April 30, 2012

Note: In an essential way, these steps are similar to those that should be followed if you’re twelve and trying to prove that you love Titanic and have seen it 8 times “for the story!”, and not because you think Leo is the embodiment of sex, as far as you can understand it (or because you want to see Kate’s boobs and really try to figure them out. Or both).

Post-college, contentedly live in the city near your birthplace for years, with no plans to move. Only start thinking about “changes” a few months after you know that your new boyfriend is leaving town.

Around this time, start a new job that you feel will take you in new directions. Immediately realize that it’s all wrong. Meanwhile, spend a bunch of time with your boyfriend’s friends and discover that you could really get into the stuff they’re into. Talk a lot about the way these things happening simultaneously must mean SOMETHING. Say, “And what will I do if I stay here?”

Wait a long time to make the decision, even though you’ve made the decision long ago. Tell friends you’re “considering it, definitely. I mean, it seems to make sense to consider.” Go out to dinner with lots of people and talk around and around it over bottles of wine. Say “who knows?” over and over again. End every sentence with “Well, we’ll see.” Keep multiple tabs open with job searches in his city AND your city, and leave your computer on the kitchen table, looking like you’d just gotten up to pee mid-job search, for hours. Retrieve it after your roommates have definitely seen it with the words: “Ugh, life is SO confusing!”

In long talks with your friends, reference conversations that occurred years ago in which you expressed some affection for the city in question. “No seriously! You don’t remember? It was Saturday. We’d just gotten Chinese food? And YOU said, I could totally live in New York one day, and I said, ‘hmm. I dunno. Maybe LA.’ How could you not remember that??” Remain really adamant about this, and add more details if you need to.

Have dinner with your parents and cry the entire time. Tell them, through tears, that this might really open up new doors for you. When they mention the boyfriend, say, “I’m not an idiot, you guys. I know that we’re really early into the relationship. I would NEVER do this just for him.” Be comforted by their nods of affirmation. Be wary of your sister, who comes into the dining room and says “Seriously, would you ever have even thought of this if it weren’t for him?” Yell back, “I’m TALKING about this with MOM and DAD!” Then go back to crying.

Be adamant about not living with your boyfriend. Stress over and over again that you KNOW neither of you are ready for that. “This is really about me and the new adventures it will open up for me,” say. “I’ll definitely want to have the space to explore that. Think about the new people I’ll meet through my Craigslist roommates!” Inwardly, shudder at the kinds of people you will probably meet through your Craigslist roommates.

Know that, of course, it doesn’t matter what gets you there; in the end, you’ll be there and deal with the consequences. Remember that watching Titanic made you feel swept up in something larger than yourself, and it wasn’t REALLY about that steamy, sexy hand print – or, not entirely. Listen to the soundtrack again while you pack for your new adventure, and remember the feeling of excitement to see what’s COMING in life. Text your boyfriend that you miss him. Whenever you tell a new person that you’re going, end the conversation with “Yup, so. We’ll see!”

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