Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever regret leaving Iowa. Like maybe I’ll look back at all the tailgates I missed, the family holidays I wasn’t at, or the fact that I haven’t seen my parents on either of their birthdays in the past nine years.
About one year ago today, I was talking on the phone with my dad after a big Hawkeye win. He asked me if I was wearing my Iowa gear to celebrate. I told him I didn’t have any—all I owned were a few faded t-shirts my brother bought me five years ago.
I’m sure you can imagine what I got for Christmas last year.
“Big win for your hawkeyes!”
My managing director was the second person to call out my home state’s win over #2 Michigan. I wore my Iowa jacket to the office Monday and Tuesday—as if that somehow made up for not being there to storm the field.
It made me—I’m cringing as I write this—a little homesick to have people in DC ask me about the game. I mean come on, you people back home would just not let up! Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat—must I be reminded 97 times that I missed the game? Did you have to take a selfie and a video? My agency will be billing you for the distractions you caused.
You are doing this for a reason.
I have this coworker, Amanda, who I absolutely adore and thank goodness, because I collaborate with her more than any other employee. Amanda moved this weekend—exactly one-and-a-half blocks away from me. I was thrilled to have her so close. She drank a bottle of wine a night leading up to the move.
Before this week, Amanda was commuting an hour and a half to work. Both directions. She sat in her car for fifteen hours a week for two straight years. Any human would think she would be thrilled to live a five-minute walk from work. However, unlike ninety percent of twenty and thirty year-olds living in DC, Amanda owned her condo.
It’s been my dream to own property for…my whole life really, so I understand giving up your first place can’t be easy.
“Well, I drank a bottle of wine last night while packing up my condo. Like, why would I sell my gorgeous place with a pool to go back to renting!?”
I felt bad for her. “Yea,” I said “But that will all go away when you can walk to work Monday morning.”
“That’s what my parents keep telling me,” she said, “They’re like, ‘Amanda, you did this for a reason!’”
You will always have buyer’s remorse.
I turned twenty-two exactly one week before landing my first interview in Maryland. At the time, I lived with the best roommate in the world in the best apartment I’ve ever lived in. I had a great boyfriend. I had an amazing internship with an offer on the table. I was graduating in one week from a great school.
My life was basically perfect. But I wasn’t ready for life to be perfect just yet.
I think buyer’s remorse will accompany every major decision we make. We will wonder why we left the safe job, why we broke up with the nice guy, why we moved out of a place where we got awesome dinners and free rent, and why we would ever move to a city where we don’t know a soul.
You did all those things for a reason. You broke up with the safe guy because he was boring. You quit the safe job because you hated it. You were miserable living with your family.
And I moved halfway across the country because I wanted to see what it was like. I ended up hating it, actually.
I hated DC for six months. I actually hated it so much I left. Today I’m back living in that same city, and I swear I could not love it more. Until my plan for becoming a billionaire works out and I can jet home for every home game, I’ll just live vicariously through those of you tailgating without me. Because I came here for a reason.