It Took Three Years

The last six months have felt normal. I’ve finally built a home, established some bedrock friendships and have a somewhat flexible routine. It’s right on time, too. When I relocate, it takes six months for the newness and excitement to wear off. For six months to a year after that, it’s pretty damn lonely and depressing as I try to build community and endure countless rejections. About the three year mark, I usually feel pretty connected and am starting to be a bit overwhelmed because I have so much going on.

Faces in my Michigan world….

I hate that it takes so long. The only one that was different for me was Memphis. For a combination of reasons and one being that Memphis is just so damn welcoming and soulful, I was rock solid in a group of friends in a year. And, I’m glad I was because I left my husband after a year there, and I really needed the support. I’ve tried to speed up the adjustment to a new location, but the reality is it just takes that long. There is no such thing as speed-baking a cake, and there is no such thing as speeding up a relocation adjustment. It is what it is.

That long winter of year one in Michigan and even last year had some rough days. Loneliness would creep in with a stranglehold on my heart. It would literally take my breath away at times. The fear that life would always be lonely would crescendo and then morph into a profound sense of hopelessness. “This, too, shall pass,” I’d remind myself as I cried myself to sleep. The next morning was almost always better with plans and responsibilities on my plate. If I’m feeling bad, I remind myself that things will change. And, I also remind myself that good things pass, too. There will always be darkness. There will always be light. There will always be change.

Work buds….

This week I had plenty to do and plenty of friends to keep me company. I completed part of a long list of chores for this afternoon, and I prepped my meals for the week. My house is as clean as it can be for the week and all three meals for tomorrow are prepared. I had a long conversation with my friend Alayne who’s in her own relocation adjustment period. I don’t know what life will look like next week or next month, but I know that today was a good day. I sort of wish I could hang onto it another 24 hours just to relish the comfort of a perfectly normal day as a Michigander.

Y’all have a good week now. And if you are feeling lonely, reach out to somebody. They may just need you, too.

8 Comments on “It Took Three Years

  1. People underestimate the stress and challenge of relocating, especially as a solo person. Well done; similarly, it took me three years in Adelaide before I felt at home (& stopped getting lost every time I drove anywhere!)

    • Haha! I’ve had to get really comfortable being lost. Honestly I think GPS, while convenient, makes it worse. I don’t pay attention. I just follow instructions.

  2. Great blog, and so true! When I moved from Baton Rouge to Atlanta in 1987 it was the first time I’d ever left home. A friend told me that she had an aunt whose family had been relocated all over the place for years and that the aunt told her it always takes three years to adjust. Isn’t it amazing how that works? When I moved back to Baton Rouge in 2015, I was shocked at how hard it was. My previous friends had moved on literally or figuratively. I don’t know what I would have done without y’all in the WiT group. I’ve thought before how ironic it is that we sold everything and left BR just after I passed the three year mark and was feeling more comfortable and settled in.

    Anyway, my friend, you have sounded so GOOD in your last few FB postings and blogs and I am so happy for you!

    Looking forward to coming up to visit when we get back from our travels.



    • Oddly enough I’ve moved quite a bit in my third year too. Of course some moves were always meant to be temporary I guess. I am looking forward to seeing you too.

  3. Hi my friend. What a great blog for this morning. Although my move in 2012 did not take me out of Louisiana, the relocation to a different city was somewhat of an adjustment. I went from a small country town of Thibodaux to the large city of Baton Rouge. I know you can relate about the small town living 🙂 Anyway, I miss seeing your smiling face and energetic self every day. I hope you are doing well and we need to catch up by phone soon! Love ya!

  4. The transition period is very real. I’m into my second year and it’s just barely beginning to feel like things are leveling out. Exciting but lonely at times. Thanks for sharing.

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