If you were to ask someone if I am a free-spirit, they might reply “no”. Growing up, I was always nervous. I told on myself and always aspired to please others. I love a rigid schedule, and thrive under structure. Maybe that’s why I am a teacher. Step-by-step lesson plans are my jam. Furthermore, I know that I can get a tad grouchy when I need to be spontaneous (just ask my boyfriend). But, even if people may not say I am free-spirited, I believe myself to be. And therefore I am. I am a self-proclaimed free-spirit…when it comes to the big L word, love.
Twenty-four years of what if’s, and self-doubt, began to fade when I met that one person that changed my what if’ to why not’s, and who had so much confidence in me, that I felt silly thinking otherwise. Now, this isn’t some sappy love post. I just merely needed to point out my source of motivation. Love is what motivated me to transform my life. And I find it important to point out, that your life does not need to be unfulfilled for you to want to transform it.
I loved living in Boston. And I miss the city and my friends and family dearly. But I do not want to go back. Maybe this is just my nerdy, book-loving self talking, but I don’t want my life story to end, and realize that every chapter was set in the same place. Which brings me to my big move.
January 15, 2017 I hugged my family good-bye. Tears filled their eyes, but as always, I held it in. It wasn’t until our plane flew over Boston, that I began to cry. Not tears of sadness, just tears of the unknown. Change can be a funny thing. But, now I am over 3,000 miles away from all that I’ve ever known. After a little over two months, this is what I’ve learned about settling in…
Be patient. I have never moved before, and being patient doesn’t always come easily for me. When I get frustrated, my boyfriend (who has moved multiple times throughout this life) has to remind me that everything isn’t going to happen at once. Opportunities will come, but you have to be patient. When you’re used to a certain routine, it’s hard having an open schedule. I moved to California with no job, no family (other than my boyfriend and our GSD), and no friends waiting here for me. And when things didn’t come together quickly, I started getting upset. Which brings me to my next point…
Don’t be too tough on yourself. This has always been hard for me, so I am not surprised that I had to work on this once we got to California. Dealing with the pressure of struggling is not my strong point. Since I was sixteen years old, I always worked two jobs. I pride myself on being a hard worker. But we moved in January, and schools weren’t looking for teachers. I would sit at my computer and job hunt for hours, and I mean hours. I would act like my 9-5 job was job hunting. Which is great! I was being proactive and my loved ones saw that. But some days I would cry from frustration, and my boyfriend would have to tell me to take a break. And then, the universe heard what I was putting out there, and brought me a job (but more on that later). The point is, try your hardest to get settled, but always remember that everything will fall into place when the time is right. And that everyone struggles when they are first starting out.
Explore. Seriously-explore, explore, explore. Get to know your surrounding. For the time being, we only have one car. LA is not that walkable, but I made sure that I walked around my town as much as I could. Now, I know the street names, the best grocery stores, and my favorite restaurants. We also explore a lot of outdoor areas, like parks and beaches. Exploring this will make you feel more at home.
Put yourself out there. One thing that is tough (at least for me) is putting myself out there. Before I moved, I thought to myself: I will make friends through my new job! But then, when I didn’t find a job right away (not for 2 months), I began to stress. How does one make friends if they 1. Don’t have a job, 2. Don’t have a car to drive places, and 3. Don’t feel comfortable walking up to people and just starting a conversation?!? Well, my boyfriend helped with that a little. He knew a handful of people who had attended college with him, and they had wives to introduce me to. He is also great at starting conversations with people. We took our GSD, Piper out one day and found out that our neighbor was our age and also had a GSD. Yesterday, we hung out and took our two furbabies on a walk. The process is slow and can feel lonely. But don’t worry, you’ll get there. And for the time being, fake it until you make it. You’ll be glad that you did!
Finally, Facetime has been a blessing. My family and I will agree that the distance is not as bad as it seems because we Facetime regularly. I honestly do not know what I would do without their love and support.
I hope this post helped anyone that’s going through a move!