When I was a kid, I grew up in the same neighborhood from the time I went to kindergarten to the time I graduated high school. My friends in elementary were still my friends on our way to college. In fact, 25 of us went to school together everyday for 13 years. However, cutting the proverbial cord and moving three hours away for college was something I’d dreamed about. I knew there had to be a life outside of the walls of our little town.
Fast forward a few, a-hem, okay about 20 years, and moving is less exciting and more on the side of paralyzingly terrifying. I’ve moved a lot as an adult because I don’t like the mundane and everyday. I enjoy mixing things up and I married a wonderful man who also lives for adventure. That’s why we currently live in a 36ft camper and are prepping our U.S. tour this summer. I am prepared for this move. But nothing prepared me for last summer.
Moving as an adult isn’t easy. You’ve built a life by your mid 30’s and you have solid friendships, great co-workers (hopefully), and you know your way around your grocery store. Come on! I can’t learn another Kroger, people! Who has time for that!?
Packing up our second home, donating and giving our things away to downsize, and getting ready to move hours away seemed sad this time. This time we had a routine, a church family, friends with kids who were buddies with our children, and an incredibly loving church family. This time wasn’t so easy to just walk away.
Feelings of Overwhelm
Y’all I cannot tell you what packing up 12 years of living entails. I found things I forgot even existed. I don’t think I slept for weeks because I was too busy making mental to-do lists, crossing off errands, and cleaning a house that had years of baseboard dust built up. It all feels like too much and like there just isn’t enough time to accomplish everything.
Add to that growing list, showing a house, selling a house, going away parties, and setting up a live three states away…it can really feel like too much.
I moved away for college and hadn’t been back in the state until this move. In that nearly 20 years, I have moved six times, in two countries, and four different states. I miss my family every single time. For all of that time, we have spent every dollar we could save to travel back for holidays and birthdays so we kept the connection, especially for my kids.
Now that we have moved back closer to where I am from, it means leaving my husband’s family. Maintaining a long distance relationship between young cousins, I am convinced, is more heartbreaking than one between boyfriend and girlfriend. These kids genuinely miss each other and count down the days until they will get to visit the next time. We are well versed on Google Hangouts and video chatting but even that seems like it comes up short. Missing family will never get easier, but we just can’t live in two places at once.
This causes me genuine heartache. The friends I was blessed with at my job where we last lived are friends I will keep close for the rest of my life. They are some of the most incredible women I’ve ever known and I sincerely miss them daily. Going to my new job in my new home state was almost depressing because I knew it just wouldn’t ever be what it was there.
Having fabulous friends, when you are in your 30s and 40s, is crucial. These are the people who become an extension of your family and, in some cases, of yourself. These are women I trust with my children. These are the people who cheer me on and support me when things are terrible. These are the people I can rely on at 3am or 4:00 in the afternoon.
It seems wrong to start over. Although I know and they know that they will never be replaced, rebuilding what you’ve already come to trust seems counterproductive. After moving, I almost had to take time to grieve these friendships, even though they weren’t gone. A phone call or group text just isn’t the same, but it is what we have, so we make it work.
Friends, moving is hard; it seems unbearable at times, even as an adult. But fresh starts and new beginnings can provide great opportunities. Sometimes the greatest blessing lie in what is most difficult.