My cousin Nicole is trying to decide if she really wants to move from New Jersey to Arizona. Actually she’s been thinking about it for the past thirteen years.
Like most potential transplants, she’s sitting on the fence about this life-changing decision. When weighing all your options, it’s not easy to make the call on whether or not to leave your hometown.
Nicole recently put the question out on Facebook, and was met with lots of “assistance” from friends and family. After they stopped shoveling what is the most snow any of them have ever seen in their lifetimes long enough to say, Are you crazy? Go to the sunshine!, they began offering their suggestions.
One said to make a list of whom she would be moving nearer to and whom she would be leaving behind. Another suggested analyzing the job market and salaries versus cost of living in both areas. Still others said to make a list of pros and cons, to consider her daughter’s feelings on it (for the record, her daughter wants to move), and to look at housing prices.
Practical and sensible suggestions all.
But sometimes pragmatism is not really the key to making huge decisions like this. And the people you’re leaving behind can be less than objective because they don’t want to see you go. For every one who says, “change is good”, there are two who try to talk you out of it. (And then you begin to wonder if the “change is good” theorists are really trying to get rid of you.)
Whenever I counsel those who are agonizing over relocation, I always tell them to answer a list of four questions. The answers are a pretty good indicator of how much stress you can expect to feel if you do choose to move:
1) Are you leaving behind a house you still have to sell and, if so, do you think it will be difficult to sell it?
2) Do you have young children to get settled into a new school and new life?
3) Are you going to an area where you know no one and have no support system?
4) Do you need to line up a job in your new location?
If you have more than two ‘yes’ answers, common sense might tell you not to make the move.
But sometimes common sense doesn’t apply. In our case, we had four ‘yeses’ and moved anyway. And it all worked out.
In the end, it’s a choice you have to make on your own, a heart-wrenching decision which can only be made by listening to your heart. Let go and let God. Have faith. All those good clichés that got to be clichés for a reason.
Because you have to know going in that there will be tough days ahead. Days when clichés are all that get you through. Days when you will question your sanity and wonder why you ever made such a crazy decision. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s going to be easy, because the most worthwhile things in life never are. Like jumping into unknown waters, sometimes you just have to close your eyes, hold your nose, and hope for the best.
And if the final decision is a go, you tell yourself what we all say when we take that leap.
If you don’t like it, you can always move back.
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