adventure, excitement, really wild things

I gave my six weeks notice at work on Thursday, and now I am in a state of stress, of panic, of sheer and absolute incredible excitement. Come January, I am moving to Utah for six months, to try and kick off a freelance writing career, to write a memoir, to finish my first book and make a start on my second. I am actually doing this, and I am aware that I am a little bit insane, and taking a risk, and it feels wonderful.

I stepped into my boss’s office, and I told her that I had to do this, for these reasons, and she was wonderful, and I was teary because this is a good place to work, these are incredible people, and I have felt lucky, the whole time I’ve worked here. She was, as is to be expected, fantastic and understanding—and excited for me. And when I stepped out of her office, I realized that I was sad to be leaving, because leaving is always hard, but there was a grin on my face and I wanted to fly down the hallways, shouting oh my god, I’m doing this, I’m really doing this, holy, holy, holy crap! I’m really doing this. Holy crap.

There’s a boy involved—isn’t there always a boy involved? And I am so
looking forward to being near him, to date him, to be distracted by
him. To figure out if we work together, and if we have a chance at a
life together. He is where the timing and the location comes in. I am
delighted to be near him, excited, ready to figure this out. But it’s
something I would have done anyway, something I have been planning in
the back of my head for a long while now. And it’s this opportunity to
write that is buoying me up, that is thrilling me all the way down to
my fabulous peep-toe pumps, that is making me impatient to go, now, to
not wait six weeks but pack up tomorrow and get started already.

I can do this—I’ve got a couple of freelance gigs now, and Utah is so
very affordable. You may be seeing me on the main Elastic Waist site a
lot more often, hi! If I’m smart enough and lucky enough, you may see me in print not too
long from now, too. And I’m available for all your freelance writing
and editing needs, reasonable rates, no job too large or too small.

I’ve got affordable insurance lined up, I’ve figured out where I can
buy my crazy pills for cheap, and I’ve got a wonderful woman, who I’m
thrilled to be helping make her own move-of-a-lifetime up here to San
Francisco, subletting my apartment. I’m getting my (large, terrifying
like whoa) bills paid off—with my next fancy freelance proofreading
check, I should have no debt but my student loans of evil and despair,
but I’m in the process of consolidating them now. And then! I’ll have
enough left over to start one of those interest-bearing savings
accounts that are so exciting, and I will start to sock away cash for
taxes. I’m looking an accountant who will tell me all the scary things
I have to figure out, because by god, I am determined to be smart about
this. And I desperately need a car—anyone have a car to sell, cheap?
Anyone want to jump up and down and squeal with me?

I’ve got lists and plans and nerves and stress and a book called The
Idiot’s Guide to Living on a Budget
and another book called Get a
Freelance Life
because I am a big nerd. There’s a stomach full of
butterflies and a sense of great adventure.  Everything is falling into
place—how can I not do this, when I have the means and the direction,
the energy and the drive and the ambition? While I am still young and
reasonably good looking and ready to work my ass off and aware of the
risks, aware of the possibility of spectacular failure on all fronts,
but willing to go for it nevertheless because why the fuck not? I think
I will learn to ski.

January is six weeks away; Utah is 900 miles. I’ve got to start
purging my possessions and packing, figure out moving expenses, have
several minor breakdowns and a panic attack, and find a way to keep my
mind on work while I still have this office job. I need to do this—I
refuse to live a life populated by regrets and what ifs and could have
beens. I’m going to do this.

17 Replies to “adventure, excitement, really wild things”

  1. Congratulations, what an amazing adventure. As far as I’m concerned, Utah is one of the most beautiful places in the US, I hope it’s of great inspiration to you.

  2. word of advise being on the freelance side myself is make sure you watch those taxes – it’s so easy to get the those big chunky checks and not want to put 30-50% of them aside. being in a place that has a lower cost of living then here (sf) will really help though. good luck – it all sounds very exciting and makes for good reading!

  3. Wow, I am beyond thrilled to hear this. I knew you had it in you, girl, I knew you were preparing for a big leap. Good for you, Anne, good for you! This is going to be grand. Fucking grand. I’m so damn happy for you. And so proud. May it all be wonderful. The writing, the boy, the Mormons….

  4. Holy. I am going to live vicariously through your bravery – because you are one ballsy, ballsy chick. It sounds amazing and exciting and just generally fabulous and fun, and I hope it works out perfectly for you.

  5. From Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” one of the greatest stories ever written:

    “Well, Sonny,” I said gently, “you know people can’t always do exactly what they WANT to do–”

    “NO, I don’t know that,” said Sonny, surprising me. “I think people OUGHT to do what they want to do, what else are they alive for?”

    Word to that. Good luck!

  6. Good accountant:
    Tina Hall (& Assoc.), 1156 Clement St. in SF. She’s got fun shoes, pretty cats, and will tell you how much you need to be spending on deductible stuff as a freelancer and why you need to start an IRA/to buy a house/send X amount not Y in estimated taxes in an encouraging way.

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