I think a lot of the time when things aren’t going well or when we feel like we’re missing something, we get this longing to get away from it all – to leave everything behind and start over. I’ve certainly had that feeling many times throughout my life. It’s not inherently good or bad, just another part of being a human being.
What we see a lot of in movies and books is characters simply packing up and leaving. They don’t seem to have any commitments or complications. They just set out on a great adventure. While this can happen in some cases, it’s not a very accurate picture of what a typical moving experience looks like. There is that sense of freedom, there is that excitement, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Having recently moved halfway across the country to attend college, I want to talk about the whole experience of moving and starting over, and what that actually looks like.
I’ve been here for just under a month, and I am only just now starting to feel adjusted. The homesickness is beginning to wear off and I am starting to feel a greater sense of belonging here. Initially, while I was incredibly excited and thankful to be here, it was really hard. I was meeting a ton of new people, yet I was missing the comfort of having people who truly knew me, and I found myself feeling alone a lot of the time. Being in a new environment is also extra stimulating, leading me to feel tired more often. I was sporadically plagued by an overwhelming desire to go home, and I even questioned at times whether I was in the right place. Working through this took a lot of time, reflection, and prayer.
That said, I believe starting over is a really healthy experience. It is a time of opportunity and adventure. It is a time to get to know yourself better, to expand your worldview, and to challenge yourself. Both the highs and the lows are necessary for this. Personally, the times I’ve felt most alone in life were also the times I’ve drawn closest to God. The challenges of adjustment here really forced me to depend on Him and trust Him to work things together for my good.
Moving also helps us keep perspective on what is “home.” It’s wise not to let yourself get too comfortable in one place for too long, because we need to remember that there is no permanent home for us here on earth. We are travelers, nomads, and missionaries. The only true home is Heaven.
Finally, the difficulties do not last forever. The process of adjusting to a new place looks different and takes a different amount of time for everyone, but we can all get through it eventually. If you feel like you need a fresh start, go for it. If you’re too comfortable and need an adventure, go seek one. If you think you’re missing something, go find it. It is not easy, but it is worth it.