Everyone’s ecstatic for you- a little sad, but mostly proud of you for taking that big leap and venturing to a new place that you will soon call home. They toast to your upcoming adventures and promise to stay in touch- “it will be as if you had never left!”
However, you are the one who is itching the most to embark upon this journey. Why else would you uproot your entire life to move countless miles away?
You are more than ready. Sad? -nah. Nostalgic? -a little. But you know you need this transition, even if you can’t put it into a concise and logical answer when people ask you why you are moving. You just know that you need to experience of a new way of living- in a new environment, surrounded by new people, immersed in new cultures, and exposed to new ideas and possibilities.
So here you are. You’re finally getting settled in with your new life. You found a place to live and call “home”, you landed a new job, you have become acquainted with the neighborhood you live in, the main highways and grocery stores nearby, and can finally stop relying on your GPS to get you everywhere.
So you live. You work, you develop your new routine. You explore. You discover the restaurants and bars that become your favorite. You adventure to quaint towns and bustling cities that are the stark opposite from what you are used to. You enjoy scenic parks and rigorous trails that expose you to an entirely new world.
It’s all so glitzy and glam at first- the beautiful weather, the laid back lifestyle, the incredible landscapes and myriad of activities to do and sites to see. All your hometown friends and family are jealous of your new life- “wishing we were there!”- as they tell you how much they miss you.
Until it ebbs. The dozens of “likes” from your Facebook followers, the daily texts from your closest friends and promised weekly phone calls will fade into an empty screen of disappointment. Until the excitement of the unexplored slowly morphs into the reality of responsibility. Until the vacation is replaced with a consistent work schedule. But most of all, the move will hit you when you spend more time with yourself than you ever have before.
When there’s an awesome concert playing or a hike you are dying to trek, but find yourself having no adventure companion. When you’ve had a long day at work and want to share your ramblings and a tall glass of wine with a close friend, but are left with the company of yourself. When you’re overlooking a breath-taking view that pictures can’t come close to capturing, but have no one to share the perfect moment with. Or when you just want to use the damn carpool lane, but have no shotgun passenger.
It hits you- you are alone.
Your friends at home haven’t abandoned you or love you any less. In fact, moving away will only solidify your true friendships. But life goes on and just as you are moving forward, so are they. No one will stay in touch as much as promised or visit you as much as planned. In fact, you will most likely lose contact with the majority of friends you had before the move.
The reality of moving to a new place by yourself is that it’s incredibly difficult. It’s uncomfortable, expensive, challenging, and oftentimes extremely lonely. You will have days you question your move and bask in loneliness. You will have days you want nothing more than the familiarity of home- of friends and family and comfort. You will have days you wonder if it will ever truly feel like home and be impatient as to when everything will finally fall together.
But here’s also the reality of moving to a new place by yourself. Those days that you wonder about and agonize over will come. Slowly, but surely you will start to meet people. People who come from all over the country, full of stories and diverse beliefs you haven’t been exposed to before. Friendships will blossom and loneliness will begin to fade. You will combat those questions of belonging with an overwhelming peace about being on the right track of your life, even though you may not see the entire picture now. And slowly, your new adventure will morph into your new life- as every day becomes a fresh way of living.
The truth is that moving to a new place by yourself is one of the best things you will ever do.
Moving somewhere new challenges you in ways you never knew were possible before. You learn things about yourself that you may have never been forced to learn unless you had put yourself in such a vulnerable position.
You learn to not only be accustomed to being by yourself, but to thrive from it. Self-responsibility and independence soars to a new level, as you must find a way to make ends meet. For every night you worry about how you will figure it all out, you will be pushed to work harder the next to find resolution.
Any comfort you once took in the familiarity will be ripped to shreds as you learn to stand on your own, to delve into who you truly are and re-invent yourself into who you want to be.
You quickly discover what demons you tried to escape by moving as soon as you realize that they followed you to wherever you landed. And you are forced to tackle them, because they have no place haunting your new life.
You open yourself up to new ideas, new interests and new ways of living as you grow and evolve at a faster rate than ever before. You also realize that while your world has transformed drastically, the one you left behind remains the same, and you see the importance of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.
You learn to truly reach out to others, even just in passing, because you are seeking out companionship. You open yourself up to getting to know others and letting them get to know you.
You are humbled, because you forgot what it feels like to start over, to be behind everyone and to build from nothing, to establish yourself, and work hard for everything you begin to earn in your new life.
And you are changed because of your move. You are mentally and emotionally stronger, as you learn to adapt and thrive in a brand new environment. You are more in-touch with yourself, because you quickly found out what was holding you back before versus what passions are pushing you forward now. You have become the most genuine and authentic version of yourself, because there are no other influences on your decisions besides those of your own accord.
Just give yourself time. Give yourself patience, lee-way and room for mistakes. Give yourself grace, understanding and humility. Give yourself a kick in the ass when you need it, but also give yourself a relaxing day off when deserved.
But most importantly, give yourself the biggest congratulations, because you made it. You did it. You followed through with the life you wanted and took the steps to get there. You conquered something that most people will never get to, and you continue to conquer it every day that you are living. The truth about moving somewhere new by yourself is that this “new life” will soon become “your life”, your now and your home.