Even though I should be up to my ears packing right now, I’m posting here. I will do some packing this afternoon. All my office and desk stuff, and all the clothes that are not in season, and my decorations is what I hope to have done by Tuesday of this week.

It really is not much longer ’til I’ll be heading west for the next adventure of my life. OK, it’s only about 400 miles west, but it’s still west!

Am I nervous?

Heck yes! This is the biggest move of my life! The only other big move I did was coming to college. Even then, it was only from Cleveland to Columbus, Ohio. This is two states, a 6–7 hour drive. But people do much bigger moves than I do all the time. I know I can do it.

What am I nervous about?

1. Not having my place all packed up in time! I have a lot of stuff, and although I am planning to get rid some of it, it’s still hard to get motivated to do something like packing. AND the bad thing is that I usually get motivated around 10am, while I am at work. By the time I get home, I’m ready to crash on the couch. But that’s the life of the working person. I have to force myself to do it. I do not want to be scrambling two or three days before Andy shows up with the U-Haul. The sorting is going to drive me nuts. I already have a pile of stuff to give to Goodwill, but bags and shoes I don’t use, and clothes I don’t wear is easy. Stuffed animals and certain knick-knacks is what’s going to be hard to part with. Keeping the big picture in mind helps me be more ruthless, though.

2. The drive out to Chicago. Adam will be with me in the car, and we will be able to switch off, which is good. But I have never driven more than 2.5 hours on my own before. And I have driven 3 hours… but 6–7 hours? I’m a bit lot nervous. I think we’re going to split the drive in half, or switch off every couple hours. I plan to make a MOVING playlist for the iPod. Anyone have any recommendations for songs to keep me awake while I am driving? Adam is threatening me with NPR.

3. Learning a new way of life in Chicago. Columbus is not very urban. I drive everywhere. The thought of driving in Chicago scares me a bit. There is almost always loads of traffic, and there are insane cabbies all over the place. And people are MEAN and aggressive. Columbus is full of either right assholes in big vehicles or people who trudge along at speeds well below the posted speed limit. Right now, I am pretty centrally located in Columbus, so I just hop in my car and 5–10 minutes later, I’m where I need to be. My commute to work is about 12 minutes. In Chicago, I am going to have to get used to twice that long, or 3–4 times that long if I’m taking the train or the bus, even if where I need to be is 2 miles from where I live.

I don’t worry much about getting lost while driving. Not only is there Mapquest or Google Maps, but I have a decent sense of direction, and usually once I find my way somewhere, I can get there again without any help. But I’m going to have to learn public transportation all over again, and I can totally see myself going the wrong way on the trains or hopping on the wrong bus. Thank God I’ll be living in a centrally located area in Chicago, but it’s still a bit unnerving!

Plus, they make it such a pain in the butt to own a car out there. The whole “City of Chicago” sticker that is required of residents out there is just a money-making ploy. Parking for work downtown costs a ton. And just getting my license and registration transferred over is going to cost well over $100. But I doubt I’d get what I still owe on the car if I sold it, and I will not be paying for something I can’t use!

I will be looking for a new job shortly after I move out there. There are plenty of opportunities that look interesting, but we’re going into a recession and that worries me a bit. In the best of times, companies aren’t that great to potential employees. But we’ll see. I’d like to get a job doing what I do now, but again, I’ll have to see what’s out there, and who is willing to take me on. Just getting an interview proves challenging when the economy is like this.

My life has been one huge milestone after another since 2000, so this whole ordeal is just another one to add to the list. That’s why I know I can do it, I know I WILL do it, even though my nerves sometimes try to overtake the excitement.

Chicago-bound 2008! :)

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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