It has always amazed me how easily things can go from being “new and unfamiliar” to being “normal”. I have often thought about this over the years while driving. Thinking about how I was once nervous just sitting behind the steering wheel of a vehicle. How I once had to carefully think through every turn, every signal, and every trip that I made in my car. Compared to now, after several years of driving, it has become effortless. My body knows what it’s doing without having to process every detail first. Daily we just go through the motions.
Lately, while driving, I have been thinking about this a lot – just not when it comes to driving itself. Instead, when it comes to the move that I made just short of a year ago. A move that completely changed my life. I got rid of over half of my belongings, boxed up the rest, and moved two hours away from the city that I grew up in, the city that I have spent the majority of my life in. I moved to a small town that was 99% unfamiliar to me. I hardly knew anything about the town and I knew even less about the county I found myself in. Today you wouldn’t know that though. As I drive through this town – this is my home.
There is something freeing about picking up your life and starting over in a place where you know nothing and no one – and building a new life, the life that you choose for yourself. A life away from everything you once knew and away from everything that your parents may or may not have built for you. There is something incredibly amazing about knowing that you are 100%… you. Or that you have at least put your foot on new and solid ground to become that person.
I honestly have this feeling that not many people are able to achieve this. It takes a lot of courage, a lot of strength, and a shit load of patience because things do not happen overnight. I think a lot of people try and I know that a lot of people fail. They spend however long planning (or in my case they spend about 24 hours packing and have no plan at all), they arrive, they try, they fail, and they end up back in their hometown living the life that was set up for them. I get it, I’ve been there! And it isn’t easy.
One of my old friends will tell you the struggles. She did exactly what I did – only she moved an impressive 500 miles with just about zero planning. It wasn’t easy for her either and building the life that she wanted for herself, also didn’t happen overnight.
I feel like it’s kind of similar to losing everything aside from your actual physical body – in a house fire. Except it’s more like an arson case because you’ve pretty much made a conscious decision to set your own house on fire. Okay, so maybe that isn’t the best example but you catch my drift.
My point is that it is a complicated process. You not only have to find a new place (which I just now did) but you have to find a new doctor (which I still haven’t done). You have to research and set up new utilities. You have to find reliable daycare and set up new schooling if there are children involved. All of which generally requires transferring several records. You have to change your information with the post office and the BMV and in my case, having an a**hole ex husband, you have to deal with the Court system (which I am still doing nearly a year later). Sorry for being blunt here but most people only make it halfway through this process before they give up and run back to what they know.
Don’t get me wrong though. It isn’t all bad and if you can get your focus away from the negative aspects of such a large change – you’ll be fine! For me personally, the best part has been getting to know my new home.
I moved from a city with a population of 852,866 to a small town with a population of under 3,000. We are talking about an enormously different environment. Like the difference between night and day! So for me it hasn’t just been getting to know my new area, it’s been getting to know a completely different lifestyle – which is exactly what I needed.
Okay so with all of that said, I guess my point is this – life so easily becomes routine. And while there isn’t really much you can do about that, you CAN control the routine the you’re living!
I have always dreamt of living close to water and being in an area that is close to nature. While I’m not living in a lake front home or a cabin in the woods – yet – I am living in a place where I am surrounded by both. There are two major lakes, two major rivers, several popular creeks, and the historical Erie Canal! Along with that, this area is filled with historical hiking trails. I’m happier than I’ve ever been in an overall big picture way.
My advice to you is this –
No matter what it is that you are holding back on today – stop. Stop right now. Figure out what it is that you want and go after it! Your happiness is 100% up to YOU. If you are sitting back, letting your fears and the lack of knowledge regarding how things may turn out in the end – keep you from going after those things you’ve always wanted – then I’m here to assure you that you are NOT living.
So go take that dream vacation, do what you have to do to get out of the city that you hate, stand up and grab ahold of that dream job, and for f*** sake definitely go get that girl! (Or guy).
Wishing all of you the best as you take control of your own story and seek out your own happiness!