Leaving The Ones You Love Behind

In a few weeks, I will be packing up my stuff and moving a thousand miles from anyone I know. People do this sort of thing everyday but not women like me. I’m the type of woman who never considered moving more than a few miles away from my friends and family, it was just not an option. I have everything in Los Angeles; a supportive family and amazing friends in one of the most amazing cities in the world. In theory, I have everything I could ever want except for one thing: independence.

In July, I will be turning 30. I didn’t have a major revelation about my life just because I’m on the brink of turning 30, but I was presented with an opportunity that made me take a good look at my life. The first thing that came time was, “Wow, I should really act like an adult now,” (I’m not alone in feeling this way) and I could not think of one single reason for not taking this chance except for the fact that I will miss everyone too much. I was faced with the option to not change a thing and stay with my loved ones or completely change my life. I opted for the latter.

I’m now faced with this dilemma: How do I prepare myself to leave everyone I love behind? I’ve never been away from my family for more than a few weeks and the thought of having a best-friendless life simply makes matters worse. If I ever needed anything, my brother, sisters and parents were just a phone call away. If I ever needed a friend to join me on a 2am ice cream run, one text message could make that happen. My entire support system will still be a phone call away, but they will not be there to pat me on the back when I’ve succeeded or to hand me a tissue when my life is falling apart. Frankly, I don’t know what to do.

I can see the last few weeks in my hometown being filled with lots of tears (mostly mine) and I don’t want to leave on such a sad note, especially since I’m making a positive change in my life. This experience is meant to make me a stronger and independent person, yet I feel as though I’m leaving and never seeing anyone I love again which could not be farther from the truth.

Readers of HelloGiggles, how have you coped with leaving the ones you love behind?

Striking panoramic image of Seattle Skyline with Mount Rainier glowing at sunset Via Shuttershock.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=562646895 Rachel Helena

    I live in London, having been raised in Australia all of my friends and family are there. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to be so far away: I came over here when I was 19 and have been here for 3 years.
    There are times I certainly question why I’m here, and I constantly miss the creature comforts of home: the parents, best friends, and of course 2am ice cream runs!
    I must say, however, the three years here have taught me a lot more about life than I ever could have hoped to learn back home. The lessons you will learn will be valuable enough to justify the distance. I myself learned to be an adult, to live, and to nurture myself as I would others.

    Learning to be alone without feeling lonely is a lesson afforded to the few who dare to take the class.

    Best of luck!

    • http://www.facebook.com/keya.muk Keya Peshwari Naan Muk

      I also just moved to London from Australia – which i think is technically the geographically furthest away two cities could ever be from each other! Well it certainly does feel like it at times! Skype and major facebook stalking helps but honestly you will be fine as long as you trust your instincts, force yourself to stay open to all possibilites and learn how to be alone. I think the last thing has been the most important for me and truly I am learning more about myself in this process than I had hoped to. Good luck and always keep in mind that these days friends are always only a mouse click away! xo

    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      I’m going to give it a try! I’m definitely scared out of my mind but I’m hoping that I’ll become a better person for it. It is a little comforting to know that I’ll at least be in the same country as my family! Thanks for reading!

    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      @Keya- I’m teaching my parents to use Skype before I leave!

    • http://www.facebook.com/zoe.moorman Zoe Moorman

      This year I moved from Sydney to an hour’s train ride outside of London – us Aussies are everywhere!

      I think the best way for me to tackle being faced with an entirely new life in a new place was to take advantage of every opportunity I had and not be afraid of embarrassing myself. For example, I met my group of friends in the UK by stopping with them to help an old man who fell down on the high street and then just going for it and asking what they were doing that night! I never would have done anything like that at home! (though I definitely will now, haha) Take courage , you’ll have a blast! :>

  • http://www.facebook.com/astrid.lund.96 Astrid Lund

    I live in France now, and the moment I turn 18 I’m planning on moving away, probably to Spain for a bit as a nanny type thing (or as someone suggested recently and I’ve been seriously considering, the US), so yeah I’m scared because everything would be in SPANISH, guys! And my family wouldn’t be so close, but at the same time I’m PSYCHED to make this change in my life and start anew. And I think it’ll be okay because when we moved away from England I left everything I knew behind, and as an 8 year old that’s terrifying, especially in french!
    But you deal and you learn and do things you never would have been able to do before in a nurturing environment with friends and family. So I think the good far outweighs the bad.
    Good luck with your move away!! 😀 Where are you going to go?

