Sunday, January 14, 2018

3 Things I Learned When I Moved To a New City

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As most of you don't know (sine I haven't blogged in a year and a half) I moved to Cincinnati this past May.  Yes, I packed up all of my things and moved to a place I had only ever visited once before to start my full-time career after graduate school.  I've moved around before, for a job and for school, but never like this.  This was the first time that I truly started over, knowing no one, not having any real connection to a friend group, and planning to stay there for a considerable amount of time.

So - now that I've been settled in my new city for nearly 8 months - I think it's time to share the 3 things I learned moving to a new city... alone.

1.  Everyone is going to be concerned with how you're "adjusting"
This took some adjusting getting used to.  I know that every "how are you liking Cincinnati?" "how are you adjusting here?" and "are you making friends?" question that I got from my new coworkers, old coworkers, friends from home, family members, and random Instagram friend I haven't seen in person in 7 years meant well... or at least I like to think that.  However, this was one of the most overwhelming parts of finding myself in a completely new city with no social network.  The truth is, I was adjusting great.  I had moved around so much in the past 3 years that another transition felt comfortable...but by the 10th time I got asked this question, I was starting to wonder if I shouldn't be okay, or comfortable.  Which I know now is completely silly - but gosh, this wore me down.

2. Making friends takes a lot of effort
Gone are the days of kindergarten when you could just walk up to a stranger and decide that you're friends now.  Granted, those were also the days when people ate glue... so I'm pretty thankful those days are gone... but you get my point.  In my last transition making friends was so ridiculously easy because I was thrown into a cohort of other graduate students and coworkers that lived within minutes of each other - but this time - I had to navigate that process all. on. my. own.  I'll admit, especially as an ambivert, I don't often make plans or reach out to others outside of the work day - I'm pretty damn independent.  However, that means that you don't make a lot of meaningful connections...aka friends.  I've made a few, but more like work friends, not a lot of hangout-after-work-and-on-the-weekends-friends.  I'm working on it. But it's

3. You will find the things that make it feel like home
Despite everyone asking you if you're adjusting and realizing you were better at making friends 20 years ago than you are after 2 college degrees will find those things about your new home that make it feel like it really is yours.  This did not take long for me.  I quickly discovered that the quaint little farmers market is a short walk from my apartment, and made visiting that a part of my weekly routine.  I sought out the best restaurants (within my budget), the free festivals, and the quiet parks where I could sit down and read a good book.  Making time for these things made me start to feel a deep connection to Cincinnati and my new neighborhood.

Are any of you planning on moving to a new place?  What are you most worried about?

If you've moved somewhere new too - what did you learn?  I'd love to know - I'll be replying to your comments.

Traci J

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