Have you ever been to a really cool place but couldn’t enjoy it fully because you weren’t with the people you love? Or worse, you were in this cool place all alone? Traveling or living somewhere alone is an easy and fun experience for a lot of people, and I thought it’d be easy for me. However, being on my own has proven to be tougher than I thought….and I’m glad it has been.
It’s been close to a month since I moved to Nashville, and to say it’s been a roller coaster ride is an understatement. I’m going to get real with you guys and tell you about some of the hardest moments as well as some of the best so far.
During the weekend I moved in, my family and I went downtown to watch the Stanley Cup Finals from a rooftop bar. It was also CMA Fest weekend, so most people were visiting from all over, and I knew I’d never see most of them again. However, I met an incredibly nice girl who recently moved here too, and one of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten so far came from her. She said,
“The first 6 months are going to be a roller coaster ride. The highs are going to be really high and the lows are going to be really low. You’re going to question why you made this decision a lot, but stick it out. You’ll be glad you did.”
And just like she said…
The Lows Have Been Low
Most of my friends and family live in Syracuse, NY. None of them live in Nashville. Some people questioned my decision to move this far by myself, but I didn’t believe it would be hard. I was wrong. It’s incredibly hard to be away from those people when you’re used to seeing them all the time. Every single day during the first week I was here had a low moment. I emphasize the word moment because it never lasted all day, and I always felt better soon after. I would cry, ask myself why I took this risk, and felt isolated beyond belief. I would force myself to go out, but deep down it was hard seeing other people happy with company when I was alone. I think it was sad for me because I’m used to doing all of these things with other people and now I was alone. I went lots of places alone at home, but that was when I had people close by. While forcing myself to go out, I kept imagining some of my best friends and family there with me and how much better it would be. I couldn’t call anyone at home because it made me sadder to hear their voices, and I didn’t want them to worry about me. I knew it was something I had to go through alone and grow from.
As weird as it sounds, I’m starting to embrace and love these uncomfortable and low moments because I can feel strength coming from them. It’s important to cry when you feel sad so you can have the strength to continue the day with a clear focus. It’s important to miss people you love because it reminds you of how special they are to you. It’s important to be uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, these low moments still happen, but it’s no longer every day. I consider that a win.
The Highs Have Been High
This past month has also been filled with some pretty great things. I met a great neighbor, who showers me with kindness and brings me Halo Top ice cream without me having to ask (How’d she know that’s my favorite?) I’ve forced myself to explore different areas of town even though driving in new areas scares me. There are beautiful horses 2 minutes away and a Marshall’s in almost every plaza. I’ve been running a lot, and I usually hate running. It gets rid of feelings of sadness and replaces them with motivation and happiness. I joined a kickball league and finally met a bunch of people my age. After our first game we went to our league bar, and I felt like I’ve known my teammates forever. I’m very lucky to have met them.
I’m forcing myself into uncomfortable situations and growing from them. If you’re heading somewhere by yourself, whether it be college, an extended trip or a new place to live, know that all of the negative feelings you have at the beginning are important and making you stronger. I’m starting to engage with people more when I’m alone instead of feeling sorry for myself. I’m getting involved in recreational sports and exercising instead of sitting in my safe space at home. These are all things I wouldn’t be doing if I didn’t make the move. I’m glad I made the move, but I’m even more glad that I made it alone.