This weeks blog post is a guest post from The Relocation Coach – Allegra Stein. Having relocated myself a number of times, including for love, Allegra’s work really stands out for me. Over to you, Allegra:
Recently a reader sent in the following question:
“Hi Allegra. Love your stuff, and was wondering if you have any advice for me. We moved for my husband’s job three months ago; I still feel a bit sad all the time, and feel quite guilty about it. Because of the move we got a better house, better schools, and my partner loves his job. But I feel like I’m living in a different country and want to cry everyday when I look on FB and see all the things my old friends are doing. Help!”
More often than not this kind of struggle comes up with my clients. We prep for a move, get excited about it, calm the apprehensions of our friends and family, and genuinely embrace the opportunity we have ahead of us, both personally and for our partners.
Then we arrive — and BAM. The uncomfortable and unexpected emotions start to set in: sadness, grief, a sense of mourning and loss. To make it even more complex, we feel GUILTY for experiencing these emotions! The pretty picture we painted for both ourselves and our loved ones suddenly isn’t so pretty anymore and we begin to take on guilt for things not being as easy as we’d planned.
Let me reassure you – these emotions are normal. There are two sides of each moving coin — the leaving and the going. Going can be great! Adventure, discovery, newness, stretching of boundaries, both personal and geographic.
But leaving – it might not be as easy. You have good friends, a community you’re comfortable in and connected to, and a life that is established and in flow. Of course you’re sad. There is a sense of loss and grief that is very real, normal, and not to be afraid of. Allow yourself those moments to just sit with it, own it, and when you’re ready — make the decision to start focusing again on the better feeling side of the coin.
Stay active and engaged in your new community. Don’t ignore your sense of discovery and wonder about this place you’ve discovered and are now a part of. Honor the distance of your former network, but don’t let it stop you from gradually rebuilding a new one.
Allegra Stein, The Relocation Coach, helps takes relocations from regrettable to revelatory, teaching you how to use geographic change as a way of learning more about who you are, how you think, and what you want out of life. You can find her at allegrastein.com and on twitter @allegrastein
I’ve moved quite a few times over the years, and I always have these mixed emotions (and it’s interesting to me that one of the most popular recent posts on my blog is all about the pros and cons of working abroad, so people can even have these mixed emotions before moving!). I always see it as building out my current networks – so not replacing, but adding to them. I’d also say the more you get involved in activities – practical, tangible things that help you to focus on the here and now, the present – the more you feel feel engaged in the community or geography. Good luck to all your readers who do this – I’ve gained immensely from being brave enough to up sticks several times.
Used to move quite a lot in my younger days but have stay put for the past 14 years. Think I would be quite apprehensive about moving to a new place now. Great advice! Agree that getting involved in the new community and a sense of adventure would be a big help.