Recently I moved to Austin from a small city in southern Kentucky called Bowling Green. I lived in Bowling Green for over 6 years as I earned both my Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Western Kentucky University.
Bowling Green never got embedded in my heart and I never dreamed of missing it.
And I don't.
I missed the familiarity of a city that had friends, family, and where Google Maps didn't rule my every car ride.
Honestly, I didn't think this would be an issue for me when I left. But then I did and it hit me that I didn't need to love the city to miss what was inside of it.
The Relocation Blues
Moving and relocating affects everyone slightly different. I didn’t think much about the effects of moving until after I had already moved and the emotions hit me.
I was sad that I wasn’t around my friends and family and I felt helpless that I didn’t know my way around the city. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself or my time so I stayed in and created a rather unhealthy relationship with Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go.
Some people are super excited to move away and the emotional effects are minimal. These people can jump right out in a new location and find a connection to their new surroundings.
Others, like me, don't give it much thought because they didn't really feel an attachment to the place before. Strong emotions may hit them after they have left.
Finally, there are people who loved and are very attached to the place they are leaving. This can cause them to become depressed and feel isolated. Many times these people don’t form a connection with their new surroundings for a very long time because it can feel like they are cheating on their old home.
Each person is going to feel and experience a move slightly different. Many of you may be in between the 3 examples I gave. You may be super excited to be in a new place but scared to get out there and experience it so you watch Netflix because it feels safer.
Sitting in the Emotions
Relocating is a HUGE life transition that is taxing both physically and emotionally. You let your body relax after moving so why not your emotions. Your mind and heart need time to adjust and catch up after a move.
Allow yourself to experience all of the emotions that are going on within you. Fear, sadness, and anger are just a few emotions that many people experience after a move.
I felt so much fear after moving because I was scared that I couldn’t make it in a new city. I was excited as well but I allowed my fear to hide my excitement because I didn’t understand why I was afraid. It wasn’t until I sat in the fear one day that it popped into my head, I’m scared I’ll fail.
I determined it wasn’t fair to myself to fail because I didn’t at least try.
Sometime excitement is hiding just around the corner of fear and sadness.
You won’t know until you sit, listen, and acknowledge, your emotions first.
Make a list
What emotions are you experiencing? As you write down each one stop and think about how you are experiencing it, think of the cause and dive deeper.
Allow yourself to feel what you need to. Cry or yell at the wall if you need to. Rip up your list and throw it into the air when you are finished.
Most people feel like emotions such as sadness, fear, and anger, are “negative emotions” when in fact no emotion is negative. It’s how we choose to see and act on the emotion is what makes it negative or positive.
Many of us have probably seen the Disney/Pixar movie Inside Out about Riley, who moves across country to San Francisco with her parents. Before the move Riley was a joyful kid who always smiled but after the move Riley was overcome with sadness.
It’s a great movie and if you have never seen it click here for the trailer.
Throughout the story Riley’s emotions learn to work together to succeed.
Without sadness we wouldn’t feel joy. Without fear we wouldn’t feel excitement. We need to allow ourselves to feel everything to truly experience what each emotion provides for us.
I know this can be a big pill to swallow. I didn’t want to admit that I was terrified but after I did I was able to conquer it and set goals to make things better.
Possible Spoiler Alert!
The video clip below is from the movie Inside Out and displays Riley expressing her emotions about moving.
Determine and Taking the First Step
What do you want in the place you relocated to? Meet new people? Get involved in an organization? Take fitness classes?
Find something to do outside of work and home that connects you to the place you just moved to.
Meetup.com is a great website to find local groups of all kinds. Just pick something and google it. For example Google “Yoga Classes in Austin” and you will get a ton of results.
Find a local newspaper like The Austin Chronicle to find local events and organizations.
I know it can be difficult to take that first step after a move. Going to counseling to talk and process is a great way to help with the transition.
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About my Blog
I love providing people with information. So in my blog you will find posts on topics such as: community resources, media suggestions, parenting questions, and informational posts.