    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      Well, I have to commend you for going somewhere where you don’t know the language! THAT’S brave! Good luck and thank you for the kind words :)

    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      Oh, and I forgot to mention, I’m moving to Seattle!

  • http://www.facebook.com/becky.hadgett Becky Hadgett

    Instead of focusing on who you’re leaving behind, it helped me to think about all the great new people you’ll have the opportunity to meet! You’ll still have your close friends and relatives at home, who you can Skype regularly and visit as often as you wish/can afford, and yet you also get the bonus of another great set of friends in your new home. There will be someone else to do 2am ice cream runs with, a group group of great people to go and see a new band with or a friendly face to confide in when you’re feeling a bit hard done-by. They won’t be the same people that you know and love, but you can love ’em just the same! I found going out and joining societies/groups really helpful. I joined a community choir and got involved in some volunteering so that I could meet new people outside of work. The first few weeks can be a bit tough, but making the effort to meet new people really helps you settle in. And if you go to groups who do things you’re interested in, you automatically tend to hit it off because you’ve got similar interests :) Best of luck with the move!

    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      That’s a very positive outlook! Thanks for that, I’ll have to stop assuming I’ll be a victim of the “Seattle Freeze” and just be myself and people will gravitate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/missffforte Nicole Iovino

    Skype’s cool. Visits are cool. Phones are cool, texting and facebook and social media are great, keeping it touch will make you feel less… away. But if you get there, and you don’t love it, and you don’t feel like you are thriving, then going back home is the most mature thing you can do. If you do go home, you are not a failure. You just learned what’s most important to you. Independence does not equal Alone. I’ve made some great friends in my latest move to the East Coast from Seattle– same when I moved to Alaska, same when I moved to California, same when I moved just farther up north to Bellingham. But I’ve learned that the place where I feel most at peace, where I thrive in my work AND home life, is in Seattle, and I’ll be moving back next weekend. I’ll be 30 in October, and the greatest thing I’ve learned is that I DO have a place I can call home, no matter how many times I’ve tried to deny that place IS my place…I actually missed the RAIN for the first time ever this time around..that was the beginning of my knowing. I hope it works out with your move, whichever way is best for you– not what seems to be the best per any industry/media/other standard. :)

    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      I’m forcing my sisters to put Skype on their phone and teaching my parents how to use it on their laptops. Hopefully this will tie me over until I’m more comfortable being in Seattle all on my own! Thanks for the advice!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sanchez.marianne Marianne Sanchez

    ah! i am very familiar with the circumstance that you are about to face! i moved to NYC from Texas 9 months ago. all this after having graduated from law school and suddenly realizing that i still needed an adventure that was my own. the idea of moving back to the city i grew up in, in a state i never really left, terrified me.

    i was the opposite of you in that i wasn’t fearful of leaving my loved ones . . . as the only child, i’m used to venturing out on my own, out of a sort of defiance and rebellion. but, i’ve actually found that i very much miss my loved ones – friends and family alike. it’s rough – especially as i make a transition from the schooling world to the working world.

    how i cope is to remind myself that i need to be patient with my new life. any transition is difficult, but these life-changing, uprooting your life type transitions are even more so. any connection you make with someone, appreciate it and remember that each friendship takes time to cultivate. also, it’s up to you to decide how much you invest in those relationships. if you put yourself out there, you won’t be disappointed.

    also, realize that life back home will go on . . . you may miss out on some details here and there, but know that your presence is missed. make it a point to chat to your best friends and family members once a week or so. my best friend and i haven’t lived in the same city, much less state, since we graduated from college 5 years ago. but, we hardly go a week without speaking – and we see each other at least a couple times a year.

    in the end, you will be stronger for venturing out on your own. you will have a better sense of self and you will realize who your closest, most loyal friends are (this is bittersweet as you will also realize who are NOT your closest, most loyal friends). but, stay positive and remember that investing in your discovery of self is the best gift you can give yourself!

    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      Thanks for responding! I know I’m going to be in constant contact with everyone back home but I fear it will make me even more homesick. I won’t know unless I try and I and there is definitely no going back on this adventure!

