What I Learned from My Move Across California

I moved from San Diego to the bay area this weekend. I grew up here, so it’s like coming back home… but not really, because I’m coming with a new perspective, new life, and new attitude (and a boyfriend!). As you can imagine, making such a huge move was not an easy process, but in the end, a success! Here are a few tips I learned along the way.

  • I get by with a little help from my friends. Wow. Absolutely, by far, the biggest thing that made an impression on me was the generosity of people around me. I cannot count the number of times I felt intense gratitude that so many people stepped up to help me. I will never forget those who pitched in – and I hope to pay it forward!
  • I underestimated everything. And I mean everything. I reserved a 10 foot truck when we really needed a 14 footer. I thought two days would be plenty of time to get my life in order between my last day at work and packing/loading day. I had no idea I’d have to spend Friday morning packing instead of loading. Whatever it was, I underestimated it. I think the lesson learned here is to be flexible – because no matter how off I was on something, we identified the problem (this truck is too small), brainstormed a solution (calling other moving truck companies), and took action (returned the truck and got something new).
  • Moving is a great time for a fresh start. I’m already starting to create new habits that I hope will catch on in this next chapter of my life. I truly will be starting a new routine – working full time and going to grad school – so I’ll need to learn to balance everything. It’s easier to create change when other things are already changing… so away we go!

I’m anxious and excited to see what happens next. Wish me luck as I embark on new challenges, with a new job, in a new masters program, in a new place!


I Need Help Asking for Help

I hate asking for help. I despise it. It makes my skin crawl. It makes me nervous. If you’re friends with me on Facebook you saw my recent post asking for help with loading our moving truck next week… well, that post almost didn’t happen, many times. I seriously thought about it for a week. Should I post a message asking for help? Should I sound desperate? Should it be funny? What is everyone going to say? Are people going to be mad that I am asking for help?

That’s where I stopped myself. Why the heck would people be mad at me for putting it out there that I need help? I have this feeling that people will think less of me if I ask for favors, like they will resent me or something, the girl who always wants a handout. But really, we all need help sometimes. I can’t count the number of times I’ve done favors for friends, and of course, they have done them for me. That’s what friendship is all about. So, I asked myself one question.

What’s the worst that will happen?

It’s not like someone’s going to comment back, “Wow, Chapin, you’re pathetic for needing help, and I’m really mad at you for posting this status. I’m not going to be your friend anymore.” And even if that did happen – do I really want to be friends with someone like that anyway??

Really – the worst that would happen would be that no one would volunteer to help. And, that’s kind of what happened – no one volunteered to help on Friday, but I did get more help for Sunday! That wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t post that question – if I didn’t ask for help.

It took me so long to decide whether to post it. But when I had decided I was going to, that was it. I posted it this morning before work – I never do anything that early in the morning!! I nervously checked to see what comments I got back all day. When the internet was down when I got to work, I felt anxious. What if someone posted a response??

It made me nervous putting myself out there like that. I will always be the strong woman who has everything going for her. It’s hard to admit that sometimes I can’t figure it all out on my own. I need help.

And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.