As I write this, I’m on a train heading toward LA. One month ago, I was in New Haven, Connecticut, two days away from a job interview that would eventually lead to an offer with a startup in Shanghai (more on that later). In between, I’ve been to Rhode Island, New York, Chicago, and one thousand other places in my mind.
Everything is happening so quickly, and I’m afraid I’m going to mess it all up. Lots of people have faith in me that I won’t, and most days that’s enough. (It has to be.) But at 2:36am on a Wednesday (Thursday?), I’m not sure that it is.
It wasn’t so long ago that I was barely able to pay for a bed to sleep in on a week-to-week basis. (I’m still often barely able to do it.) Food was a luxury, much less enough food. (It still is more times than I’d like.) And the reason I’m able to afford this trip has more to do with the fact that the trip’s cost ($183) combined with a free place to stay in LA for a few days combined with the airfare to Chicago ($18) and a few free days when I arrive there means that I’m spending $201 for 12 nights of places to sleep, or around $17 a night. Not bad.
My new job. Yeah, that one. I worked hard to get it. Harder than I’ve ever worked for almost anything in my life. I was thrilled when I got the offer. I won’t talk about it much, other than it’s a startup in Shanghai that allows me to work anywhere I want to in the world. Except most of the people are in Asia, which means having to overlap my hours at least somewhat with theirs. Which means staying up really late. And even though I’m a night person, it’s more of a “stay up late binge-watching TV” night person, not “work my ass off” night person.
So I’m seriously considering moving to Asia in the fall. Or at least staying there from September to December. Those of you who have been with me a while can probably understand that this feels overwhelming. I’ve gone from utter despair to feeling like I’ve won the lottery within a month. And given the way I grew up or, more accurately, given the way I have lived most of my life, I am not prepared for this.
The concept of a visa scares and confuses me. I don’t know how to speak any foreign languages. I have a lot of tattoos, which aren’t exactly condoned in many other cultures (especially on women). I have health issues that are concerning when I think about being somewhere away from my trusted doctors.
Too much is happening too fast.
But, like I said, lots of people have faith in me. They remind me of everything I’ve done (and it has been a lot) that has been remarkable or at least a bit brave. I guess on paper I’m not as much of a wimp as I want to be.
Now I’ve got to go out and live up to the person on that piece of paper.