Soul Interrupted

Moving in general can be a life-changing experience, but moving clear across the country, across time zones, can be somewhat surreal. The after effects can leave you in a constant state of “where am I?”. Your soul will feel unsettled, much like those dreams where your spirit is floating above everything, as you watch the world going on without you below. You want to participate in it all, but somehow, you can never insert yourself into the scene. Everything you know is different, from the scent of your new home, to your ride to work, to even the water you drink. No matter how excited you are for the newness, it can be frightening. So, how can you stay sane?

Try and keep a routine. 
This is soooo crucial. When we move to a new place, we want to experience everything. We get up early to watch the sunrise, run ourselves ragged, and then stay up late, just so we can’t miss anything. Then, days into your move, you’re sick. Or your exhausted. Or you’re sad because you’ve overtired yourself and now you just want to go “home”. Don’t do it to yourself. Get up at your normal time, take a shower whenever you normally would, keep your schedule. Those things you’re so excited to see and do? They will more than likely be there tomorrow. You DON’T have to kill yourself to get it all done today. It’s not vacation – you’re HOME.
Keep in contact with friends and family from back home. 
This one here is another important concept. I know that getting situated in a new place can be time-consuming, but if you don’t make time for your loved ones, you will run the risk of getting homesick. Very, very homesick. You’ll realize, after weeks of not speaking to anyone, that you have been unintentionally distant. It’ll come in the form of a song on the radio, making you nostalgic for things that happened years ago, and ultimately, sending you into a mini-depression. When you’re in a new place, without new friends, the best thing you can do is accept the support and love from the existing ones. If there’s a time difference, schedule a phone call, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Embrace the moment.
Because you want to make your new place feel as much like home as possible, you’ll be in a constant state of planning. You want to make sure everything is perfect, that everything is squared away, because then, and only then, will you be able to feel comfortable. That might be true, but that might also hinder your ability to be present. Being present is something I struggle with, even when it’s something that I constantly tout. You’ll miss so much if you’re more concerned about the future (and sometimes the past). A couple of days ago, I went for a 4 mile walk, even though there were so many things I felt like I needed to be doing at that moment. I begrudgingly took that time, and was blessed to see some dolphins in the Bay in my new city (not a regular occurrence in the southern city I just moved from). Seeing them gave me a sense of peace, and let me know that everything will actually be okay.  Even now, I conjured up this post because I took the time to just sit quietly outside and watch the planes fly overhead. With so much busy-ness in the world, it’s often more beneficial to just be “here”.
I’m not saying that adjusting to a new life will be easy, but I also don’t believe it should be too hard. Every stage in our lives gives us an opportunity to write a new chapter (or book), and have a new adventure. Be proud of the changes you’ve made, enjoy them, and get comfortable!
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When in Rome…

As many of you know (or previously read, hopefully!), I recently moved out of the state that I was born in, raised in, and pretty much where I thought I would retire in. I haven’t had time to post, because of my type-A personality to make sure everything in our new home was situated in, I don’t know, a week. Needless to say, it’s been a pretty stressful time. I woke up yesterday morning, trying to determine if it’s all been worth it. I’m kind of a results-now type of person, you know? So far, the negatives have far outweighed the positives, but I always try to turn every negative into a learning opportunity, regardless of how much I seem to complain about it. Verbalizing how I feel is just my way of trying to figure out how to deal with whatever issue I’m stressing over. Of course, I love to share all of my learning with you, and I’ve narrowed my teaching moment to just five things I’ve experienced and am learning about myself and life.

1. Every DMV sucks, no matter what state it’s in.

Atilla the DMV Employee

No like, seriously. When you get there, and take a number, and they call in in about ten minutes, you think you’re all set. You get excited. You can’t wait to brag to people how quickly you got in and out of the DMV. That is, until you get to the counter, and they tell you they just called you up to tell you that you have to wait. Or you need something additional. Or they just hate you.

2. Basements are actually more useful than you realize. 

Basement

In the northeast, everyone has a basement. Even apartment buildings have basements. You move down south, into a house or apartment that’s bigger than your current home, and you’re like, yeah, I got it made. Look at all this space, and all this money I’m saving! And then you get there, and realize that your basement back home, which was the size of your entire living space back home, had stuff in it. And now you have nowhere to put said stuff.

3. If you need it, it’s probably still packed away in a mis-marked box. Under several other boxes. In storage. 

Moving Boxes

I’ve only been here about a month, and I’m already sick of not being able to find stuff I need. We had the privilege of having our things packed by “professional” movers. They packed stuff, labeled it, and then sealed it up. Problem was, they labeled everything in my house as “kitchen/pots and pans”. Guess what 85% of the stuff in those boxes AREN’T? Yeah.

4. Don’t depend on your phone’s GPS feature. 

Droid GPS

It’s a new place, you’ve never driven in it before, and you probably don’t have a mount for your GPS. If you’re like me, you’re holding the wheel with one hand while you’re holding your phone with the other (because someone is too cheap to get a dashboard mount). Hey, did you know that was dangerous? And did you know that your phone can frequently lose the GPS signal, and send you turning into something that’s not even an exit? Go get a Tom-Tom. 

5. You’re not the only non-native out here. 

The New Kid

I’m your typical New Englander that doesn’t like to make small talk with strangers, for the most part. However, since I’ve moved here, I’ve become a regular old Chatty Cathy. I talk to the man at the small bakery, the cashier at the Publix, and the barista at the local cafe about how new I am here (hopefully all of this over sharing won’t cause someone to follow me home). What I’ve learned though is that practically no one that lives here is actually from here, so don’t be so nervous. Kind of gives it that “we’re all in this together” feeling. Until you cut me off on the highway.

Actually, I’LL Keep the Change

This post is about change (duh), but it’s also so very much about me. Lately, people have voiced their concerns on how I’ve “changed”. This is by no means a jab at any particular person, but that statement has caused quite a bit of pondering on my part in the past few weeks. Especially when it comes from people who have changed just as much, if not more than I have. Let’s get real here. No one is the same person they were yesterday, or the day before, nor will they be the same person tomorrow. Every interruption, interaction in our lives causes just the slightest change in our personalities and values, whether we realize it or not. But that is exactly what we need, what we should want.

Change

Someone asked me to write about this topic a couple of months ago. I’m sure they thought I wasn’t paying attention, or didn’t care, because I hadn’t written it yet. Neither were true. Rather, I wasn’t exactly willing to write about my personal experiences. As of late though, one of my main goals in life is to try to maintain positivity and inspire others, so hopefully this will have that effect on someone.

Nope.

In a few months, my family and I will be making a big move to another state. To some people, a move to a state in the same time zone isn’t really considered a BIG move. For me though, moving to another state might as well be moving to another country. I’m such a creature of habit. I haven’t traveled much (traveled outside of the country last year for the first time – TWICE!), and I’ve never lived anywhere else. But the same person that urged me to write this piece also told me about the importance of experiencing something new, of being able to be a part of something that had never been done before. When I argued about challenges, they told me to view them as opportunities. When I talked about change, they said the synonym was growth. In other words, I was to stop running from experience – I was supposed to run TOWARDS it.

Moving

It’s so much easier to continue living life the same way every day, because it’s comfortable and predictable. It doesn’t require any effort, and it definitely doesn’t enable much growth. Yeah, you are changing ever so slightly every day, but why not maximize that upward development? The whole purpose of experience and growth (obviously, my opinion) is to provide you the tools to be a better version of yourself. So now, when someone tells me I’ve changed, my only response can be “thank you”. Thanks for noticing that I’m a better me.

Multi-Racial Misfit

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