For the first time in my life I’m leaving without running away.

It’s making me a bit nervous actually.

Most of my traveling has been panic-driven.

“I hate my life. I have to get out of here,” I’d say.

Then I’d begin a frantic search for the cheapest flight to anywhere.

Failing that, I’d jump in my car and drive. Drive 12 hours to Vancouver for the weekend. Head north on Interstate 5, stopping only when the panic subsided.

For years I blamed my unhappiness on this city.

I’d tell myself it was all because I was stuck here in Sacramento. It gave me that small-town feeling. The there’s-nothing-to-do-in-this-town, I’m-going-nowhere-with-my-life, I-have-to-get-out-of-here feeling.

I was one of those people who thought escaping this town meant escaping my life.

What I learned is that I needed a better life before I could be anywhere without looking for my next escape route.

Sacramento wasn’t the problem. And I only know that now because for the last couple of years I’ve been really happy here.

How do I know?

Because now when it’s time to leave I ask, “Why do I have to leave? What made me decide to do this?”

I’m nervous about going now because I don’t have dreams about finding something bigger and better somewhere else. I’m not romanticizing my trip the way I would have before.

People keep saying, “Moving to France? Wow, aren’t you so excited?” And I want to say yes, but the truth is I’m really anxious. I feel like I’m making a big mistake. What if I’m leaving something really great and I end up being miserable there? I’ve never had these types of what-ifs before. It’s giving me a nervous stomach.

“I’m sure everything will be fine.” This is my new mantra.

The more I think about it, the more I think it will be great, really.

It will be. I know it. Because this time I’m going without the idea that Paris will save me from myself.

Besides, if Paris sucks I know Sacramento will be waiting right here where I left her.


Rebecca Adler is moving to Paris this week. There she will continue to write while posing as an au pair. She can be reached on myspace or on the comment board.

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REBECCA ADLER is from Sacramento, CA, where she is a grad student in applied linguistics and works as a freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in Jane & Jane, Sacramento Business Journal, and Comstock's Business Magazine, among others. She also keeps a book review blog and can be found on Facebook or Twitter.

One response to “Sacramento, You’ll Wait For Me, Won’t You?”

  1. Original Comment Thread Below:


    Comment by Brad Listi
    2007-08-24 10:50:07

    Bon voyage! Eat at Chez Janou. 2, Rue Roger Verlomme. In the Marais. Tres magnifique.
    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Sean Carman
    2007-08-24 11:22:23

    Good luck, Bex! Sean
    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Dawn C.
    2007-08-24 11:50:10

    Hey Becca. Interesting meditation on, as they say in AA, “pulling a geographical.” I think this move should be extremely interesting now that you’re not running away. I bet it will be great.
    Reply to this comment

    Comment by 1159
    2007-08-24 18:23:23

    Is there anything more romantic that moving to Paris?
    Best of luck and love Adler.

    I’ve moved all over to but seems whereever I go – I bring myself with me.
    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Richard Ferguson
    2007-08-24 19:15:01

    Hey Becca:

    Yeah, Sacto will be right where you left it. And I’m sure it’ll miss the hell outta you. Of course, you can always come back if you need to. But my guess, my hope is that Paris is gonna be just the thing for you.

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Josie Renwah
    2007-08-24 19:22:20

    Good grief!

    Are all the TNB writers moving to France?

    Is that some sort of prerequisite to posting here? Is Brad coercing you good writers to move to France just so he can get a haircut and bagette in the vacation season???

    *shakes fist in air*

    “Damn you Brad!”
    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Josie Renwah
    2007-08-24 19:26:41

    “I’ve been really happy here. How do I know?”

    I felt you asking that question to your self and suddenly everything became more intimate and I felt a little voyeuristic.

    You’re not going to France or returning to Sacramento – you’re off to find your self sister – that’s one sweet trip!

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by rk
    2007-08-25 00:41:12


    Excellent piece.

    Looking forward to drinks Wednesday night!

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Rebecca Adler
    2007-08-25 03:24:04

    RK: OMG I am SO super excited to meet you! I can’t wait!

    Josie: Thanks for the comments. And, no, I don’t believe moving to France is a prerequisite to writing here, but I do believe that many writers love the idea of Paris. Also, R Kent is leaving Paris for Tanzania so I’m merely taking up the empty space left by his fab writing, although mine not be as well written. I shall try though.

    Rich: I believe you are correct good sir 😉
    Dawn: I love that phrase, “pulling a geographical.” It’s perfect.

    59: I do believe it’s difficult to leave yourself behind. I’m sure it’s possible, but it’s never worked for me before.

    Thanks everyone for the comments! I hope you keep reading once I’m eating baguettes and stinky cheese…
    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Kaytie M. Lee
    2007-08-25 08:49:07

    Bon voyage, B! The apprehension is the worst part. Not that I’ve ever moved to Paris to know that. I’m just assuming. 😛
    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Emma R
    2007-08-26 09:07:53

    Rebecca, good luck and welcome to Euro TNB. It’s like EuroDisney but without the giant mice. I’m looking forward to reading your French postings. And if you head over to London, look me up!
    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Lenore
    2007-08-26 10:31:51

    i am nothing but jealous over here.
    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Chason
    2007-10-29 10:36:41

    I was reading an article and the writer was talking about Boston and how that city has a lot of character and is very unique. The writer said something along the lines of: “Boston is unique, unlike generic cities like Sacramento, etc. etc.” Wow. I guess the writer is sort of right, in a way. Sacramento, to me, seems sort of generic and not very cosmopolitan or interesting like San Francisco. Sacramento doesn’t really have any well-known landmarks, aside from the State Capitol Building. But the more I spend time in Sacramento, the less generic it seems.
    Reply to this comment

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