The Truth About Moving Away

Linh Nguyen

I can clearly remember that day when I decided to move away from the people I love and into a place where I knew no one. No family and no friends. Words can’t describe that sickening feeling I had in my stomach. Tear stricken faces enveloped me as I walked further away from the very people I call home. My heart broke into a million pieces that day and I promised to myself that I wouldn’t go through the same grief all over again.

Never would I have expected that I would end up eating my words and fast forward to four years, here I am AGAIN, in the very same situation that left me vulnerable to my emotions. I thought this time things would be easier. That packing would be quicker, saying goodbye would be painless, and this period of being in limbo would be obsolete. No. I was dead wrong.

Nothing about moving away is ever easy.

And the truth is nothing about it is ever straightforward. For anyone wanting to grab that first leap of faith into the unknown without the safety net of familiarity to fall back on? Brace yourself. You’ll be on the ride of your life because in all honesty, reality bites.

You will find yourself. I don’t mean that in the sense that you’ll know what ticks you and drives you to reach for the stars. No, nothing of that sort. You’ll soon realize the strength you never knew you had in you. You’ll be faced in situations that you’ll never think in a million years that you’ll come out stronger and wiser.

You will make mistakes. Lots of them. It will give you doubts why you ever left the comforts of home to begin with. It will make you want to quit and go back to the feeling of familiarity. It will challenge you every possible way and when you finally feel grounded, it will try to rip you apart and shred any comfort you’ve finally gotten hold of.

You will soon understand that you have no one you can depend on but yourself. No matter how many people walk with you in your journey, no one else will walk it for you. It’ll all still boil down to you and you alone. You will learn to accept responsibility that it’s you who’ll get you where you want to be. You become the person who determines your life. No one else but you.

You can start fresh. When you leave everything behind, you also leave the old version of yourself in the past. You have the opportunity to start all over again and live your life differently. You can let go of all the negativity and reinvent yourself to the person you were meant to be. You are given the chance to redeem yourself and fix what was broken. You can start fresh.

You will become independent. You will be humble. You will learn to rely on yourself. You will trust yourself more and fabricate the strength to make things happen. You will master the art of listening to your instincts. And soon enough, you become modest. When you encounter the discomfort of removing yourself from your comfort zone, it will give you a humbling experience that you’ve started from scratch and pulled yourself off the ground.

You will appreciate and realize the importance of family. Our families are usually the people we normally take for granted and it’s only until they’re not around that we miss them. When you move away from the people you’ve known your whole life, a huge piece of chunk is missing from you. And more often than not, the usual place they occupy in your heart is irreplaceable. You will soon discover the unconditional love and support your family has for you even when you’re miles away.

You will fall in love more than once. You will fall in love with the new city you’re in. You will fall in love with your new job. You will fall in love with a different culture you’ve embraced. You will fall in love with the strangers you meet. But most of all, you will fall in love with yourself again. Because you see, that’s the beauty of loving more than one person and place; you leave a piece of you behind.

Your concept of home will never be the same. Home will now mean something different for you. It will never be the same feeling when you come back. And as painful as it sounds, you will feel like an outsider, a stranger to the place you’ve once grew up in. You will come to terms with the fact that home now becomes a feeling rather than a place. It’s when you finally know where your heart is.

Home is spending a Friday night with your friends while gossiping over pizza. Home is when you’re enjoying hot chocolate on a cold winter night. Home is when you wait for your flatmate to arrive after her big date and it’s when they stay up with you to keep you company right before you leave. Home is when friends become your family and it’s when they give you the biggest of hugs when you’re having a bad day. Home is finally a feeling and not just a place anymore. TC mark

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