To give up everything and move to another city or country to start over-almost everyone has ever had such a thought. As a rule, when the problem that prompted this idea goes away, the impulse disappears. But what if it doesn’t let go? Journalist Shennen Bateman shares the story of moving and explains why she decided to return to the city of childhood and live near her parents.
At the age of 22, I decided to move to Chicago. I couldn’t wait to spread my wings and find out where my career path would lead. I had no plans to return to my hometown in Indiana, although many of my fellow students did. They returned to their hometowns, started families, and had children. I didn’t see anything wrong with their choice, but it didn’t suit me.
Seven years later, after five jobs, three apartments, and a lot of friends, I finally made the decision to pack up and go back to Indiana. My parents had been urging me to move closer to them for years, but I’d rejected the idea without even thinking about it. This time it was different. I made the decision myself, without consulting my friends or family. I think it was one of those “clicks” where you just know. But, looking back, I understand: life gave signals that it was time to move. They seem obvious now, but I didn’t notice them at the time. If you are thinking about leaving the city where you live, pay attention to the following signs.
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The reason you moved is no longer relevant
After graduation, I wanted to learn what it means to live in another city. I was interested in getting out of my usual comfort zone and building a new life on my own. Also, the move was justified in professional terms: in the new city, I was expected to have much more career opportunities.
At the time, all these reasons were very important to me, but after seven years of living in Chicago, they lost their relevance. All these years I worked hard and built a career as a copywriter. During this time, I learned more about life than in the previous 22 years. I never planned to stay in Chicago for the rest of my life, and I was free to decide when it was time to move on.
Don’t you miss the city when you leave
I am one of those people who are always happy to return home after a vacation or a trip. During my time in Chicago, I didn’t feel like going home. Maybe I was sad to say goodbye to my parents after a weekend visit, or maybe I just stopped feeling happy in Chicago. In any case, this is an important sign.
Do you think that you could be happier somewhere else
Of course, we often think that “it is good where we are not”. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be happier elsewhere. If there are logical reasons to want changes, it is worth taking the risk, even if it takes some time to adapt.
In the end, the main factor that convinced me to move was my family. I’m an only child. The years that were spent away from their parents will never be returned. Recently, this has become more important for me and my happiness than anything else.
The city no longer inspires you
It took me a while to settle in Chicago and get into a comfortable rhythm of life. But after I settled in and the lure of the big city lights waned, I started to ask myself: what about other places? I was desperate to get out of the routine and out of this densely populated city. I wanted to experience the excitement and excitement again, and for that I needed a change of scenery.
But it’s not just the novelty of another city. I wanted to look forward to what lay ahead, to feel that I was ready to live in my chosen city for many years.
You know yourself better than you did before
At 22, I had no idea who I was or what I wanted out of life. Of course, self-discovery is an endless process, but now I know myself much better. I know that living alone is a luxury that I value highly and I’m unlikely to trade for anything. The opportunity to let the dog run freely in the fields pleases me much more than I could have imagined. Leaving Chicago behind makes room for other beautiful things that can enrich your life.
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You can create a home for yourself almost anywhere. The main thing is that you feel comfortable, safe and can imagine old age in this place. If you realize that your motives have changed, you don’t feel at peace when you return home, or you think that you will be happier elsewhere — perhaps it’s time to break up amicably and find out what awaits you next.
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