Getting a new job is the most exciting and nerve-wracking event in your twenties. Last month I left my first job out of college to pursue a new job, one that meant furthering my career, but also saying goodbye to everything I knew.   There’s never a “good time” to leave one job to start another — it’s always scary and it’s always a risk. I knew I was ready to take the plunge, but with new opportunities there is a great call for courage. Newness is refreshing like a cold shower. It wakes you up and you think, “Maybe that’s just a once a week kind of thing.” But when you move away from what you know, your cold showers become a daily occurrence.

Accepting my new job meant I would have to move to a city that I had only been to once (for my interview). Scared and nervous, I kept hearing from my peers, “Whoa, you’re moving somewhere where you don’t know anyone?” And my resounding yes sent shockwaves through the small town that raised me. They looked at me like I had lost it. In fact, I was simply starting a journey of finding myself.

Change alarms people, it has a way of scaring the person enduring it and, even more so, the people who are trying to avoid it. Yet, the notion that I was stepping outside my comfort zone and into a new pair of shoes made me feel ridiculously alive. It made me sit back and think about the future. If I can do this, what else I could accomplish? Change prompts growth, and with growth comes wisdom. They say, “With old age comes wisdom,” but I believe that only applies to the person who shakes hands with the unknown.

Moving is chaotic — there’s no sugarcoating or formula I can offer to make it easier to swallow. It’s just plain hard. After I had moved into my new place, I felt a sense of ownership and pride that you don’t find when you remain inside the bubble. The night before my first day at the new job I looked around my apartment, and couldn’t help but smile — I did it and I’m still breathing. Following this serene moment of reflection, I promptly blasted some Kelly Clarkson (Sorry neighbors!) and danced around in celebration.

Since then I have done some equally impressive things, like finding the nearest bank, grocery store (Thank GOD for Trader Joe’s), and always putting myself out there. Because if there is one thing I’ve learned from trying something new, it’s that this is what we were meant for. Familiarity and feeling secure does nothing for the soul — it keeps it stagnant. So get out there and say hello to the world, because you might be surprised at how much it has to say back.

This is what being alive is all about, and anyone who tells you different is simply afraid to fly from the nest. But here’s the beautiful thing — the nest will still be there waiting for you when you get back. Go out and find yourself, for with every new experience, you unveil a new part of who you are…you learn who you are.

What big changes do you have coming up and how are you handling them?