The beautiful (and sometimes harsh) reality of moving to a new city
When my final months of college arrived, I was nervously along for the ride that consisted of an uncertain future and many moments of answering the dreaded, “So what are your plans after college?” with the torturous, “I have no freaking clue.”
My nerves must have sent an equivalent of the Bat Signal out into the world because in a whirlwind, I was e-mailed an opportunity for a job in my small and competitive career field of choice. I applied, interviewed, and received a call that caused me to emit squeals at a pitch I thought I was incapable of producing. I had just been offered a job. The catch? It was across the country and I would be moving out there two weeks after graduation.
I don’t think the distance set in until I had actually journeyed the 2,792 miles, purchased an entirely new bedroom from IKEA, and was left completely alone in an apartment that didn’t feel like home, in a city that felt like Mars.
It. Was. Awesome.
My first month was filled with typical tourist exploring in my free time. I checked out museums, coffee shops, and had many Yelp searches and even more Google Maps inquiries. I loved it. For the first time in my life, my independence was being utilized to its full capacity. I found a new favorite art store, I stumbled into bookstores and stumbled back out onto the busy streets and bustling metro system, all with a smile on my face and invisible wings unfolding and lifting me towards my next adventure.
I’m now in my second month and I’m starting to realize that just like a relationship, Goliath-sized moves also come with a honeymoon period. Some days might be just as exhilarating as those first moments, and you’ll open your window, see the sunshine, and wonder when the cartoon birds are planning to land atop your shoulder because you just feel that damn awesome.
Other days, this emptiness will fill your gut, tugging at your sleeve until it develops into loneliness and then frustration because, just in case you forgot, you chose to uproot yourself from your home, your friends, and your favorite restaurants. You chose to be alone. You might have had a dreamy vision that included a weekend farmer’s market trip with new friends whose faces were just a blur then, but you were so positive that, much like developing film, their lines would become defined as welcoming smiles and heartwarming laughter that guaranteed you had just made a handful of new best friends.
As you wake up from this trance, reality sets in. You are alone. But there’s no need to fret. At least, not now. Even though your life in this shiny new city might not match up to your expectations, the thing with monumental life changes is that there are always more opportunities just waiting around the corner. I might have been here two months, which can sometimes feel like an eternity stuck in slow motion, trudging through molasses, but in comparison to my 22 years on Earth, that is a microscopic blip of my life.
More importantly, remember, that with at least ten more months in this city comes at least ten more months of hope and unwavering curiosity. Sometimes, this is harder to comprehend, but ultimately, reminding myself that it is perfectly human to be emotional after trading comfort for treading new ground breathes a sense of relief and an end to the unfriendly thoughts of a friendless life in a city filled with strangers. Don’t give up, take a look around, and embrace whatever independence there is currently stirring in your soul. Each chapter of life always starts off with a few unsure steps, and soon enough, you’ll be skipping with beautiful, bold strides.
Emalie Chandras is a 20-something constantly seeking her next adventure and enjoying the ride. A recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communication, Emalie is adjusting to life in a new city and spending her spare moments taking spontaneous dance breaks. If you are interested in reading more about Emalie’s serious case of wanderlust, check out her blog.