Last week, I celebrated six months of living 1,690 miles from what I’ve known most of my life.
I use the term celebrated loosely. What really happened was that I started crying over something completely minuscule right after my son got on the bus, and minor setbacks throughout the day had me crying all.day.long.. Around 1 p.m. was when I realized it was actually the six month mark, so I can’t say it had anything to do with it. Upsets carried on into the next day, as well as my crying.
I knew this was going to be hard.
I knew that growing pains occur with all change–that’s just how it is. But, still, I don’t think I was ready for this.
During my grieving process before we left, I kept reminding myself of how my divorce to my son’s father, the biggest life change I’ve felt prior to this, led to such a huge payoff. Our lives are better than I ever could have imagined as a result. I reminded myself that big risk reaps bigger rewards, and that this change, though hard, would be in line with the life of adventure I crave, and would aid in pursuit of my husband’s goals. I reminded myself that there are good people all over the world who are worth being friends with, and there are books, art, exercise and nature when those people aren’t around.
I knew some things, but what I didn’t know far outweighed.
I didn’t know the first weeks, even months, would be filled with overwhelming anxiety. I had traveled so much before, I didn’t think for one moment that something as small as running an errand would make me so self conscious.
I didn’t know that I would feel like an alien. I’m used to being different. It took one week of middle school realize I wouldn’t fit in with the wealthier girls from stable homes. Being different, though it hasn’t gotten easier, is something that I’ve been accustomed to. But, not like this. I felt like everywhere I went, people knew I was different. Can’t find the rice? Betty in aisle 6 can tell you’re clueless. You look like an idiot.
I didn’t know I would scrutinize everything I’d say in my few social interactions, or that suddenly I would feel so unfit to be a mom and do what “normal” moms were doing all along when I was growing up.
I didn’t know I would end up alienating myself. Since spring has sprung, I’ve noticed how there are significantly more events going on, and opportunities to meet new people. But, I feel like I’m spiraling in the opposite direction. I’m so afraid of my inability to fit in that I stay at home.
I didn’t know the things I like to do, like home projects and blogging, would be affected by this stream of lowered self esteem, and that I’d find less interest in doing these things when I feel too lonely to share them with anyone.
I didn’t know I would feel so disconnected by time and distance that I would feel like a burden to my friends and family back in Texas, so much so that when it came to my attention that the aforementioned things I didn’t know are actually blatant examples of depression, I wouldn’t reach out to them.
I didn’t know this move would be far more difficult than that divorce than I could imagined, for making friends when you’re over the age of 25 is difficult enough when you do work outside of the home or don’t have kids or are familiar with the area.
But, you know what?
I am resilient. If anyone is cut out to figure out a tough situation, or staying true to oneself in a place where people are awfully concerned about what “The Joneses” are doing, or unapologetically sticking to values in the face of adversity, I believe I qualify for the job.
And, again, I need to remember what rolled over and over in my head as I stared at the ceiling of that room I was renting during that divorce: this isn’t supposed to be easy. This isn’t supposed to be easy. This isn’t supposed to be easy.
After all, nothing that’s worth it ever is.
17 thoughts on “7 Things I should have known before I moved across the country”
So inspiring! I found myself nodding “yes!” at several points and empathizing with almost all of it (no human kiddos for me). You sound very strong!
Thank you so much for reading and commenting! It’s been really tough, and I can’t wait to take a break from it all!
Girl, I totally feel you. Big time.
Hugs to you, apparently (allegedly!?) this gets easier….eventually.
I know you get it! I was thinking of you last week!
Moves are tough. And doing it with a kid, even tougher. Then add to it the COMPLETE change in scenery and culture… the difficulty in making new friends when you’re an adult (and a SAHM!)… uber challenging. I’m sorry it’s been tough and lonely for you. Have you volunteered at the school or any local places? That might be a fun place to find good natured folks. I know you’re very creative and proactive so I’m sure you’ve done plenty to try to fight the blues or anxiety. I know you know it’ll get better and it’s all for the best. Hang tight. It will get better. Xoxoxo
I haven’t volunteered yet. I know it’s an option, but I’m not all the way settled in to the house and I know how places (especially the school!) will try to rope you in and take all of your time once you show them you’re available. I’ll definitely get more involved next school year.
I have been trying several methods. I am just sad, and in desperate need of deep human connection. I feel like if I have another conversation about the weather, my ears will bleed. I want to talk about heart stuff, not small talk. I know I’ve got to get through that first, but it’s so exhausting, time and time again, and it rarely, if ever, exceeds that.
And I really miss having someone to babysit when I wanted to have a night out. 😦
Sorry for being such a Debbie Downer! Seeing it written out like that makes it seem like a lot of excuses. But at the end of the day, it’s so.much.work. to meet people, and friend stuff is supposed to be your break from work! 😩 I’m just exhausted by all of it.
You’re not Debbie downer. Get it out!
It is very challenging and I remember having the same down moments when I was living in Virginia when I first lived there. But working helped because you naturally befriend people there.
The babysitting is tough as hell! Who can you trust, who would the kids like, etc, etc. Once I was comfortable at my kids schools, I found teachers there I really liked that babysat on the side… maybe that’s an option when you get comfortable there?
I know it’s not the same but feel free to email me anytime you want to talk. Divorcewithme@yahoo.com. 🙂 We probably have similar schedules. 😉
It is hard moving away from friends and family! We just moved from NC to CA and part of me just feels exhausted of starting all over again, but I keep trying to get excited about our new surroundings and all that there is to do here with me kiddos!
It is SO hard! How are things going now, are you more settled in?
We are settled now as much as we can be! Each day the little ones make new messes… I mean adventures. And we keep up:)
I too moved to CT, leaving family and friends behind. I loved it here from the start but found it very hard to meet friends and not be a hermit. Now 5 years later, I can finally say I have met a few friends I can see myself having for the long haul. Push yourself to go to different events and join groups on meet up. Like you, I have always felt different and would analyze my every move. Then I realized different is great and you will meet people who love that about you. I wish you luck and hope you meet some people you connect with.
Thank you so much for your comment! I feel like after I took a break from “new lifestyle” and traveled a bit, I’ve come back and I feel more secure and back to “me.” The things that I found myself getting highly sensitive over are finally starting to roll off.
It’s so good to know I’m not alone in this sticky transition! In what area in CT do you live?
Definitely not alone. Just takes time and is hard. I am in Bristol.