We all have a city we fantasize living in at one point in our lives. In a rare instance, the stars align and the next thing you know, you’re packing up your car and driving across the country to embark on the journey of a lifetime.
Sure, anyone can move. People do it all the time. But I did it alone, with zero familiarity, friends, significant other, or family nearby. Truthfully, it felt crazy.
Here’s why you should do it too.
We all know there’s a social stigma around doing things alone – going out to eat, attending a concert, hanging out at the park. Even though I moved to a city where doing things alone is slightly more socially acceptable, it still felt weird. This said, if I wouldn’t have had the guts to do some of those things alone, I would have missed out on amazing opportunities. Get comfortable being an independent rather than co-dependent.
It Creates Empathy
Being alone in a brand new city allowed me to enter into a completely different space to learn how to empathize. It conditioned me to be aware of when I might need to step up and be a friend to someone who might be feeling the loneliness I once felt. It taught me the importance of lending an ear, making a dinner or grabbing a drink.
Moving away creates new dynamics in old relationships physically left behind. Facetime is a great, but it takes extra energy to keep long-distance friendships alive. There often isn’t time to talk for hours on end but the special conversations with those friends are the relationships that show you they are worth holding onto. New friendships teach you a lot about relationships, too. The few new friends you make early on will show you how important relationships are. They leave you feeling a deep appreciation for them and show what being a true friend looks like.
Becoming Your Own Friend
We all know how debilitating it feels to lack a sense of belonging. Humans by nature like to connect. Being so alone taught me how important it is to spend time with myself. Dialoguing with my internal world (in the form of mediation or journaling) has completely changed the way I live. As an extrovert, I love to do everything and go everywhere but the newfound introvert in me has learned that ‘alone’ doesn’t mean ‘lonely’. I know when and how to step away when I need to recharge. I’ve fallen in love with being my own friend – what really makes me happy, where my values lie and who is important to me.
I’m still figuring out my new city but I’m so grateful that my dreams and reality met up, that I had the friends and family who encouraged me to make such a bold move, and grateful to Seattle for a beautiful view while it all unfolds.
Cheers to you new city, let’s be friends.
Have you made a big move alone? Where did you go? What was your experience?