This is the story of one of the bravest quarterlettes we know, Suzanne. She stepped boldly outside her comfort zone to take a job in London. Equally as brave – she agreed to write about the experience. This is the first in a series of stories from Suzanne about her life-changing adventure.
My friends ask me all the time what made me finally decide to leave the life I knew in Philly behind and move to London. The simple answer is my gut, period. I finally learned to trust it and everything in me told me to go for it. However, my decision making would not have been as easy if I hadn’t gone through another similar but more difficult decision when I was asked to move to Copenhagen for work a few months prior.
Deciding whether to move to Copenhagen was one of the scariest and most difficult decisions I ever had to make. I learned A LOT about myself through that decision making process, but it also changed my outlook on life in a big way. It shocked the hell out of me actually.
On paper, the move was a no-brainer. I had imagined myself living and working abroad for so long, and this was my chance. But, for some reason I was hesitant. I kept thinking it was because I didn’t love dark, dreary Copenhagen. Or maybe it wasn’t the right time in my life. I debated it for a full month before finally turning down the position.
The day I turned it down I had a panic attack, fearing that I was ruining my life by not taking a risk. I was afraid I was turning into my mother, who wouldn’t take chances because she was so afraid of change. My mother had passed away four years earlier, and although I idolize her, I also knew she would want me to live my life and make different decisions than she did.
I panicked because everything I thought I knew about myself and what I wanted was brought into question in that month leading up to the Copenhagen decision. I didn’t want to go through the rest of my life afraid of my own shadow. How was I ever going to get married or have kids? Both are life-altering experiences that I want, and much more dramatic than moving to another country.
Following that, I poured myself into therapy and self-discovery. I refused to believe I was that person or would become that person. I eventually recovered, broke up with my boyfriend and focused on being single, my friendships, and finding what would make me happy. It was a transition phase.
Nothing in my life had gone as planned or worked out like I had wanted. I was in my late 20’s, single, career focused, but unhappy. What was I doing wrong? I watched all my friends get engaged, then married, then pregnant. I felt very independent, but also like a kid! I didn’t want any of those things yet, but something was definitely missing. So I finally got over myself and made a decision. I was done with Philadelphia and I needed a change., so I decided to move to New York to be closer to my two best girlfriends, accelerate my career, enjoy NYC life for a year or two, and most importantly – figure shit out.
Within a month of making that decision, London fell into my lap. This time, it took me one weekend to decide to go, and there wasn’t one moment of hesitation. I immediately went out and bought travel books, started making a list of everything I needed to do before moving, and a list of all the places I wanted to travel. I went into work that Monday and signed the offer letter. Two months later, I was on a flight with two suitcases, three boxes and myself. Now I’m the happiest I have ever been in my entire life. I realized that even if you get what you think you want, it’s not always right, and you should trust your gut and hold out for what feels perfect.