one year later: a letter to myself on moving from #PGH2ATX

pgh2atxYou guys, almost one year ago exactly I started on my journey from Pittsburgh to Austin. Little Zenon, my car, was packed with all the possessions that qualified to make the move with me. (I still miss these mirrors more than I should.) After three days of driving in questionable conditions, first to Nashville and then arriving way beyond hangry in Texarkana, we finally arrived in Austin. Here’s the letter I wish I had received before the move.

Hey girl heyyy!

You’re finally making the big move to Austin! You’ve been talking about this for 5 years. Looks like you had a five year plan without even realizing it, go you! This is equal parts exciting and terrifying and that is a-ok. Trust yourself and the unknown. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. You always make good decisions and you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for. Try not to get so stressed out about everything and enjoy the adventure that moving across the country to this new city is.

Dude, the tacos are going to be so good. Like, seriously. You have never had a taco this good in your life. Probably don’t eat tacos three days in a row on the reg though. Your metabolism isn’t what it was in your early 20s. 😉

Don’t feel pressured to do things just because you feel like you should since you live here now. You live here now, you don’t have to go to SXSW the week after you move. There will be other SXSWs and, guess what, you don’t have to go to those if you don’t want to either. You are still sleeping on an air mattress and waiting for your internet to be activated. You’re much happier getting pizza and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer in your apartment by yourself, so embrace it!

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Trust your gut when applying for jobs. That abrasive Texan who is making his employees noticeably uncomfortable in the interview is probably not a good fit for you. You’ll walk into an interview a week later and have the complete opposite feeling. You get that job and soon after you finally feel some relief.

You’re going to cry a lot. You feel overwhelmed going to a JMU alumni volunteer day and start crying in the car on the way there. You have to skip it. You eat pancakes at IHOP and feel better. You dye your hair too dark of a shade of purple and cry about how you ruined the one thing in your life that was making you happy. This is a bit extreme, but it’s ok. You end up deciding you look like a comic book super hero and it fades to a better shade after 2 washes. Talk to a therapist and don’t be scared of going on meds for your anxiety. It’s not going to prevent you from being yourself.

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You’ll get to ride on a boat with Walk the Moon and it is exactly what you pictured your life in Austin looking like. At their show later that night they play “Portugal” and you feel all the feels in the best way possible.

Friends visiting is the best! No one wanted to visit you when you lived in Pittsburgh, but everyone wants to make a trip to Austin. You get to explore new places, introduce them to the best queso and your favorite local coffee shop. It’s a refreshing feeling being around people you are completely comfortable with.

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You’ll realize you’ve been in Austin for 6 months and you have a breakdown. You think you should have more friends and your life completely figured out already. Calm down and breathe. Six months is such a short period of time. Don’t put this pressure on yourself. You’re not going to have besties the same caliber as the ones from home. You’ve known those people since you were 12. Establishing adult friendships takes time. Give yourself a break. You’ll join things in the future and start to make friends.

Schedule Sunday Skype dates with your far away friends. It’s a great way to get your tush out of bed at a respectable hour and your heart is always happier after.

You think you need to wait until you’re living by yourself to become the cat lady you are meant to be. You don’t. You’ll see this precious little kitty face while casually scrolling through the Austin Pets Alive site and know that she’s the one.

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Even though everything won’t be easy and there will be too many #feelz to count, you’ll realize you’re exactly where you should be. You don’t feel like you’re in limbo anymore. You’re not waiting for something to happen. You’re here and you get to create the life you want. Keep it up, girl, you’re doing great.

xoxo,
Jess!

P.S. Go to Barton Spring sooner. It’s rad.

If you’re planning on making a cross country moves anytime soon here are some tips! For funzies here’s the music I was listening to around the time of my move and the first few months in ATX.

Have you ever moved to a new city? Did you have any similar experiences or were they drastically different?

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One Direction is on Hiatus & I Feel All the Feelz

I came to the realization today that I think One Direction just knocked *NSYNC out of the number one boyband spot in my heart. Which seems completely bonkers considering how obsessed I was with *NSYNC as you can see here.

My ah-ha moment came today when I watched this video:

Going on a road trip and singing songs with One Direction is a desire in my heart that I didn’t know existed. If a genie was about to grant me three wishes, #1 would be to always have second day hair (obvi) and #2 would be riding in a car with One Direction for an extended period of time having a sing along, preferably this list of songs I compiled.

You know, I’m just struggling to comprehend that they are officially on hiatus now. I knew this day was coming, but it always felt so abstract and so far in the future that it didn’t feel real. Now that the day has arrived I don’t know how to process my feelings!

I took this “How Badly Are You Taking the One Direction Hiatus?” quiz and apparently I’m not doing as badly as some other Directioners. I did, however, discuss my desire to start a One Direction cover band with some co-workers at our holiday party last weekend…

I watched their final performance of “History” and would be lying if I said I didn’t get a little teary when they group hugged at the end.

My coping strategy is to continue listening to “Made in the A.M.” on repeat, keep my fingers crossed for a reunion tour in the not too distant future, and dress Lifesize Liam up for any and all occasions.

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I hope you are able to handle this difficult time in a positive way and come out a stronger human. “And I don’t care it’s obvious I just can’t get enough of you” <3 1D4Ever

 

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I’m on a boat! Walk the Moon Party Cruise Edition

boatshotIf you follow me on twitter you may remember an influx of tweets from my account about Walk the Moon a little over two months ago. My favorite band, Walk the Moon, was filming their Vevo Go Show in Austin. I made this discover by the grace of social media:

I navigated my way to the location and was the 5th person in line. When the invite said arrive early, in typically rule follower fashion, I listened. We all mingled, reminisced about concerts we went to as teens (No Strings Attached Tour, obvi.) and applied face paint in anticipation of setting sail with the band. If you’re not sure the level of love I have for Walk the Moon, check out this post I wrote after I hearing Anna Sun on the radio for the first time in 2012.

This is what your favorite band imitating your favorite movie in your presence looks like. #neverletgojacklookup

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Check out the full Vevo Go Show and glimpses of my awkward dancing!

This was such a fabulous way to spend an afternoon and was one of my first Austin moments that felt like an Austin moment.

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