Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. The following post is my entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.
I consider myself to be a fairly lucky person.
There are times throughout my life where things could have taken a very different turn had I not done something about it or if others didn’t step in to guide me in a certain way that made all the difference.
To name a few, these include escaping a home environment with an abusive father as a teenager, going to college on a full scholarship and a two-year public affairs internship at a transportation agency that resulted from a chance encounter months earlier with my soon-to-be boss.
These achievements did not materialize on their own. All required a great deal of effort, dedication and courageousness to achieve the desired outcomes. The latest I’m about to describe is perhaps the gutsiest decision I’ve made thus far.
Back in October 2014, I relocated from my native Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area without a job or housing arrangements lined up. I did this as my career prospects were in a proverbial gutter within the last three years since graduating from college.
The Bay Area consistently held much better hopes for my career prospects. A large part of why I moved up here is to pursue a career opportunity that involves public communication in transportation. As of this writing, I still remain under consideration for the position and my hope is that the outcome will lean in my favor in early 2015.
I went into this move without any certainty over what kind of work or housing arrangements will be waiting for me, if any. I also effected this effort with barely any money left to my name as I felt that staying in Southern California any longer would have worsened matters even more. I regretted not moving to the Bay Area sooner since I was already flirting with the idea for months but was only willing to move once a solid job offer somewhere was presented to me. Having waited long enough I decided, “The hell with this. I’m gonna get going already.”
Although I spent most of my life in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas with my career beginning in the latter, I felt that there was no one left in that part of the Golden State willing to give me a chance anymore. SoCal continues to hold a special place in my heart — after all, it’s where most of my family and friends still remain. It wasn’t easy to leave them behind but I had to in order to keep my moribund professional dreams alive.
Since moving to Campbell, a nice and peaceful suburb of San Jose, I feel that my life has slowly changed for the better. Finally, I live in an area where I fit in as a millennial, the job market is more robust and people value transit and technology greatly.
Through it all, I still remain enrolled as a graduate student for a distance-learning master’s degree program in transportation management at San Jose State University. I’ve been in the program since January 2014, where I first attended classes in L.A. and now in San Jose proper. The move to the Bay Area means I’m closer to the people and the physical resources necessary to advance my education further. June 2016 isn’t that far away.
It’s still too early to tell whether this gamble has paid off. I hope it will, ultimately. What I can say is that I got gutsy by taking chances and effecting change on my own with little to no guarantee of what lies ahead. There’s no turning back now and that’s exactly how I want it to be.