In the words of Hunter Hayes, “there’s nothing like starting over, there’s nothing like shedding a heartache, writing a new page to say what you wanna say…there’s nothing like a heart wide open, that bittersweet comfort of knowing you can let go and take the weight off your shoulders…there’s nothing like starting over.”
The song title, Nothing Like Starting Over, seemed to be the perfect anthem to this time in my life, but the more I played it I learned that I disagreed with the lyrics. I don’t like starting over. Starting over is scary. Starting over means loss…leaving everything you love behind. Starting over is sad. Why is he singing about it like it’s a positive?
That’s when I realized I was reading the lyrics wrong. The song isn’t just about starting over, it’s about choosing to start over. This whole time I’ve been angry about moving back home because it’s the opposite of what I want, and I want to stay here. But everyone says “where there’s a will there’s a way” … and the unfortunate truth is that I can stay here.
I could stay on at Disneyland after the college program, working part time and making barely any money. I could get a handful of roommates. That life sounds miserable to me, but it’s doable, and it would allow me to stay here. When I weigh the pros and cons, I realize that I want my own place and a bigger paycheck more than I want to be in California, because I can’t have those things here. Not soon, anyway.
It hurts because for months it has felt like going home over staying here meant I don’t love my friends or my boyfriend. If I really wanted to be with them, wouldn’t I make the sacrifice and just share a room for a few more years? What’s making 9 dollars an hour at a job I hate here vs 12 dollars an hour at a job I hate there? Miserable is miserable, right?
…and that’s what depression does to your thoughts. Makes every decision a bad one – every option a negative.
So I remember to tell myself, it’s important for my own peace of mind and sanity for me to be comfortable. Roommates make me uncomfortable, and I have a job that can get me my own place pretty soon back home.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t make you selfish. Leaving the people I love is heartbreaking, but I’m not choosing myself over them, I’m choosing myself so that I can continue being the best version of myself to them and for them.
I was feeling like going home can’t be starting over because it’s actually a step backwards, but I was wrong. Going home is starting over. I’m shedding the heartache of trying to work in a business I’m clearly not meant to work in, at least not right now. I’m writing a new page of my life by redefining my goals and plans of action. My heart is wide open to loss, to love, and to change. It’s bittersweet because letting go of this dream of living in LA and working in Entertainment is scary. It feels like giving up, it feels like failure… but it’s also liberating. I get to start a new dream. Something bigger. Something better.
There’s nothing like starting over.