Moving Away From Home

| March 30, 2012 | 2 Comments


Before you read this blog post, I want to say “thank you” to all of my returning readers and new readers. Blogging is a lot of fun and I do read as many of the comments from you as I can. Some of you have asked about using my material for school papers. It is important that you know that I believe in you and think that you can create your own paper. When you create your own paper you will be boosting your self-esteem and adding a very important quality to your character which is “pride”. You will also receive an evaluation from your teacher that can help you determine if you need improvement. Besides this and the personal gratification, there may come a time, after school, when your employer or an organization may ask you to write something for them. You will want to have the experience and confidence to produce something “of quality” for them. Tell yourself that you can do it and then “just do it”!

Secondly, a few of you have informed me that you like when I “write from the heart” and that some of my most recent posts were too technical. The internet holds a really large audience and I think it is important to occasionally address different people. There are many people who are moving and really desire to have detailed technical information. However, I too, like when I write “from the heart” so for my passionate followers, this one is for you.

Moving Away From Home

What seems like just another day turns into an event that you never forget when you realize that you are moving. It has been said that moving is as stressful as marriage, death and divorce. When you find out you are moving and or have to tell a loved one that you are moving it is one of those moments in life that will visually stay with you forever. There are many different scenarios, you may be moving away from your family by yourself, you may be leaving with a partner and you are both leaving your family, or one of you may have family in the new town and one may not. In any of these scenarios it can be tough. College students are often leaving home and will not have family around them. So, how do you cope with the loneliness? I have a few suggestions.

My first move was to South Texas and I had two months from the time I made the decision to move until the time that I left. In those two months, I had to say goodbye to all of my family, pack, arrange and plan for my move. Those two months were not nearly as hard as arriving in Texas and being alone all day, when I was not job searching, and my fiancé was at work. After working for years and being surrounded by friends and family – this was a real mental challenge. Wages were very different there but I did finally accept a job and that was a life saver. Based on how depressing it was being alone for those two months, I knew that I needed a job.” Working led to socializing and events that distracted me from missing my hometown. I was working in a 98% percent Hispanic environment and I am not Hispanic. My environment was very different for the first time in my life. You have to be a person who can jump on a new “band wagon” to have fun when you move. You don’t have to stay on that wagon, but at least check it out or you may end up lonely and you will be without fond memories. You agreed to move because you are courageous, right? I decided to take an interest and learn about the Mexican food, culture and traditions and this kept me very busy and left me with a permanent love for some of the things I experienced and people that I met. When you show interest, new friends will be more willing to “show” and “invite” you to places. I went to Charro Bean festivals, local’s parties on the island, folkloric dances, Rasta reggae parties, outdoor barbeque Christmas parties; I tried every Mexican dish available and took lots of pictures! It was all fun and made it easier to live there and the memories and photos still bring a smile to my face today.

I also lived in New York and made some big changes to adjust there as well. I was not a city driver before New York but if you want to survive in New York, you have to gain some courage and not think about it. Once you start driving in your new town, you can get around and that will keep you busy. I found and did everything that I could possibly do within my budget in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to have fun and keep my mind off of being homesick. Visiting the surrounding towns will keep you busy and can be a lot of fun too. I made new friends once again in New York and tried to blend in and do what they were doing. If you reach out to people in your new town, you’ll find some of them can be very nice and helpful. I had a Jewish friend who went to lunch with me to celebrate Easter because I was away from my family and alone on Easter Day. How sweet was that?

If you are a sports fan, take your team with you when you move but also try to show some appreciation for the new town’s home team. It is easy to make friends when you have a common interest. I have to admit, as a die hard Steeler fan, I once ate a piece of Dallas Cowboy cake at work, and wore a cheese-hat (Green Bay Packers) in a sports bar to be friendly to other transplants. I attended a Mets baseball playoff game party once as well. When  people see you appreciating their interests then they may return the favor. I brought black and gold balloons and Steeler hats to my beach wedding in South Texas the day before the Super Bowl with Dallas v/s Pittsburgh. We ended up on the cover of the island’s paper because of our originality. When people see you having fun, they will like you and want to join in. (That was the island, if we would have been in Dallas, it may have not been considered so cute to break out the black and gold that weekend.)

History may not be your favorite subject but I recommend visiting a town’s historical sites while you are there. I toured the Alamo in South Texas, the Statue of Liberty and the Enterprise Carrier ship in New York and Valley Forge in Philadelphia. I saw the Liberty Bell and the national monument modeled on the picture of the soldiers raising the flag at the battle of Iwo Jima in South Texas (incredibly emotional to stand before). These are memorable things to do and see and the vision of them seems to stay with you for years. Try to acquire the desire to want to learn a little about the new town you are living in.

If you are a complainer, understand that complaining will not help. It will only drive new friends away from you and probably make your household unhappy if you have a partner and or children. Making negative comments in front of new friends about their town also is not helpful.  Instead, try to solve the problem by being open-minded. Loneliness can be tough when you are living away from your family so try to stay connected with lots of pictures of them. Have a weekly scheduled video chat via Skype or Tango with family or friends. The lost art of mailing a letter (snail mail) is a good idea too. If you have a family member or friend living away from home send them a letter with a picture. They will really appreciate it. If you are living away from home, send your family or friends a letter with your favorite new restaurant menu inside or a newspaper article. They will like receiving something tangible from you.  Always having arranged plans to see family and or friends is helpful and I call this “not breaking the chain” in my book the “Slick Move Guide”. This may be hard financially if you are living far away, but even if the plans are in one year you may feel more connected. I was lucky enough to have a father who made sure that we never went past six months when I was living away from home. I flew home or my parents flew to wherever I was or we met somewhere in the middle for a vacation. This was helpful but someone needs to initiate the meetings. This is especially true if one partner has family locally and the other does not. This can cause a little tension so it is a good idea to invite the family that is not around to visit. There should be an effort by everyone involved to try and make reunions possible and harmonious. So, invite your family or friends to visit you and make an effort to return home once in a while. Keep in mind, if you and your partner are both away from family, remember, it may not be this way for long so enjoy the one on one alone time!

If you are complaining about the actual town, you need to realize that there are pros and cons about every town. If you concentrate on the cons, then you are not going to be happy. If you make up your mind to enjoy the pros and try some of the above advice, you may end of having a good time.

Thanks for reading.

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