I’ve moved 14 times. I think. It’s hard to keep track of them all. Each one has happened under a different set of life circumstances and each one brought challenges. If you haven’t had a lot of experience moving then some of the emotional upheaval that surrounds packing up all your belongings and relocating might come as a bit of a surprise. Here are three things you should know when moving.
- Your patterns and routines will be disrupted. We are creatures of habit. We tend to do the same things in the same way. We do this in how we navigate our homes, how we get to and from work, and the places we frequent. Moving throws all of this into turmoil. You will move into a new dwelling where you will have to try to figure out how to get your old stuff to fit. Some of your stuff won’t fit so you’ll either have to store it or replace it. You know how you can walk through your house in the dark? Yeah…you’ll have to learn that again too. Your commute will look different. You’ll have to find a new grocery store and a new gas station. For awhile everything will be in chaos until you can establish new patterns and routines. However, with time, you will get into new routines, your new home will begin to feel like “home,” and the chaos in your life will lessen as you get more established.
- Your relationships will be disrupted. This is true whether you are moving across town or across the globe. Proximity and convenience are key factors in who we establish relationships with and in maintaining those relationships. For most, only the closest relationships are worth maintaining when a move takes you out of close proximity. Most of your acquaintances will simply no longer be a part of your life beyond the artificial connections created by social media. For your closest relationships, you’ll find ways to stay connected but it won’t be as easy and it will come with more sacrifice (e.g. time and money). Thankfully, you’ll meet new acquaintances in your new locale and these are people you never would have had the chance to meet had you not relocated. This can be stressful but making these new connections will help your new location start to feel more and more like home.
- Bloom where you are planted. In my line of work, I encounter people who are never happy. They could be working within walking distance of the beach and they’d still be unhappy. On the other hand, I’ve encountered people who live and work in the middle of nowhere, completely isolated from many of the niceties and conveniences of large urban areas, and they find ways to stay positive and be happy. Wherever you go there will be things about it that simply suck. If you choose to focus on those things, your time in that place will be similarly terrible. However, if you focus on the opportunities you have in the new place you will find that your attitude and your satisfaction improve. It’s also worth noting that if you don’t like a place you’ll probably attract people who feel similarly and you’ll end up in a self-perpetuating pity party that only reinforces your negative attitude.
What about you? What are your experiences with moving and what has helped you bloom where you are planted?