Ready or Not: Moving from Place to Place

“However, I trusted that God would direct my path as I obeyed.”

I left my father’s house when I was 17 to go to college. This was the first time I’d ever been away from my family for an extended period of time. As he packed up the car with most of my worldly possessions and moved me to my dorm at Howard University, I never would have thought that that would be the first of many moves.

The thing about moving is that it takes a toll on you mentally, physically, financially, and socially. The amount of stress involved in preparing for a move is unbelievable. If you’re like me, there’s a ton of planning and preparation that you anticipate before the first box is even sealed.

I was certain Georgia was where I was headed next in life. While I didn’t think I was going to the South, I had a confident assurance that I was being obedient in taking the step of faith. Growing up in the North, I had no idea what to expect. However, I trusted that God would direct my path as I obeyed. The hardest part was knowing that the people I cared for most in this world would not be a short drive away. No. If I wanted to see them, I’d have to get on a plane or drive for 10+ hours. Honestly, this was not a thought that crossed my mind much as I prepared to move, but I think about it often now in my semi-lockdown state.

Assembling and disassembling furniture is one of the worst things about moving. There are days when I really wish the minimalist life was my portion because I’d just live with only the things I could fit in my sedan. Nevertheless, even after downsizing significantly, I find that I still need to get a truck every time I move. Between the heavy lifting, packing and unpacking, and shifting of items to maximize space, I just can’t.

One of the things I wish someone had told me was to make sure I packed the essentials and valuables in my car before everything else. Trust: When you’re waiting weeks for movers to arrive with your teaching supplies because you marked the box of books as “heavy” and had them load it on the truck, you’ll regret it. Nevertheless, once it’s happened one time, the lesson is learned.

“Be prepared for your bank account to take a serious hit when moving out of state..”

Money. Moving is expensive. Let me say it again for the ones in the back. Moving is expensive. I mean, thousands and thousands of dollars. It’s one thing when your company relocates you and covers the cost of your expenses. However, that hasn’t been the case for me in any situation, which means that I’ve had to pay all that money myself. Be prepared for your bank account to take a serious hit when moving out of state. Even if you go the budget-friendly route and opt not to hire a moving company, the small expenses quickly add up. In hindsight, I would’ve coordinated with some friends who enjoy long-distance driving and asked them to move me instead of hiring a company. That way, I could’ve saved a few thousand dollars.

For me, the worst part about moving is the social anxiety caused by being in a new place. We’re creatures of habit. We enjoy going to our favorite local coffee shop, grocery store, and restaurant. As such, we become accustomed to our routine. The same goes for our social lives. We build community with those who live within close proximity of us. It was not unusual for me to pick up the phone or send a text to a friend inviting them over for dinner or a movie. It was nothing to drive a few minutes to the next town and have dinner with some friends after class or work.

When you’re in a new place, you don’t have the luxury of meeting up with others as you please. Everything is unfamiliar and, sometimes, overwhelming. Culture shock kicks in that you are in a foreign land. If you’re like me, you might be open to cautiously exploring your new environment. However, that can be daunting if it’s a completely different place than where you came from. In any case, there will be lonely nights and times when you cry out to return to the familiar. That’s normal. In fact, it happens to the best of us.

Fellow navigator, what has your moving experience been like? Were you readily accepted into your new community? Was your time filled with pain and sorrow? Tell me about it!

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