My recent move to a new home from an apartment was pretty wild. Not only was it very telling about how I handle change, but I realized the jump from living alone to co-habitating was more of a mental shift than a physical one.
Don’t get me wrong–I was beyond psyched to be moving into a house with Chris, it’s truly a dream come true! But since we recently got engaged and bought a house in the same week, it turned into an exciting whirlwind of changes all at once. I’m talking total craziness, guys.
Usually people freak out about this much change all at once, but chaos can be really good if you know how to handle it. It shakes things up and shows you what you’re made of– and to be honest, I’m not sure I was so good at it, but I sure as hell learned a lot about how I handle stress and change. I laughed, I cried, and with a little help, I made it through.
Here are some nuggets I picked up along the way:
- All change takes some getting used to. Even amazing-knock-your-socks-off-this-is-what-I’ve-always-wanted change. We humans are creatures of habit and even if your dream life is manifesting before your very eyes, you’re still going to have an adjustment period of freak outs. There’s just no way around it.
- Moving your stuff is more than moving your stuff. As I went through literally everything I own, a flood of emotions and memories came up. It was like strolling down memory lane as I purged stuff I didn’t need anymore and made room for new memories. It was cool to see how I’ve changed and who I’m becoming– even the crappy memories have a place. So as you sift through your belongings, be gentle with yourself. Take time to ride the emotional wave and then move on.
- You need to rely on others. Moving is not for the faint of heart. It takes patience and grit to get through to the other side and it’s not always a smooth trip, so don’t do it all yourself. Not only are movers a great idea, but also an emotional support system can boost you up when you’re wilting. Pep talks from my dad were a life saver.
- Communication is key. Chris and I had some good talks through the whole process: about overwhelm, home improvement + the whole change scenario. It was such a relief to just say what was on our minds and know we were on the same page, even though there were some uncomfortable moments. When one of us blew up, we knew it was the stress of the situation we were in and not to take it personally.
- You need some time and space to breathe. I was so focused on getting things packed and moved, I became a nervous wreck. One night while schlepping some boxes down the stairs from my third floor walk -up, I tripped and twisted my ankle. Hello bad timing! And I spent the next day in bed with it elevated, on ice. I thought I would be a total stressball from losing a day of packing, but that time to relax and regroup was pure awesomeness. It refilled my tank and gave me the energy I needed to get back at it. (A little slower, of course.)
It’s easy to look back and see that moving is an endurance test–it tested all of my emotions and tried my patience, but you know what? Even with a bum ankle, it strengthened me in ways I didn’t expect.
Do you have an exciting moving story? I’d love to hear about it here.