  • http://www.facebook.com/liz.haebe Liz Haebe

    I moved to Portland all the way from little old Las Cruces, NM about 5 years ago and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I cried for days…years, maybe? It’s really, really hard, I won’t lie. But, somewhere in all that sadness, you start making a life for yourself that IS independent. And, when you go back home, you realize you still fit into that world because it will never not be home. But, then, you also realize, the place you are living now, is also your home. Yours and yours alone. It will be really hard, but it will be really, really worth it.

    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      Thanks for being so honest, I expect to spend the first few weeks doing nothing but crying! I know it will eventually fade but that’s the part I dread the most but I do keep reminding myself that I will be doing this to make myself an awesome person.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucy.fisher.165 Lucy Fisher

    Great article Myrna! I too have moved away countless times from my home to new places and at first it can be a bit scary but it’s one of the best learning experiences that I have had. I learned so much about myself and what I was capable of doing and became more independent than I believe I would have if I decided to stay close to home. It’s an exciting and sometimes difficult adventure but one that I am so grateful for. Wishing you all the best in your move and new life adventure!

    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      Thank you Lucy! I’m hoping this all turns out for the best!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joelle.poitra Joelle Poitra

    I love this article. I’ve been thinking of moving so many times & in the back of my head, the main thing is always leaving my family and friends behind. I don’t know if I could do it. I really appreciate this article as there are no wrong answers. I love to read that it is hard and I love to read that it does get better and maybe it don’t. I respect anyone who can be so brave to leave everything and everyone they know behind to take a chance at life. To experience life. It inspires me to do the same.

    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      Hi Joelle, thanks for reading! Although I haven’t actually left yet, I can tell you this: Don’t do it unless you know you’re ready. I knew I was ready when I didn’t initially dismiss the idea and actually couldn’t find a reason NOT to do it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=798440053 Ashley Wilson

    After moving across the ocean to England, I found the best part was getting to reinvent yourself, to meet new people who didn’t expect you to have certain hang-ups about certain issues. Suddenly I got to be the best version of myself. But then I discovered I had to also be flawed, and open up to new people. These people had to love me for me, not because they have known me for a gajillion years, and that has produced some of the most rewarding friendships. I still miss home, and keep in touch with my friends and family via Skype, but I have created a new home and a fresh beginning. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Good luck on your new adventure!

    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      That’s probably what I fear the most, stepping out of my comfort zone and actually going out and making new friends. It’s a lot of fun to hang out with new people but it’s always a little scary revealing yourself to new people. Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.facebook.com/WritingInBed Marianna Tabares


    • http://www.girleastlikely2.tumblr.com Myrna Valadez

      I expect to have a non-stop cry fest for a few hours (or days) with you, Karina and Patty. Of course, I’m sure they’ll tell us to suck it up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rigo.pimentel Rigo Pimentel

    Alright Me, Desi, shamir and the kids will need to take a road trip out there! Just make friends with some birds!

    • http://www.facebook.com/girleastlikely2 Myrna Valadez

      I know what kind of birds you like Rigo so I’ll keep my eyes peeled!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gourgous Gigi Berry

    great read, Myrna! I left all my lovies behind in September (Atlanta to Minneapolis) and it was tough, but I could not let an amazing opportunity pass me by. Think of all the new people and experiences you will have in your new city. I was a recent college grad at the time of my move and never lived outside of Atlanta or on my own for that matter. My move to the Twin Cities was that real swift kick in the butt I had been needing to get up and do what I wanted, wherever I wanted. I have met so many incredible people over the past few months and while they don’t replace those loved ones from my hometown, it’s good to know that I have folks who care about me in my new home just like I do back home. Congrats and good luck with your move, many amazing things await you i’m sure :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/girleastlikely2 Myrna Valadez

      Thank you so much Gigi!

  • http://www.facebook.com/camila.viana1 Camila Viana

    I’m graduating next year and in my country,Brazil,is common to live with your parents until you finish college. I’m planning to go to Canada after that but i’m also really afraid because i’ll leave my family, that i’m really close to,friends,and everything i know cause it’s gonna be a totally diferent culture,new language,new weather and i’ll be by myself to face it. I spent 4 weeks last year in US and i only stopped crying in the 5th day. I still have a year to think about it and i’ll enjoy as much time as i can with my loved ones. Good luck in your new journey!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/girleastlikely2 Myrna Valadez

      Good luck Camila and make sure you’re happy with whatever decision you make!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cassidy.emge Cassidy Emge

    Myrna! I am moving to Seattle in August and doing something very very similar to you! I have lived in the town I was born and raised in all my life and its time to get out! I for one am very very excited for it, but I too am scared. My plan is to be open to all kinds of opportunity and to participate as much as I can. It will in no way be easy thats for sure, but I send you tons of positive vibes and awesomeness! I’m sure it will be great!

