Remember how I decided my goal for this year was to be independent?

Well, just 9 days into the new year, I made my first Big Girl decision.

I packed up my car and moved to Pittsburgh.

This is my first time living with anyone other than my parents or grandparents, the first time I haven’t lived in the middle of nowhere, the first time I am completely responsible for myself.

And, quite honestly, this was probably the best decision I ever made.

The majority of my friends live in the general Pittsburgh area. I’m currently living with one. My two best friends are no longer 4 hours away – it will take me only an hour to go see them. The rest of my friends are at college but when they are home, I will no longer need to plan a big roadtrip to go see them. It will only be a short trip up the road.

More importantly, there are things to do here. More jobs available than ever possible back home. I don’t have to drive an hour to get to Walmart or the mall, it’s not going to take ten minutes to get to civilization. If I want to go spend the day in the city, I can do so easily. I’ve always wanted to live in the city and though Pittsburgh was never my dream city, it’s a great place to start.

I’ve been considering the move to Pittsburgh for quite some time, mostly because I wanted to get away and this was the most feasible place to move, but it was never really an option. I had ten thousand excuses as to why I needed to stay in my hometown.

It took everything that my hometown worth staying in falling apart to make me get the hell out of there. Within a week, I lost my two best friends there. Best friend break-ups are the worst and I was completely devastated. I took a week off from work and ran – to Pittsburgh, of course.

The perfect view of the city from Mt. Washington

The perfect view of the city from Mt. Washington

Before I left, I was talking to my boss and she said “Sky, why don’t you just move there? You’re 19, have few responsibilities, and you’re miserable here. If I were you, I’d be running the hell out of here.”

“Well, I want to but -” Suddenly every excuse I’d been using for the past year was no longer valid. There really was nothing holding me back. I called up a friend, asked if she knew anyone interested in renting a room, and bam, I had a place to stay.

It was less than a month between that decision and the day I moved. It was a little crazy, Once I made the decision, I knew it was the right one. There was nothing holding me back. I was ready.

I always said when I moved back to my hometown that I wasn’t going to stay. The plan had been to spend three months there working and then move to California. Yet, somehow, it took nearly two years for me to leave. I don’t regret the extra time I spent there – it was time that I needed to learn and grow and, for the first time ever, I had people around me that truly cared. But I’m a wanderer, I’m not supposed to stay anywhere forever and it was simply time for me to see what I am capable of doing on my own.

The move went flawlessly and though the first few days were a bit awkward, I adjusted quickly. I lined up two jobs within a week, both paying over minimum wage, and I can’t be more thankful for that. I am surrounded by people who love me, just as I was back home, and I honestly feel like it’s a healthy change for my relationships back home.

I’ve yet to make it into the city, thanks to all the snow, but I am excited to explore and get lost as soon as I possibly can. I’m getting involved in things that were not possible back home, meeting new people, and, overall, making significant changes in my life.

And, honestly?

It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.