3 Regrets I Have About Moving Across the Country
Two years ago, my new husband and I were making plans to move across the country. We intended to move from Indiana to Los Angeles in January 2015, and I had never even lived out-of-state.
So naturally, there are a lot of mistakes we made and regrets I have about the move that have shown up periodically in the nearly two years that we've been here. The greatest thing about these regrets, though, is that there's still plenty of time to rectify them. But if you're planning a big move, it's probably nice to get it right the first time.
The one thing I don't regret about the move? Taking the leap. I do not, and will not, regret following our hearts to the West Coast. I love that we've made a home for ourselves in LA, and I sometimes wish we would have moved sooner. Get used to us, California.
Five days after the blizzardy January morning we left Indiana, we had a signed lease, an apartment full of assembled IKEA furniture, and Victor was off to his new job.
It was a whirlwind, and in the chaos of just wanting to get settled, I failed to take the time to really make intentional choices. Luckily, our apartment was (and still is) quite perfect, but I do find myself frustrated about our rash decision about the furniture.
I hadn't spent even a full hour in our apartment before we drove up to IKEA to pick out furnishings. Now, I realize that my desk is much too small, the coffee table is too angular and the curtains are just so....yellow. I have grievances about my desk chair, our bookshelf, and our vacuum cleaner too.
I was too rushed to take a moment to make any planned decisions. If I had to do it all over, I'd go to IKEA for the absolute essentials and work on furnishing our apartment over time instead of overnight.
Not enjoying myself
Speaking of the whirlwind of the move, I ended up being so tense that I hardly remember the days before, during and after. I do remember a crappy hotel and a terrible movie with John Krasinski in it, and having to check up on our rabbit every half hour during the car ride.
We took few photos, most of which have now been lost to disabled phones and unhelpful cloud services. This is the only picture of our trip that I posted to Facebook, and it was of Missouri, which is essentially Indiana all over again.
I wish we would have documented the trip a little better, and that we had maybe taken a couple of extra days to make the drive. The only thing really stopping us was Rory, and I'm sure he would have been okay with another night or two in a hotel (he was strangely at home in hotels).
I also wish I would have let go of others' expectations of me a lot sooner as well. I was so worried about hurting people's feelings that I didn't feel comfortable sharing our excitement about the move. I also let people get away with making harsh comments about our "life choices" and didn't stand up to criticism, when deep down I knew I was doing the right thing.
If I had to do it all over again, I'd share our excitement with more people and feel way less bad about leaving our hometown. I would document the trip, and I would have taken in some fun sights along the way.
Not getting out
This one is still relevant to this day, and might very well be my biggest regret. When I arrived in California, I relied heavily on my base of friends and family from Indiana to be my community. But it's not easy being a whole country's distance away from your community, so it's a good idea to create another one wherever you land.
Soon, months had gone by and I had made one or two friends through Victor, but I was still keeping to myself, working alone at home day in and day out.
I would pass the yoga studio by my apartment and say "someday," I'd browse available jobs or volunteer opportunities and continue to scroll past them. I made no effort to immerse myself in a new community.
While I do feel at home here, I haven't created the tribe of people that I want to call this home with. I've started by joining that yoga studio and this week is my first week of volunteering there (in exchange for free yoga, what?!)
If I had to do it all over again, I would join the yoga studio sooner. I'd explore Meetup groups and chat with other likeminded people. I would join the run club or find hiking buddies or take an improv class just to start laying down some roots.
There's still time to do that. There's time to take another road trip and enjoy every minute of it, and there's still time to redecorate my apartment. All of those regrets seem so little when I match them up against the regret I would have had if we hadn't chosen to move:
I wish we just would have followed our hearts to California when we had the chance.
What choices have you made that you don't regret? Which ones do you regret?