I will be moving out of my childhood home over the course of the next few months and it scares the living sh*t out of me. I’ve spent the first few years of my life playing it pretty safe - I went to a university a few minutes up the road, never went away to summer camp and never really took any trips that lasted more than a few days.

You could understand how I’ve become a little restless. I have nothing against my hometown, I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up anywhere else, but I’ve come to feel like I’m trapped in a bubble. I’ve been going to the same places, seeing the same people and doing the same things everyday for twenty three years and I’ve finally reached the perfect point in my life to change that. I’m moving five hours away to Boston, Massachusetts. I can’t even tell you how many people have told me all the things that are wrong with what I’m doing, but that’s okay because it’s my life and I’m allowed to do whatever I have to in order to grow into the person that I am supposed to be. Leaving home can be scary, but you’ve got to do it some time.

When you finally decide that it’s time to go and pick up somewhere new, your life will change in so many ways that you won’t even begin to understand and no matter what happens, it's a good thing - but before you go, there are a few things you’re going to have to come to peace with.

The word 'home' is about to take on a whole new meaning.

I'm sure everyone agrees with me when I say, the best part of everyday is being able to finally say "I'm going home." For twenty three years that meant going back to the same house, on the same street, in the same bedroom and sleeping comfortably in my own bed. Soon, I won't have that anymore.
Leaving home is welcoming abrupt change - returning to a new room, in a new city, possibly in a different state. Don't let it scare you. Home will always be right where you left it; it's time to go out and make your own.

Mom and Dad aren't going to be within arms reach.

My parents have always been right down the hall, and when they weren't, they were just a short drive away. Now the closest I'm going to get to my parents for a while is a phone call. This is probably the scariest part for most people.
Mom and Dad might not be around to clean up the mess of whatever you f*ck up. It's a lot to take in, and maybe a little hard to deal with but find comfort in knowing no matter how far apart you are, they're always going to be there for you.

Absolutely nothing is going to be the same as it used to be.

If you're liked me and lived at home for your entire life, buckle the f*ck up because everything is about to get really, really different. There won't be food waiting for you in the fridge, or a nice clean house to come back to, or the smell of freshly cleaned laundry. You're about to have to do a lot of sh*t you're not used to doing, or realistically don't feel like doing. I hope you're ready for it.

You're about to be given a clean slate.

If there is ever a time to become the person you've always wanted to be - the time is now. That's the coolest part of all of this - moving out of state is one of the cleanest slates you could possibly give yourself. Sure, it could be a stressful concept - being around new surroundings and people, but when you think about it, that's pretty awesome. Change can only come if you allow it to, so go ahead - become the person you've always wanted to be, the person that makes you the happiest, and let that be the foundation of your new life.

You're going to have to step outside of your comfort zone, and you're going to have to do it often.

This is given. You're going to have to talk to new people, learn new things and conform to a new way of life - but I promise you, it will make you nothing but a stronger person.

You're going to have to fend for yourself.

There won't be anyone there to call and schedule your doctors appointments for you, tell you where to go to get your oil changed, sew your dress for you when you get drunk and rip it trying to walk up the stairs, or come save you when you plow a tire in the middle of the night. These are going to be all of your burdens to bare now.

It might be time to learn how public transportation works.

If you're like me and you're moving to a brand new city, it might be time to bust out the map and learn how the trains work. It's really sh*tty not knowing where you're going, so take some time and get to know the area and the different ways around it. Plus, you never know what you can find along the way.

Keeping up with friends and family back home isn't going to be as easy as you think.

Time seems go by quicker as we get older, and a month without a phone call home could probably go unnoticed. I'm sure you've heard before that long distance is hard, and that doesn't only apply to significant others. You won't get to talk to your friends and family as much as you want to, that's the truth. But make sure that you somehow find time in your busy schedule so the one's you left back home don't miss you too much.

Your past literally doesn't matter anymore.

No one cares about that embarrassing thing you did in high school, or your keg stand time back in college anymore. I can't emphasize enough that you are about to be handed a clean slate. Nobody knows anything about you, you don't have to worry about running into your ex at the supermarket or the mean girls from high school at the mall. You get to start over - your past is in the rearview and your future is yours to mold.

Your hometown will never be the same once you leave it.

We love our hometown, it's rife with great memories that will always hold the biggest place in our heart; one that is overflowing with nostalgia. The saddest thing about this is - once you make your own life, you can't settle for one that was made for you. The real world is a lot different than the little bubble you grew up in. When you venture into it and away from the comfort of your parents, you create a world that is entirely your own and no one else. When you're surrounded by all that you know, all you're capable of doing is simply enjoying the ride, but once you get of that ride and start building your own, it's a little bit harder to fall back into old patterns.

Once you take the plunge, it'll be worth the fall.

Leaving home for the first time is potentially one of the scariest things you will ever go through, but it will all be worth it. You may end up wright back where you started in your childhood bedroom, or you may flourish. Everything might fall apart and you may have to start all over again, or everything could work out in your favor and your life can finally begin. Don't let the fear of failure keep you from moving forward. No matter what happens, you're going to figure out some stuff you never knew about yourself, and in the end you'll put on your big kid pants and figure it out.