It’s 3am and your house looks like a mash-up between a crack house, a clubhouse and a like a club was just thrown in your house, free cover charge. Between boxes, tossed supplies, broken hangers, beer bottles, pizza boxes and your cousin sleeping on the blanketed floor because they couldn’t hang anymore, you can’t even begin to find your thoughts. Best guess? It’s probably out with the rest of life left to pack, which you now have less than T-minus five hours complete. Ugh. Crunch time begins.
The sweater you yelled at your greasy step-aunt Margaret was “so cool” twelve years ago only to shove into the deepest depths of your closet? Goodwill it.
The pot you scorched in your first apartment while trying to simmer chicken like Emeril Lagasse only to almost set your stove on fire? Toss it.
The dusty yoga mat that was for sure going to get your sexy back only to be used as a walk pad for your laundry room? Clean. And pass to your yogi friend.
Oh, the framed picture of your ex and you still hidden in your nightstand to occasionally stare at to smile of the traveling times together before you found out they were a
flaming piece of unsavory child of God spawn of el Spanish Diablo bitch
–just…..trash it. Actually, keep the frame. It’s cute. And it was also $19.95. We can throw away our ex, but we don’t throw away Jackson’s. The next few hours of picture tossing, cardboard paper cuts, vacuuming and locking up are a blur until you suddenly find yourself crammed in a sedan full of even more boxes and staring at a UHaul. At this point you’re too tired to care, but you scarf down your McDonald’s platter anyways. Somewhere between a nap, sketchy gas stations and a rocky road that wakes you up in fear that your tires are going to pop only to leave you stranded on Tobacco Rd somewhere to be eaten by those Hills Have Eyes people, you arrive to your destination. It’s smaller in person, but again you’re too tired to care and just want to get unpacked. Upon unboxing your bathroom and seeing all your clothes hung up, suddenly it hits.
I moved. I, the person who was always secretly scared to do anything major, MOVED. Like, moved, moved. It’s more serious when you add that extra word in, right? Right, across the state lines moved. And suddenly, the urge to call your mother or someone else with more sense than you has never felt so urgent. WHY did you let me leave?! Why did you think I was competent enough to pull this off?! Talk about a little fish in a huge pond. The moment you step foot back out the door and find yourself scrambling for Siri’s help, it’s official.
Welcome to the new world.
Your first place is probably going to be a nightmare
Okay, nightmare is a strong statement. It may not be the house that Freddy built, but it definitely won’t be featured on House Hunters any time soon either for multiple reasons. Or perhaps the foundation is fine and looks dandy on the outside, but it’s inside where the real horror begins. Moving to a new state is not only emotionally tough, it’s also expensive, and cutting costs are a necessity at all corners. Roommates, anyone?
Questionable neighbors? Your fresh start in characters comes at a price. More on this later.
Everyone wants to come visit
Unless you live in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Not to say there’s anything wrong with there specifically, but be honest no one is really beating down the terminals to get to the aviation museum or the farmer’s market. Regardless, everyone is apparently dying to see you and get a glimpse of your new life on the other side. Everyone. Including the classmate from high school you have no interaction with outside of the occasional like or ignoring pokes on Facebook swiftly turning up in your inbox to ask about your move and how it was. How sweet.
I’ll be in town soon, can my friend and I stay with you? I’ll buy you food and dranks!
From the person who hasn’t asked to kick it with you in over ten years, allegedly skipping town you quickly look in need of a cold one and some snacks. Girl, adieu.
Another grasping hold to your inbox? That dude who never really interacted with you in real life or social media since sending a friend request messaging you at 4:45a to proclaim his crush on you now that you don’t live anywhere near them, only to take it back two days later stating they were drunk. Oh. One up the worse factor is the friend who stopped talking to you years prior only to resurface to continue a message conversation from FOUR. YEARS. AGO. A message from 1,460 + days ago that simply holds the response reply of a thumbs up emoji and the words Miss you.
Kelis was wrong. Milkshakes don’t bring all the boys to the yard, moving does.
You grow closer to your family
The love of some you never had to question much is that in your immediate family circle, and driving out thousands of hundred miles only strengthened that bond. Sure, you don’t see them on the daily like you used to, but it almost doesn’t make a difference due to the amount of conversations being held. There’s more to talk about, the laughs are longer, and you find yourself listening more, especially when FaceTime isn’t always an option.
The best and worst part of being away from your family, close friends and basically life as you knew it? You rely on yourself more. Your instincts, your strengths, your acknowledged fears, and even your cooking. Partially to save money and partially because finding boxed roux in your new city was entirely impossible. Nothing says “HELP” quite like asking a store clerk for gumbo mix only to be directed to a box of Jambalaya powder. Thanks to her, you know know how to make your own gumbo base from scratch that collects compliments and doesn’t have anyone clawing for the bathroom. Also, thanks to that YouTube tutorial. And a crying phone call to someone more adult than you. Almost as impossible as finding authentic Southern cuisine on a West coast is a hair dresser that doesn’t cost a car note to look fabulous, prompting you to invest in your own products and getting to work yourself. For it, your hair surprisingly is still on your head and never looked better. You save more and spend more times with books rather than going out with friends, considering you don’t have many yet in your new zip. Although not the top idolized lifestyle, you’re smarter for it.
And even further from others
Coming upon new stomping grounds, eventually you start to mingle with other humans amongst work, home, and of course, social media and dating apps. You may even know some folks in the city already, which makes the difference or another day. Is it crucial to say “yes” to kicking it with the one you’re positive is a fuckboy of epic proportions? Been there, you have your ex for that. And apparently, randoms in your inbox.
The friends you clasped hands with and swore you’d stay in touch you rarely hear from, if at all and the ones you bounced plans to do tons of things with upon your arrival are still in the wind somewhere. In more ways than one, the isolation is appreciated and damn near required. Consuming more moments alone you grow more accustomed to yourself, your passion and your thoughts, and that nagging voice of You don’t belong here slowly and precisely begins to shut TF up.
You’re exactly where you need to be, and you’re not going anywhere. At least not for the next month, you paid rent.