Adjustment is hard. Plain and simple. It requires you to leave comfort behind, and step into this awkward, and sticky place called transition. You experience feelings of doubt, insecurity, and everything in you screams for stability. I am all too familiar with this, because two months ago I moved to New York City. The husbae transitioned into a new position that required a relocation, so we moved…with me being unemployed, and unprepared for this New York way of life. So here I am, a southern girl through and through, learning about snow squalls, figuring out the difference between uptown, downtown, and express, all the while trying find some semblance of normalcy.
While I am exponentially proud of my husbae for his professional success, (Queue moment of vulnerability) it would be a disservice to myself to believe that his accomplishments did not come at a cost; and not the one you’re probably thinking about. The greatest cost of this move was our contentment. While living in Florida we were GOOD. We lived close to our friends and family, and was preparing to purchase our first home. We had our routine, secure jobs, and was following the path that we laid out for ourselves for 2019. So, when the opportunity presented itself, it tilted our axis, and forced us to have long conversations about what this would mean for us individually, as a couple, and for our families.
While this move has been financially advantageous, it has also been a personal test of fortitude. At the onset of moving to New York, there was a period of withdrawal from family and friends. I felt compelled to get our new home established as quickly as possible, in order to reclaim a sense of normalcy. I was searching through multiple websites trying to find furniture and storage to get our home in tip top shape. With each new Amazon and Wayfair delivery (to my husbae’s dismay), I convinced myself I was closer to gaining peace in my home, which would translate into internal peace. That didn’t happen, because in reality, I was unconsciously distracting myself from being consumed by the sense of grief I was experiencing. Yup grief. I was grieving the loss of moving away from all I’ve ever known.
As you move through life with its changes and transitions, it is expected that there will be uncomfortable moments during adjustment. Experiencing grief is not abnormal, but how you chose to cope with it can be unhealthy, and possibly result in a decline in your mental wellness. In hindsight, I was not coping well in the beginning. I isolated myself from family and friends, and smothered my feelings. I recognize now that I owed myself grace when it came to adjusting to this new life. Had I taken a moment to remind myself that it was ok to not have every box unpacked by day 2, I would have saved myself from so much personal stress.
As I move forward and encounter new aspects of living in NYC, I’m going to remind myself of a few things:
- Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s bad. How many experiences in life would you have missed out on, had you not been open to trying something new? Sushi is the first thing that comes to mind! While I miss home and Publix (That’s another post for another day), I am excited at the opportunity to explore the city where dreams are made of.
- Adjustment is hard, but it highlights growth. There is no way I could have imagined starting 2019 off living in Florida, and by November living in New York. Just like working out, there is no way to gauge progress without a few challenging moments.
- Remember your why. “He who has a why, will find a way”—This move was not accidental—We made a conscious choice to follow the message that we received after many prayers. This decision is ultimately aligned with the vision we have set forth for our family. No matter the obstacles, remembering the why will continue to keep us moving forward.
So here’s to the moments where we grit our teeth, reaffirm our beliefs, and stick through the awkward, and sticky place called transition.
Carter, B., Garcia-Preto, N., & McGoldrick, M. (2011). Individual, Family, and Social Perspectives The Expanded Family Life Cycle. 4th edition