    • http://www.facebook.com/girleastlikely2 Myrna Valadez

      Hey Cassidy, good luck on your journey to Seattle! Maybe we’ll bump into each other!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/emily.embler Emily Embler

    I moved to a tiny town in the mountains in New Mexico from New Jersey last may and it was terrifying and I was totally out of my element. I’m back home now but it was such a learning experience and I got to do things I never thought I’d be able to do. The hardest part about where I was was that there wasn’t a big community of people my age. However, in Seattle you won’t have that problem!! My biggest suggestion is to not be afraid to go out and do things by yourself, you have a whole new city to explore and this means you’ll probably have to eat out by yourself (bring a book! ) and a ton of other things. In the end, I learned a lot about myself and I’ms ure you will too! Good luck girl!

    • http://www.facebook.com/girleastlikely2 Myrna Valadez

      Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to carry my big purse so I can make sure I always have a book!

  • http://www.facebook.com/elisa.riche Elisa Riche

    I live the exact same thing! I’m moving overseas (from France to England) in september and I dont know how I’m gonna deal with not being around my loved ones, especially my Mom. But I guess that’s what it takes to live the life you wanna.

    • http://www.facebook.com/girleastlikely2 Myrna Valadez

      Good luck Elisa, it sounds like you’re up for a bigger change than I am!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bebeelynn Linda Goodman

    I moved from Los Angeles CA to Memphis TN a little over a year ago. It was really hard leaving everyone I knew but I did it for the same reason: the opportunity at a better life. To be honest, I was so high on the independence and so excited to be on my own, that it helped distract/dull the loneliness. However, any moment that I did feel really homesick and start missing my family & friends I just reminded myself why I moved out here. Also, all of these important people that I miss who were sad to see me go, they are also really proud of me for being brave enough to up and leave for greener pastures. Good luck dear! It will be the time of your life on your own :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/girleastlikely2 Myrna Valadez

      Thanks for that Linda, I’ll have to do the same when I’m missing everyone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alyssa.alarcon Alyss Alarcon

    I’m from Southern California and in February, I moved 3,000 miles away from everyone I knew and loved to settle in Boston. I thought that I’d be able to handle not being near my family (my best friend included) and I’d steeled myself for the daunting task of meeting new people and accepting the loneliness as it came. That worked out great, up until a month later, when I ended up with my life crumbling around me. Without a support system, I found myself having some pretty terrifying psychotic breakdowns and long story short, I’m now temporarily back in California.
    I guess the moral of the story is that yes, learning to be alone not lonely is very important. But don’t let yourself get too comfortable that way. Go out. Make friends. Build a support system so that when the time comes (and unfortunately, it will come) you won’t end up in the same boat that I did.

    • http://www.facebook.com/girleastlikely2 Myrna Valadez

      Thanks for your honesty Alyss, I expected to go through some rough times but I’m already attempting to do everything I can in order to avoid feeling completely alone. Hope you’re up for giving it another go soon, only if you’re ready!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jammorse Jamie Morse

    Welcome to Seattle! If you can break through the “seattle freeze” exterior, there are some pretty nice/awesome people in this city! Don’t be discouraged if it takes you awhile to adjust to your new surroundings. My husband moved here from the South five years ago and still isn’t used to the weather! Best of luck with the move, keep us updated!

    • http://www.facebook.com/girleastlikely2 Myrna Valadez

      Hi Jamie! I’m hoping the Seattle Freeze won’t affect me…in fact, I won’t let it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ruthleanne Ruth Leanne Png

    Skype, Whatsapp and FaceTime will come to your rescue! I moved from Singapore (where my family and most of my friends still are) to Sydney nearly 2 years ago, while my boyfriend is in South Africa and my best friend in Tokyo. Despite the random bouts of loneliness (and, at times, regret) I have experienced during my time here, I still have made some incredible new friends and even reconnected with some old ones too. I hope your move goes smoothly and that you have a wonderful time in Seattle!

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