changes, fear

on everything changing

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.

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2 thoughts on “on everything changing”

  1. If you relocate to L.A. or even to Hawaii you’ve cut down the time zone overlap without having to adjust to a totally new culture and without language problems. In any case, the beest of luck in this new venture

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    1. That’s not really true. Right now it’s 9pm in Shanghai, 9am in NYC, 6am in LA.

      I’ve been working 6pm-3am to overlap with them as much as possible (their 6am-3pm).

      In LA, working, say, noon to 9pm would mean it’s 3am to noon in Shanghai. They don’t start work until 11am, so I’m only around for an hour of their workday. Working the same hours I do in NYC (6pm to 3am) means their 9am to 6pm, but why move to LA if the point of moving is to stop working crazy hours? An additional (much more salient) consideration is that my salary is very, very low until the first round of funding comes through and living in a country with a much lower cost of living will allow me to live with considerably less stress. 🙂

      I’ve always said I won’t leave NYC unless it’s for a good reason. I’m not worried about languages or cultures or any of that. My plan before getting this job was to spend the next year to two years traveling the globe; this job has just given me the opportunity to stay put in one place and do something that is kind of blowing my mind right now.

      Besides, English is very common in many of these places and language lessons are plentiful. (And I’ll be working so much I doubt I’ll have time to be doing much more than eating or sleeping!)

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