(Taken from the Science Museum in Chicago January 2013)
Lately, I’ve been battling on whether or not moving to Chicago is the best decision for me. I’ve weighed the pros and cons and heard what my peers and colleagues had to say. Every day I wake up and it’s different. I’m battling with myself on this and if I’m setting myself up for disappointment (as usual) or if this could potentially be the greatest thing to happen to me.
I’m a 24 year old college graduate who still lives at home and waits on tables for a living. Aside from being born in Thailand, I have lived in San Diego my whole life. With strict Asian parents, I have been sheltered and protected from the world. Needless to say, they are against this move, but that is besides the point.
I was having a very insightful conversation with one of the managers at my work who said, “I’ll tell you one thing I learned: You gotta stop worrying about other people and just worry about yourself. Make yourself happy.” And that was just what I needed to hear. She told me her story about traveling from South Carolina to San Diego with nothing and walking around and begging for jobs. Starting from the bottom as a host and working her way up to make a pretty decent living for herself. “If I never left, I would be sitting at home doing the same thing, wondering ‘what if?’”
The dreadful, “what if?” that we all have faced in our lives and that I am all too familiar with. If I have learned anything from my past relationships and experiences, it’s that I don’t want to miss out on any opportunities. I don’t want to be scared and sacrifice anything of mine for the sake of someone or something else. I don’t want to sit there and wonder how my life would be if only I took that chance. I don’t want to be stuck and grow resentful. And more importantly, I would rather risk everything and fail, but knowing that I tried, than to sit there and wonder “what if?”
My manager inspired me. The Dalai Lama quote inspired me. The people I have met, even just for a minute, have inspired me. My move to Chicago may not be the best thing, but it is the right thing and I feel it in every inch of my body.