Almost two months ago I did something crazy and I packed up my life and moved across the country. At that time I didn’t know what was awaiting me here in Alabama. A lot of people couldn’t understand why I would move to the south. They said I was going backwards, usually people move west, not east. They couldn’t picture me somewhere with no mountains or snow, where the weather is hot and humid, and most people speak with a drawl. But I did it. I followed my heart. I followed a voice that had spoken to me a world away.
I keep telling myself not to wonder what I have done. I left behind a great job. I left behind friends and family and a place that my heart has beat for for so long. I left behind horrifying relationships and mistakes, but mistakes can always be undone without the need to run. I left behind comfort. I wasn’t alone there, although I always could be if I wanted to be. I left behind familiarity. I left behind a community that I didn’t even know existed. Most of the time I could pick up my phone and find someone to go out with me or do something.
I keep forgetting that this isn’t summer camp, or college, or high school. Close friendships aren’t built overnight, or in a week. So my loneliness kinda comes with the territory. Of course I don’t have everything that I left behind. Of course I spend 90% of my time away from work alone. Yes, I could have stayed behind and wondered about Alabama. But I would probably be even more miserable there. This is my home now. And there is a community here, although I haven’t fully tapped into it yet. I’ve been told that the first three months are the hardest anywhere. Well, I’m halfway there.
If I could go back, I’m sure I would have made the same choice to move when I did. I may even have made it sooner. Sure, my job here doesn’t pay as well, and I have far less to do. But the cost of living is lower. And I have so much more space. Plus, a job is a job. I keep getting emails from other companies about my resume, so maybe I’ll move on up in the world.
I have never been so alone. But I won’t let myself feel alone. This is just an opportunity to watch my life unfold. In a year, I’ll probably look back at this and laugh. I’ve been looking back a lot lately. Maybe it’s time to start looking forward.