Uprooting Life. On Why I’m Leaving

Earlier this week I enjoyed a wonderful quiet goodbye cocktail hour here in Oklahoma City. I cried to myself both before I entered the party as well as after too. I will be leaving behind great friends and close family, but these tears weren’t all tears of sadness. They were tears of excitement, anticipation and uncertainty. My family and I are relocating half way across the country.

During the cocktail hour last week and since our announcement to friends and family that were were moving, many people have asked about why I’m moving to California specifically the Bay area and what is different that I’ll specifically be doing. My answer to them is nothing. Absolutely nothing. I’ll still be writing here and on Workology, working with HR technology as well as consulting with HR and Recruiting teams.

Life’s Too Short to Wait on Living

Oklahoma has been our home for the last seven years and we’ve enjoyed the time spent. There’s no job specifically to drive us to California although there are companies I work with in Silicon Valley, and yet when I’m in the Bay I’ve never felt more at home with our decision to sell our home in Moore, Oklahoma, move, uproot and relocate our life to a place with no family, just friends that live in the vicinity. I’ll be closer to the technology center of the universe and our family will be taking part in a great new adventure because life’s too short to wait for living.

Ryleigh who’s 4 is excited about things like the ocean, her new swimming pool, less mosquitos and bug bites, and San Francisco which she pronounces San-FRAN-CICSO, accent on the Francisco and emphasis on the last two syllables usually said with her eyes and arms wide open like she’s on a Broadway stage.

Not everyone has been excited, supportive or happy about our change of location but I’ve never been involved in any major life change or decision where there was not at least one naysayer touting negativity. There will always be someone who is not supportive of yours and my life decisions especially those decisions that are hard ones and tug at the heart strings. Because if it was easy, it’s something everyone would be doing.

Life’s also too short to worry about things we can’t control like tornados, earthquakes and when we even leave this earth. But what I can control is opening myself up to opportunities, experiences and following adventure wherever it may lead.

Life Without Risk Is Only Hopes & Dreams

Am I terrified? Hell yes! Thinking that I might fail. Of course, but in my heart of hearts Greg and I know it’s the best decision for my business and our family. Life is too short to wait for living. I’m a survivor, a domestic abuse survivor and someone who has been underestimated, misunderstood and through it all kept fighting, living and seeing possibility. I’ve triumphed and experienced things I never would have believed. And there’s so much more left to be seen, live and do. Without risk there is no reward and without risk there is also no living only dreaming.

So goodbye Oklahoma and hello California. I’m excited at the adventures you have in store for my family and me.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Stephanie Hammerwold says

    Good luck with your move, Jessica. I think you’ll love living in California. I grew up in this state. I have lived in several different parts of it, and I love all of them.

  2. Craig Ogata says

    Best wishes, Jessica. Taking action toward the pursuit of your dreams is the solution to beating “Wudda-Cudda-Shudda-itis.” Oddly, it’s taken me awhile to learn that, but in my lengthy job search, I’ve had plenty of time to look back on opportunities I should have pursued more passionately, but didn’t. But, I’m hoping it’s never too late. Thanks for your message of inspiration.

  3. Sejal Patel says

    Best of luck! Sounds like an incredible adventure for you and your family! Worse come to worst, you can always move back, right? 🙂 <–That's what I tell myself when I make big decisions that could go either way.


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