Believe it or not, relocation has been dubbed one of the more stressful events that can take place in a person’s life – coming in just behind divorce, the loss of a spouse and imprisonment. It can be, simultaneously, the source of great excitement and opportunity as well as anxiety and pressure. Oftentimes adults are required to move for a job; other times it is the result of a desire for adventure or a new environment. Regardless of the impetus of a move, there are many beliefs and claims about relocation that are often inaccurately misrepresented.
Myth #1: I’m an adult, moving shouldn’t be emotionally difficult.
This could not be any more inaccurate. Uprooting our lives, social circles, and routines is jarring for movers of all ages. It is tiring process to re-establish oneself again in a new environment with a new job and new friends. Feeling emotionally strained is entirely natural and to be expected, whether you are 17 or 70. The important takeaway here is that it is also temporary. Relocation is an adjustment, but it does get easier as you get acquainted with your new job, make a new circle of friends, hobbies, etc.
Myth #2: Saying “goodbye” is for the sentimental. I’m too busy for goodbyes.
You don’t want to leave with any regrets. Visit those familiar places and old haunts one last time. Set aside time to see those important people in your life whom you might not see again for a while. This will give you the opportunity to tell people that you will miss them and for you to hear that you’ll be missed also. Keep this as a reminder of the happy life you are capable of building as you move forward (especially when things feel unsettled). If your time is tight, consider planning a gathering to see many people at once. Who doesn’t love a reason to get together and celebrate you, right?
Myth #3: If things don’t feel like home within a few months, I might have made a mistake moving here…
Wrong! Typically, it takes around 12 months to adjust to major life changes like a move. In that first year, feeling uncomfortable or ‘not at home’ is to be expected and is part of the process. Don’t become discouraged if it’s taking you longer to adjust to your new surroundings. Be open to new experiences and new things and take every feeling of doubt with a grain of salt. These things take time.
Myth #4: We’re all adults here. There’s no reason that others won’t immediately welcome me in to their circles and help me.
We wish this were true, but this too isn’t always the case. Even as adults, we all have our own personalities and ways of dealing with our own stresses or discomforts. A ‘new person’ temporarily disrupts the status quo, and that can be unsettling for some. How people respond to the ‘new person’ varies but can usually be bucketed in to five categories:
- Polite but Disinterested
As the saying goes: “People will hate you. People will love you. And none of it has anything to do with you.” For lack of a better phrase, everything takes time. And the same goes with making new friends and establishing new social connections.
Myth #5: I don’t plan to be here very long, so I’m not going to get too involved.
You are not a fortune-teller. You cannot know where you will be in one year or even five years from now. Deciding not to put in the effort doesn’t save resources or the discomfort of saying goodbye; rather, it can make your relocation feel more uncomfortable and prolong any loneliness or feelings of insecurity that moving might bring. Don’t be afraid to be open to your new environment and experience. You might find that you really enjoy it!
If you can tough out the feelings of instability, discomfort and even loneliness that are sure to accompany any relocation, you will, eventually, feel normal again and find your routine and happiness in a new place. Relocation is a challenge, but it is also exciting and filled with new opportunities that are waiting for you to find them!
For more on what to expect when you are moving, check out our book: The Essential Moving Guide.