There is a certain romanticization in leaving your old life behind and starting from scratch. You see it in movies all the time. While this can be the case for some, I hate to break it to you that this is not always the case. For me, I thought moving and starting from zero would heal me. But instead, it brought a heaping scoop of solitude, regret, and bad decisions.
Similar to the “new year, new me” crap, I thought moving where no one knew who I was would help me start over and help me blossom.
However, I was so trapped in thinking about all the negativity that I failed to acknowledge all the happy times and accomplishments I had experienced back home.
Oftentimes, the biggest mistake is failing to practice gratitude
You do not realize how much you will miss your support system once you move again. This can be a neighbor, friends, family — anyone that provides you support and guidance. And this comes as no surprise to me now, as it has been shown that “social support gives people the feeling of being loved, cared for, respected, and belonging to a network of communication.”
So obviously, many people feel utterly alone once the rush of moving somewhere unknown subsides. I spent two years of my life trying to force myself to fall in love with my new home. I also believe what doomed me from the start was moving to a state that barely had a Latino presence, so I faced a lot of xenophobia and discrimination.
And to make matters worse, I couldn’t find my favorite foods or activities that I enjoyed. This is why it is essential to truly evaluate the area you want to move to.
Ask yourself why you want to do this. Is it because there are better job opportunities? Lower cost of living? Do you have a network that you can rely on over there? Do you want to start over to escape something? Reflecting on these factors will help you make a more informed decision.
I am all for accepting different cultures and traditions, but the shock was real when I noticed how much my hometown had acclimated to the Latino community (and how other places in the United States have not.) I left my little bubble and suffered deeply because of it.
Escaping won’t help you heal. You need to face your problems head-on and seek help from a professional to garner the coping skills necessary in order to thrive.