A year and a half ago, my new husband and I packed up our Honda Civic with all of our belongings and our pet rabbit and moved from Indiana to California.
We left behind our closest friends and family to pursue a life in a city I had only been to once. We didn’t have a place to live, but we did have a couple of odd jobs waiting for us once we arrived. We started completely over.
My greatest fear in the whole process teetered between these two things: that I would hate it and miss Indiana, or that I would love it and never want to go back to the Midwest. Now that we’ve survived the move and our first year away from everyone, I realized that those were both wrong.
My greatest fear was how others would react, and how I was going to deal with that.
Some people did not like my choice. And their opposition almost broke me. In fact, it almost kept me from moving at all.
The comments I get and the loneliness that comes from having to hide my worst days from the people that I love has been difficult. Because, with this move, my vulnerability isn’t always met with comfort. It’s met with harsh words about my “life choices”.
The heartbreak is this: I let it get to me.
I’ve let those comments get under my skin and breed doubt and sadness. I thought I would be able to handle the criticism and snide remarks better than I have. But now, a year and a half into this journey, I am coming to terms with it.
Like with all heartbreaks, it’s given me a chance to build a more resilient heart. I am beginning to feel more staunch in my opinions - about myself and about everything - and I'm not as scared as I used to be.
I feel stronger than I did years ago, because I committed to this controversial move. I know that, had I stayed, I would not be becoming the person I want to be.
A little advice from a friend
So if you are moving, or making any big decision that might make some waves in your social circles, consider my advice.
Feel the feelings. Let yourself be upset, allow that sadness to manifest. Then, use those feelings as a force to push you forward into greater and more controversial decisions.
Be like a stream - be resolute in moving forward, and flow around the obstacles. Don’t let the tough spots dam you up, because you will spend all of your energy in staying exactly where you are.
Make the move, do the thing. Don't let inaction be one of your regrets.