Everyone told me that moving is difficult and stressful. I had even done it before and vaguely remembered how difficult and stressful that it was. I’m approaching the final push and have found that, yes, moving is difficult and stressful, but in different ways than I remembered.
I think my experience this time was a bit different in that the move was accelerated and that I moved in chunks. I had a week of no furniture, no cat, no husband, no car. I had a week of a completely cluttered house with a cat, but no husband. Dean and I have also been dealing with finally selling our place and I’ve been learning a new job and a new town. I’ve decided to write about a few things that I’ve learned during this move. May they help someone else, or maybe serve as a reminder to my future self, should I ever attempt this again.
A few things you don’t realize are awesome until you don’t have them anymore:
A dustpan. I was eating a granola bar for breakfast before work on my first morning in Nashville and the thing broke apart in my hand, scattering pieces all over the floor. I literally had no way to pick them up.
Scissors. I have a knife. Knives are great and very handy. There are some things that scissors are just better at. Whoever invented the scissor knew what they were doing.
A trash can. Hanging plastic grocery bags over doorknobs is all well and good, but after a while you just want a freaking can.
Line dryer. I was hanging my line dry clothes over every surface in the apartment. I would put washer and dryer in general, but I feel that some things are just obvious. (Like tables and chairs and a bed.)
A few things that were easier than expected:
Bike commuting. I was worried that people in Nashville wouldn’t be used to bikes and that the hills would kill me. People in Nashville may not be used to bikes to the extent that Chicagoans are, but they’re very friendly to me on the road at least. I’ve found bike parking most places and there are bike racks on the busses.
Adjusting to the hills. Yes, biking is a little more intense now, and running is also a little more challenging, but the hills have not been the fearsome things that I had anticipated. I’m handling them better than I thought.
Walking to the store. There is a store close enough to walk to. I do think that I’ll be driving to a grocery store a little further away for most things, but it is nice to know that if I really want, I can still walk to at least a Walgreens and a little market. I don’t think it’s normal here, the last time I walked to the store, two people asked me if I was okay (it’s literally a ten minute walk), but it’s there and doable.
Some lessons that were reinforced along the way:
When you are stressed, drink water. Eat veggies.
Be good to, appreciative of and patient with your family. They might help you move halfway across the country with a week’s notice. They might help you move your furniture in a torrential thunderstorm a week later. They might lend you a car and bring you groceries.
You’re going to have to let some things go. A lot is going on. A lot is new.
Enjoy the new challenges and new adventures. Breathe through the stressful parts. Every little mistake or bump along the road is just part of the journey to where you want to go.
Don’t let anyone naysay your dreams or steal your joy. You’ve worked for and created this. Own it and enjoy it.
You’re going to have to let some things go. No, for real. Don’t beat yourself up.
Make your workouts a priority. Make sleep a priority. Don’t worry too much about tracking and analyzing your workouts. Don’t worry about falling behind on your writing. It will happen. Prioritize and remember that you’re human too.
This has been an amazing whirlwind of a month. I have experienced so much excitement and joy. I have had a lot of stress and fought through a lot of battles. I’m focusing on the joy and putting my head down and getting through the rough patches. The first week I was by myself. This week I have had Jake, my familiar beside me. Next week Dean will be here too. It will be easier as a team.
Tomorrow, on my birthday, I drive home to finish on the condo (dear God, please let the closing go without a hitch), say goodbye to everyone I was unable to see before I left, celebrate one more birthday in Chicago, and most importantly, drag my midwestern husband down to the south to be with me.
There will still be hard times. But there will be so many amazing times. We are living big and we are making things happen.
I can’t wait to see how far we go.