When you move, everything that you know will be in some distant land that you can only see on a map. You’ll have nothing; no sense of direction, no frame of reference, no local coffee shops, no pharmacy, no familiarity. You’ll find yourself driving in any direction you want simply for the hell of it. Who cares if you get lost, you don’t have anyone waiting for you. You’re stuck with yourself.
When you move, you find out who you really are. You find out the kind of person you are when everything you based your life off of is taken away. You no longer exist under the direct influence of your friends, family, job, or old neighborhood. All of the old social roles you fulfilled are gone. You get to decide how you want new people to perceive you.
When you move, you find out how many things you took for granted. Bagels and pizza become an exotic treat when you leave New York. Going to the grocery store can become an all day adventure if you make the wrong turn. Knowing how to get somewhere 5 different ways is a luxury you no longer have. See all of your friends hanging out on social media? You feel that twinge of jealousy that they’re hanging out without you? That’s your own doing, and you have to live with it. You have to accept that life goes on without you.
When you move, you learn to be handy. Your dad can’t come and take your air conditioner out anymore. It’s up to you. When the pipe under your kitchen sink leaks, you better learn how to calk and tape it back up. You learn how to adjust the water pressure in your shower so it doesn’t blind you. You learn how to reupholster chairs. You learn how to seal your windows to prepare for winter. You learn how to deal with car trouble You learn to be independent.
When you move, you begin to feel like you’ve finally made it. You find yourself driving somewhere new without the use of a GPS. You go out with new friends and have familiar conversations. You know what gas station has the lowest prices and which pizzeria has a decent (although not great) slice. And as you walk in your new city you find yourself thinking, “I can’t believe I ever lived anywhere else.”