My life is on the verge of starting a new chapter – but it’s honestly more dramatic than that. I know what new chapters feel like, this is like the beginning of a second book. I know myself better than ever, about to move out alone for the first time. No more Riley to hold my hand through life – I’ll be alone. In San Francisco. No partner, no family, nothing.

I’ve got an apartment, roommates, a new job, enrolled in a university. I have no idea what life is going to be like, but I’m hopeful. Before yesterday I was just a ball of stress, I didn’t think my family supported my decision, but I got a card from my Grandma. It had a check for $1,000 and it was a game changer. I deposited it directly into my savings and that shit is not going to be touched. It’s my emergency fund. I had saved more than that, but it was gone within a week after I had to pay rent for two places, deposits.

I was terrified of moving, and then this happened. It was dramatic enough to make me, a staunch atheist, wonder if a higher power existed. I had no money, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to buy groceries and had been eating free popcorn and chips from work. For a week.

Overnight I had my savings back, that I had been working on for a year, saving every penny I could. I’m going to continue doing that, but this is such a boost.

I’m ready to get out of this damn town, I’m ready to fucking fly. Get away from my goddamn demons. All the dumb guys I’ve seen or loved or whatever, I swear I won’t even think about them once I’m gone. I don’t have the headspace for that bullshit anymore.

It’s about survival, thriving in school and at work, molding myself into a person I am proud to be. I’ll get there, I swear to fucking god I will.

I’m ready to prove to everyone who has told me that I can’t, or who gave disapproving looks when mentioned my plans after high school.

Even if I’m living off an EBT card, even if I have to get a student loan and work forty hours a week while in school full-time, I’m going to do it.


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