Starting over in a new City

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"Starting over in a new City"
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Sometimes in life, you find yourself stuck. Perhaps your career has stalled, or your friends have all gotten married, or a relationship that once was promising has now soured. Whatever the situation, most of us have been there, at one time or another.

I firmly believe that making a bold move, to a totally new place, can be a decision that will bring adventure, introspection, painful honesty, spiritual awakening, and greater self confidence. Is there somewhere you have always dreamed of living? Why not change your life and move there?

Too often in life we stick with what's familiar: the same brand of toothpaste, the same friends, the same places we grew up near, even the same romantic partner. Familiar can be wonderful, safe, and comforting. It can also hinder your personal growth and full potential for happiness because of the fear of the unknown. Familiar can be dull, boring, and even stifling.

We all need support networks like family and friends. In today's world, however, hardly any families stay in one place. You can have family members in Chicago, California, and Washington, DC. When contemplating a much-desired new start, you can worry about building a new support network. By doing some research, you can get a head start on accomplishing this.

The Internet yields a wealth of information on job markets, neighborhoods, social scenes, and most everything you could possibly want to know about your prospective city. It can also provide ideas for where to start building friendships and your new social network: churches, synagogues, volunteer opportunities, and classes. If you concentrate on your own interests, you will find like-minded individuals who share your passions and pursuits.

You will also want to make sure to spend some real quality time in your new city. It would be wise to spend a vacation there, exploring all the city and surrounding areas have to offer. Find out about rentals and real estate. Even if it's an expensive place, there are more affordable options usually right outside in the suburbs or surrounding areas. Explore, research, and have fun with it. In addition, plan your move with finances in mind. How much will you need to save? Can you liquidate some of your investments to fund this important life decision? There is always some financial risk in uprooting yourself. You can make it a calculated risk, though, by doing your homework, and making a budget.

On the personal side, if your dream city will move you away from your family and friends, you may face some resistance at first. They may not understand "why" you feel the need to change your scenery.  However, if you slowly introduce them to the idea and they know why you are doing it, and that it's for your happiness, most will come to accept it and even be happy for you.  You may also find yourself with volunteers to help with your move, or possible financial assistance, if that is needed.

When you do move, understand it usually takes at least a year to really let a place under your skin. That's why spending time there beforehand is so important. When you finally do move, you will probably feel mixed emotions of fear, adventure, loneliness, pride and joy at having been brave enough to embrace life fully and with intrepidation.

Moving to an unfamiliar city is not a decision that you should make lightly, or hastily. However, you will probably reap some of your best life experiences by breaking out of your rut, taking a risk, and making that move. As Goethe would say, "Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." Trust yourself and even if you don't quite know what you're doing, that's when you will find life's most rewarding moments.

More about this author: Caoimhe Allen

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