How to Rip Your Life Apart

An article came out a few years ago, reeking of white privilege and other gross things, called “Why I Quit My $100,000 Job and Found Happiness.”* It entailed the author’s journey from Manhattan to a small island, wherein she now enjoys slumming it up as a bartender who lets her clothes air-dry among the quaint and provincial locals. 

“Leap and the net will appear,” she writes, incessantly, throughout. 

It’s actually one of the most infuriating pieces of writing I’ve read in a while, and I think about it all the time. 

I read a yoga book recently where the author talked of sleeping without a mosquito net in India, and how he meditated and the mosquitos, miraculously, left him alone. 

Which, no. 

You aren't going to just ignore predatory bugs away through the magic of thoughts. 

But I did read the whole book. And I did buy in a little bit. You have to buy in a little. You bought in enough to read this far. I bought in enough to meditate at all. There is something to be said for not swatting at all the annoyances, for that faith in the unknown, or that trust you have when you’re being brave.

There is something to be said for ripping your life apart for no other reason than you might, that you know you will, rebuild it in a neat way. 

There are things you should know about taking that leap, though. Moving from Boston to Los Angeles is my fourth inter-state move, and the longest one. Here is what I’ve learned in the process:

Bubble. Wrap. Every. Thing. 
I did this move in stages - I drove from Boston to my parents’ house in the midwest with only the things that fit in a rented, mid-size SUV, and then I flew from there to LA. I checked some extra bags and then I sent the rest through the USPS. 

I would do it this way again, but I would spend the extra twenty dollars or so it would cost to buy a life-size roll of bubble wrap. Most of the things that I bubble wrapped arrived safely. Everything that I didn't, arrived shattered in pieces. Each box looked like it had been punted into a truck, sat on by circus animals, and savagely attacked by what I can only assume were zombies kidnapped and imprisoned through the postal service. I actually can’t imagine anyone doing a worse job handling packages. But I know that I could have done a slightly better job in preparing my belongings for war, and that is what really makes me sad. 

Ask for help.

This is not something I am good at. It is, however, not only a necessary evil of moving, but it made all the difference for this move in particular. Job leads, an apartment, checked bags, furniture, car rides, all from telling as many people as I could about what I was doing. 

I realize that I have some incredible friends, but you do too, and if you talk them to death about the logistics of your move, they will prove that to you. 

Save as much money as humanly possible. 

I mean, that’s it. 

Ask for more help. 

I thought I was all set and then I couldn't figure out how to sell my TV. And then I needed one more suitcase. And then I got lost on the way to the apartment. It’s going to be bumpy even if you have a plan. Just keep talking to people. 

Patience is a virtue.

Still working on this one. It’s hard to not have everything figured out at once. Or, it’s annoying to have clothes all over the floor because Target is far away and you just can’t take the bus any more times today. 

But hustle is too.

That drive to get it figured out? That’s what I fill my patience void with, which is debatable advice, but it does get me into more opportunities. I’ve been taking two classes a day since I got here and learning new sequencing for new places, and there is no way that won’t at least teach me something useful. 


When I moved to Boston, I would run until I got myself lost and then try to find my way back. Here, I’ve been taking the bus and using google maps so much my phone is constantly dead. But screw it, because it’s still exploring. Also, I walked to the grocery store and CVS on day one. It took me three hours. I consider this a win. 

Leap and the…nah I’m just playing.

Leap. No net. You’ll probably break something. But you’ll bounce back. 


*Not the actual title because I don't want to drive web traffic to a truly tone-deaf piece.