Dear Fellow 20-somethings, here’s a piece of advice: move. No, no, I’m not telling you to get out of my way…I can’t even see you, sillies. I’m suggesting that, at least once in this wonderful time of kidless freedom, you pack up all of your stuff and relocate. There are a number of ways to do this, from the least extreme to the most, but even if your move is on the less dramatic end of the spectrum, it will still make a big impact on your life.
It’s funny, 16-year-old me would read this post and her jaw would drop to the ground. That’s because my parents and I moved states when I was that age and it was not easy. But, what I’m talking about here is not a teenage decision, it’s a young adult decision, and looking back, even that difficult move definitely helped me grow as a person. That’s why I’m telling you to move. Whether you move from Brooklyn to Manhattan, as I did this year, from suburbs to city, from parents’ home to your own home, or halfway across the country, as some of my friends have, moving definitely expands your horizons. The world is an awesome place, no two locations are exactly alike. Here we are in our 20s, some of us married or on our way, most of us without children. If the opportunity presents itself to move to a new home, and you can handle it financially, by all means do it! You may never have the chance again.
In addition to the wonder and excitement of new surroundings, the actual process of moving is a formative experience in and of itself. It’s stressful and overwhelming and scary all at once, and although we probably don’t realize it at the time, surviving that combination is a sign of true strength and character. If you can handle moving, you’ll be prepared for any professional crisis that comes your way. Sure, you may have freaked out and found yourself sobbing amongst piles of boxes, but you made it through. That’s got to count for something.
The other thing about being in a new place is that it gives us the opportunity for a fresh start. It’s our chance to totally rock life and live the way we’ve always wanted to live. Be more outgoing, have more fun, learn a new hobby, challenge yourself to meet new people, recreate yourself…nobody knows you, so they won’t know the difference. And, take advantage of what your new zip code has to offer. Pretend you’re a tourist and see all the sights, big and small. You might just find that you like it better than the place you came from.
I try to remind myself that life is too short to be anything but happy. Sure, some things are beyond our control. But, if you’re not happy where you are, doing what you’re doing, maybe it’s time to relocate.