Throughout my preteens, I used to look forward to the end of Summer. I mostly loved feeling the crisp on-coming Fall air, and looked forward to watching cliff-hanging TV series previews for new seasons to come. Like the nerd I was (and still am), I would get overly excited about buying fresh school supplies. Oh the joys of buying and sniffing blank notebooks. I would daydream about filling them with new to-do lists that would allow me to conquer everything my heart desired. Well, for at least the first three months of school when I actually gave a damn about what was going on. There was no doubt about how much I loved the end of Summer. I would giddily embrace the feeling that change was in the air.
Much like most students, I would embark on a journey to figure out which teachers were my allies, which cafeteria lunch tables suited me best. Once I analyzed the climate of my surroundings, I would plot the best strategy to get through the year.
This excitement for change happened every single Fall until I finished college two years ago. The next few months post graduation were followed by a whirlwind of unexpectedness. NYC gave me a run for my money, I dealt with unemployment, sleeping on a couch, failed TV pitches, and finally a full-time job that I ended up quitting to do YouTube full-time. There was no “end of August feeling of change,” because the year after college graduation was a complete change in my life – a needed one.
Now, a year later, I’ve completed one entire year of living in Los Angeles. Work has never been better, and yet, I’m craving that feeling of cold in my belly that came with Summer’s end.
This Summer’s end, change is taunting me.
I knew my priorities started to shift over to the dark consumerist and comfortable side last month, when I was fully contemplating buying a new mattress. It seems silly, but if you think about it, buying a mattress is one hell of a commitment, nothing screams “I’m stuck here for life,” like a new Tempurpedic. It’s extremely expensive, and the good ones usually come with a 10 year warranty. If I’m spending $1000 on a mattress, you better believe I’ll be sleeping in that bad boy as often as I possibly can for the next 10 years. Which for some reason didn’t ring an immediate “NO DON’T DO IT, JO” alarm in my head.
Then the lease for our apartment was up in August, and if that wasn’t an immediate sign to start looking for an apartment, Damon and I experienced a scene out of a horror movie; a massive rat almost jumped on us in the kitchen one night last week. We knew it was time to get the hell out the minute those beady little eyes stared us down.
Moving on quickly
The very next day, we were roaming the streets of Koreatown on a 100ºF kind of day, to find prospects of our new home and headquarters to Damon and Jo inc. We strolled into a cute little Art Deco building on a quiet and residential street, and thought; this might be our new place!
Picture a massive living room, hallways for days, hard wood floors, and a view overlooking the Hollywood sign; the place was great. The price was a little above our budget, but we’ve worked our a$$es off this year, and knowing us, we’d work even harder to afford this new place. At the time, I was so desperate to get out of our ratty home that I fully considered committing to another year of paying rent in Los Angeles, and for a split second, I settled into the idea of settling in.
Then things took a dramatic turn.
Before even receiving notice that our application was approved, I was already getting upset about future trips because I pictured myself being away from my soon-to-be comfortable bed. I loathed the idea of missing out on Sundays sipping coffee in my soon-to-be huge living room and possible L shaped couch. Who wants to spend all this money on a great apartment, and nice things to fill it with if they’re never there?
Which brings us to today. We were approved for the apartment. Which, to most people would be great news. Let’s just say that this news did not make me do cartwheels, and no, not just because I physically can’t. Instead of being overjoyed, the news struck the wrong feeling in my belly; the regretful kind – a feeling I wasn’t expecting.
When I realized I was all wrong about what I wanted
It was then I realized that during this apartment hunting process, I was creating these imaginary blocks. Invisible chains were somehow convincing enough to make me believe that I needed to live in LA. It’s dangerous when you see how your own excuses have the ability to plague your happiness. They can keep you from doing the things you love like traveling, trying delicious food, making new lifelong friends – all in foreign places. I thought for a second that there was no other way; where would I put my things? Get a freaking storage unit. How would I get to important meetings in LA? Find a couch to crash on, rent an Airbnb or a bed in a hostel. How will I afford all of my expenses? Make more videos, more blogs, do more.
Do you see a pattern of making up excuses that are absolutely solvable? Yeah, we all do it, because it’s natural to bury yourself in comfort because risks are obviously scary. What’s not natural is avoiding and preventing change.
Of course, there’s no denying that I’m an adult now. I have loans to pay and credit card debt to manage. I have furniture, and family that theoretically makes me feel like I should stay in one place for more than two weeks. But those things still don’t change my gut feeling that it’s not time for stability, it’s time for change, excitement, and living.
Today, I embraced Summer’s imminent end. Leaves on trees will start transforming into vibrant colors and the air around us will feel crisp and new. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t reflect the same kind of newness into my own life. It’s time we look to nature to learn how to become more human and less machine-like.