Iowa, moved to Los Angeles (8 years) and then moved to Tennessee. The availability of chicken biscuits in the south alone is worth it. Go for it. When you live in a huge city your body runs on a more stressed out level. Move to the South, slow down, smell the magnolias, listen to the check out lady tell you stories. Like everything there are pros and cons..but I am a huge supporter of travel and living in new places.

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  24. Delurking to tell you to ignore people like Michelle up there who try to shame you into fitting their sad little worldview. Girl, your mama wants you to be safe and happy and not homeless on the street. Fuck that noise from Michelle. She clearly has her head so far up her own ass she's wearing herself as a hat.

    Seriously, though, Heidi. This is awesome news, and I know I'm just a total stranger commenting for the first time on your blog, but I am super stoked for you. You can rock this so hard.

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  25. Hey there. Long time reader, very occasional commenter!

    A huge word of advice: PLEASE look into Alabama's disability program before moving out there. As a person from the south, and watching the incredible hurdles friends have to go through to obtain disability and even freakin' food stamps (single mom on unemployment? denied food stamps. friend with MS and possible stomach cancer? denied disability...TWICE) it's very, very wise on your part to do research before heading out to realize you cannot obtain your meds. Not to mention doctors you need, et cetera. I'd definitely talk with your doctor(s) now to see if they have any information regarding services in Alabama.

    Alabama is one of the poorest states in the union (and I'm not saying that to be a big jerk, I'm a fan of the deep south) and their resources are stretched very, very tight as it is. So please, for your own sanity, do a lot of research. And good luck!

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  26. i think this is a brave and beautiful decision you've made, as difficult as it may be. i am routing and cheering for you and believe you WILL prevail over adversity in its many forms.
    be sure to share your journey with us, heidi.

    - doghigh

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  27. Wow. I've been reading you for a long time and never thought you would be so cold as to desert your dying mother who wiped your ass when you can't walk. Peace out.

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