Growing up is hard. Moving away is hard. Trying to maintain relationships, with friends, family, and significant others, over 400 miles of distance, is ridiculously hard. There are days in which I question my decision to go to Berkeley; not in that it was difficult to choose to go there, but because I knew I'd make things harder on myself; debt-wise, life-wise. Though my family remains as amazing as ever, and my friends and I have never been closer, it doesn't make it any easier when I'm up there all alone. They're there--by phone, email, and Skype--but at the same time, sometimes I just need a hug, or someone to sit with me. I gave that up when I made the choice to go to Cal. This past week, ending a relationship that I truly thought would last a hell of a lot longer than eight months, I was reminded of what a precarious situation I had placed myself in by leaving, risking losing everything I'd ever loved. I'm aware of how melodramatic that sounds, but it's really difficult to maintain relationships and friendships with massive distance between you. I work everyday to make sure I don't lose them, putting in an extra effort I wouldn't have to make if I was actually present.
At the same time, by going to Berkeley and leaving my comfort zone, I've grown up more than I realized was possible. Going to UCLA would have been the easy choice for me, taking on less debt, living at home, staying in the same city as my best friends and not having to start over. I would get to go to my favorite hangouts and have new adventures with old friends...I would be content. But it wouldn't have pushed me to meet new people, to adapt to difficult situations, to learn to stand on my own two feet. In my heart, I know I made the best choice for me, even though it wasn't the easiest.
I try to live life without regrets, always telling people the truth and making sure they know I care. Putting myself out there usually ends with me getting hurt, but I sleep soundly at night knowing that I said what I was feeling. Also, life is too short to keep some things in, because what if something happens to the person you wanted to say something to? Just go for it, you have nothing to lose. In terms of the last eight months, I have no regrets about anything; it was the happiest I'd been in a really long time. When I decided to move to Berkeley, my whole world turned around. On the way there, I found someone that understood my quirks and thought all the better of me for it. He was someone who I just fit with, who just made sense. The only thing off was he just happened to be staying the very place I was leaving behind. Although it worked for awhile, it wasn't a fair situation for anyone and now it's over.
I chose Berkeley, and although it wasn't the easiest choice, I have to keep reminding myself that it was, and is, the best thing I could have done for myself.