4 Harsh Truths No One Tells You About Starting Over In A New City
It's a common anthem of our generation. It's that common message we all seem to hear day in and day out.
If you stay in one place for too long, you're doing this whole life thing incorrectly.
So, as you come to the end of a season, the only logical thing to do is to pack up your life in random boxes and bags to hit the road for wherever's next. You move on, set your own roots and figure out the lifestyle that's uniquely you.
You're told it's an incredible opportunity to start new. People say starting over will make you a better citizen of the world, more responsible and more understanding of differences.
The message tells you it will throw off your laziness and push you out of this thing we've called the “comfort zone” to experience new life in places you haven't explored yet.
While this all sounds exciting and good, what isn't talked about often is the raw reality of packing up your life and moving across the country or around the world. This message doesn't acknowledge there's another dimension of this rhythm we've so quickly bought into.
And when you're about to make that jump of saying goodbye to your old life and planting yourself far from it, you need to understand these four things about moving away from the place you call home:
1. It will cost you.
Sure, it'll certainly cost a few dollars out of your bank account, but a move from home will cost you far more than just your dollars.
It will cost you your understanding of home. It will cost you your relationships and the function they play in your life. It will cost you a few sweet memories that you'll only be able to experience from FaceTime.
What we don't often talk about is that picking up your life and moving across the state or country is costly not only for you, but also for your family, for your closest friendships and for the community from which you uproot yourself.
2. Time is beyond your days.
Check out the Instagram account of someone who has moved far from home, and you probably think they have the most stellar life imaginable.
Then, listen to a story of that same person who's moved. Ask him or her what the first two years were like, and you'll hear a much different manuscript.
We tend to have this notion of moving that it's going to be some fantasy that just happens to fall into place upon your arrival. But, what's actually true is that reestablishing yourself in a new “home” spans time that is simply beyond your days.
3. You'll be equally humbled and amazed.
It's rare to have another time in life when you are both stunned by your own capabilities and shocked by what you are unable to do.
You're amazed you were able to successfully find a job, a dentist, a place to get your car fixed and your go-to coffee shop when you need a little escape. You high five yourself for finding insurance and a place to live. And when you meet your first real friend, well, watch out world.
Yet, on the other side of this is the humbling reality that you left home really not knowing as much as you think you did. The frequent calls of, “Hey, Dad, how do you fix this?” or “Hey, Mom, can you get on Google and help my find this thing?” become the norm.
4. You'll learn the value of your people.
I have six best friends from college, people who are committed to fighting for friendship and doing whatever it takes to stay connected. And when I showed up in a brand new place not knowing a single soul, there was a deep sense of home resting in the reality that my people I left weren't actually going anywhere.
Once I started to find my tribe in my new home, I realized quickly these people were actually my family. They're the people I celebrate with, cry with and spend those can't-get-home-holidays with.
5. It'll make you examine what you're running from.
I love my city. From the character to the energy and the people, I have very little to complain about.
One thing I've noticed since moving here, though, is the people who move here are often running from something and hoping to find something else, typically adventure.
There's a sense of something unresolved left in the place they're leaving, and they're hoping to find something new in this new place with their new life. So ask yourself, "What am I running from?"
Moving across the country or across the world is a significant, consuming choice. While it certainly allows you to grow exponentially and to examine the depths of who you are, it also costs you perhaps more than you were ready for.
So, consider your choices. Ask yourself if the moving anthem is for you. And wisely decide on your next life endeavor.