1. When the circumstances that used to challenge and inspire you have become commonplace parts of your routine.
2. When other people start moving into the positions you once were proud to occupy and you have no particular objection to this shift.
3. When the bars you once frequented, the restaurants you once adored, and the people you once idolized no longer hold that addictive appeal, yet you cannot find anything to take their place.
4. When you think of the things you would miss, and they are mostly just minor conveniences that could be found almost anywhere else.
5. When the way things were is consistently more appealing than the way things are.
6. When you’ve grown so comfortable that it’s almost become uncomfortable — like when you sit in a sofa for so long that it takes the shape of your butt and you’re like ‘Ugh, I need to get moving.’
7. When the list of reasons why you love where you live applies significantly more to the person you were five years ago than to the person you are now.
8. When you’ve watched enough friends leave to know that your collective era here has passed.
9. When you see no opportunities for upward movement where you live — or if you do, you’re not motivated to go for them.
10. When you’ve started to systematically de-clutter and downsize your living space, even though you have no explicit plans to leave in the near future.
11. When the idea of starting over someplace new is terrifying, but kind of in a good way, like when you’re sitting in the front seat of a roller coaster waiting for it to start.
12. When you find yourself regularly checking plane fares and looking up the cost of living in other cities.
13. When all your visions of the future happen somewhere else, sometime else, with people you may not even know yet.
14. When the idea of leaving fills you with a big, melancholic sadness but one that almost feels good… like when you’re mourning a break-up that you genuinely know was for the best.
15. When you wake up more days than not with the nagging, uncomfortable feeling that the life you should be living is happening somewhere else.
16. When you can identify with most of the things on this list, whether you’re ready to admit them or not.