In honor of my 1 year here in Charlotte (Jan 9), I thought I would write a post on the four biggest lessons I learned after moving away from home and moving in with my now husband (at the time he was my fiancé – we married in April).
It is amazing to me to think that I have been away from CA for a year.
Although this was not my first time living away from home, it was my first time truly moving away from home. All the other times I had left the nest, I always knew I would come back. This was, and is, the first time that my future in regards to moving back to CA is unknown and truth be told, it is SCARY. I think the unknown is always scary, but one thing my sister always told me (Onge, in case you were curious), was that the unknown monster is always bigger than the known, and I couldn’t find more truth to that now.
1. Have Faith
Someone made the analogy to me recently that not bestowing your faith in God is like cheating in your marriage. Ever since I heard this message, I have tried to remember to have faith. It was not a coincidence that John and I ended up in Charlotte, NC. It was not a coincidence that John ended up getting a job he loves and I getting job I love. It is not a coincidence that we ended up in an apartment we feel safe and comfortable in. It is also not a coincidence the people we have met during the past year and have ultimately become like a family to us. Nothing is coincidence. God always has a plan and I know now that I just need to have faith. It is hard sometimes because I am a planner and like to look towards the future, but I haven’t been led astray yet and I will not be in the future. Have faith, because God has planned every single step you take. You may not be able to see the big picture now, but you will, I promise.
2. Those that Matter, Will be There
Moving away from your home and from what you are familiar with is never easy. You are so uncertain of the future and it can really feel lonely at times. I think the worst and hardest thing is establishing and creating new relationships with people. This is especially stressful when you don’t really have anyone to rely upon. All you want is a girlfriend to come over in her pjs, no makeup on, share a bottle of wine with you, and dance your little heart out to your favorite songs, BUT you have to get there first. Relationships take time. The great thing though, is that the amount of love and support you get from those people that truly matter and care about you. The love I got from some of my best friends is what truly helped me the most in this process. They sent me flowers, they called me and texted me, and they cheered me up when I cried. Those are the people that really matter. And then…you have the other friends that didn’t do that. The ones you thought would be there, but didn’t mind returning a text. Those relationships are hard to let go of because it doesn’t make sense, but the good thing is that you are clearly able to see the difference. You see the people that love you most regardless of geography, and you see the friends that may have been in your life for a season, instead of a lifetime. It’s hard, but it is good, because when it comes down to it, you only want those in your life that love you unconditionally, no matter your location on a map.
3. Your Relationship with Your Significant Other
For me, I was lucky enough to make this move with my husband. I don’t think moving is ever easy, and for those that do it alone – you are my hero. But, many people relocate due to the careers of their significant other and I think it can be a blessing or a curse. I would be lying if I told you I was 100% supportive in the beginning, because I was not. I got here and for the first month was in shock, and then for the next couple of months went into resentment mode. Resentful for him moving me here, resentful for taking me away from my family and friends, and resentful for EVERYTHING I COULD THINK OF. I was angry. But then, something changed. As I adapted, the resentment went away and the need to rely upon someone came in tenfold. Instead of being resentful, I just needed a shoulder to cry on or a chest to hug. I needed a nice dinner out to cheer me up when I missed my friends or someone to run with to let my anxiety out. Never once did John stop loving me and never once did he get frustrated or angry with my emotions. He let me process and I am forever grateful for that. Even a year later, I still have my moments, but our relationship and love is stronger than ever because of this experience and I am grateful for that. I am grateful for him and I am grateful for this amazing adventure we are on. He never gives up on and never stops supporting me, and that is invaluable.
4. Give Yourself Grace
I think the hardest thing about making such a rapid change is all of the emotions and struggles you face. Life just seems so much harder. Everything is an effort and this constant feeling of uncertainty and stress can really get to you. It takes a LONG time to get a routine and figure everything out and that can be so hard. I think one of the biggest lessons I learned throughout this whole year is the importance of giving yourself grace. Allow yourself to feel emotions, allow yourself to struggle, and recognize what you are going through. These types of changes are HUGE and take a lot of time to adapt and cope with. It is hard finding what grocery store you like, let alone worrying about making friends, starting new jobs, and getting a routine down. I would say, finally, after a year, I have found a bit of a groove. A YEAR PEOPLE! That is a long time. It is a long time to struggle and it is a long time to feel discombobbled. Just remember the phase of life you are in, do lots of moments of self care, and don’t feel guilty about your struggle. Its normal and it takes time. You are okay, and will be okay.
As I said earlier, I am still adapting and struggling, but I definitely feel so much more comfortable and at ease here. Transitions take time and you really learn a lot about yourself in such a dramatic experience. It hasn’t been easy, but I am forever thankful for going through what I have. I am not the same person I was a year ago and I am sure I will continue to grow and change. I hope these lessons help anyone else that may be moving away from home and I am always here to help and support any of you that go through this change.
Just remember to have faith and give yourself grace, the rest will figure itself out.