Scared to Move, Scared to Stay

Given this map, France looks better every day.

Sometimes I lie to myself and spin wishful falsehoods about how adventurous I am. I say, Given the chance, I would love to move to Europe or Asia and live for a few years outside the country. I lived in Belgium for a few years as a child since my dad was in the Army, and it completely opened my world.

But for the most part, I am a scared little rabbit. Moving frequently in my childhood birthed a hatred for impermanence. I made friends slowly. And lost them quickly, it seemed, when either their family or mine was reassigned elsewhere across the world. I hated the change of weather, of schools, of people, of myself.

I clutch people and places closely to me because I have never quite shaken the feeling that it’s just a matter of time before I lose them forever. I love the idea of having roots and watching a city grow older with you.

However, I am beginning to wonder if this penchant for treasuring what I love is hindering me from reaching beyond to experience new things. My husband graduates from his PhD program next year and we have been talking seriously about what our future will look like. We are excited; most of our marriage has seen him in grad school and it will be a welcome change.

I’ve done all the above in Atlanta and haven’t stopped yet!

Oh, change. I find myself grappling with the idea of us moving. I am alternately terrified and intrigued. I moved to Atlanta the day after my own graduation in 2007. It was my decision to move here and my then-boyfriend joined me. The city hasn’t disappointed me yet. My Instagram feed will demonstrate that I love living here for the diversity, the friendly weather, and because Atlanta always has something new discover.

As a child, I moved because I had no choice: you go where the parents do. This time, I am the parent, the wife, the woman wondering how her life will transform if she packs it up and starts anew.

We’re considering California, Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Florida, Georgia or anywhere he lands a promising position. In my heart, I wonder if I will ever find another city to enchant me like the A. But I also wonder if I am draping my love for location over myself like a security blanket and suffocating the opportunity to be adventurous.

One thing is for sure. There may be little harm in my dislike for the tedium of moving. But I will be vigilant to ensure it does not turn into a dangerous fear of moving on when it’s time to go.

What state are you from or have you moved to? How do you feel about moving to new cities? I welcome any words of wisdom! 

8 thoughts on “Scared to Move, Scared to Stay

  1. Yeah, we were looking at the cost of living in CA and got serious sticker shock. Georgia is red as the devil, but it makes up for it with the relatively low cost of living here.

    I am working on the home = heart’s location. I was, for a while, a miserable kid moving all over with family. I didn’t realize until now how much I HADN’T gotten over that! But I told SM that I would keep an open mind and heart. So, we’ll see!

  2. I’ve lived in quite a few cities and States. I’ve been a wanderer since my teens. I’ve learned that geography can make a difference in terms of weather and the look and local culture of a place but ultimately, as corny as it it is to say, home is where the heart is. So, with your hubby and baby along for the ride most any city will probably end up up being a nice place to live.

    Texas though? Lol. Yikes. I’m really fond of upstate NY. Also Chicago. As for California, it’s okay but I’m planning on leaving within a couple of years. Not enough bang for my buck here.

  3. As you know I am from Penn. I would never go back to Philly, however there is a lot of charm in other parts of PA that is amazing. I would love to move out the country as well, but not with kids.

    But where ever you choose please call your favorite REALTOR first. (That’s ME-just in case you didn’t know who I was talking about.)

  4. I’m ‘from’ Florida, and given all the recent nastiness happening down there combined with the election history, I count it a blessing we got away with just Identity Theft! lol.

    Thanks for reading!

  5. Everyone develops anxiety when it comes to moving to new places, it’s completely natural. Good luck on your journey! I’m sure you’ll find somewhere you’ll love.

    P.S. of all the state issues on that map, North Dakota’s “ugliest residents” made me laugh the hardest. Thanks for sharing!

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