By: Annmarie Statly
Moving is not as easy as some people may think, or at least it wasn’t for me. I was raised in a family where aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins were literally minutes away – and that was by foot! So, when my new husband received a job offer a couple hours away – doesn’t sound far, doesn’t sound bad – I didn’t realize what I was in for.
Moving away from family, friends, a job and everything familiar to me was extremely hard and stressful for me. I know some people reading this are like “seriously?”
Well everyone is different and for me this was a difficult time and believe me, at first I didn’t think it would be a big deal, but once we were packed up, moved in and everyone left to head back home…. it was just odd. It felt like I had two left feet, like something just didn’t fit right.
The Initial Change
So, now we’re in our new location and my husband’s new job requires him to work literally close to 80 hours a week. The only thing in my life that didn’t change was my golden retriever Coach – I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done without him. He was my one constant in an upheaval of everything else I’d ever known. I didn’t know my way around the area, how to get to my new job – let alone the grocery store.
I put on a brave front and tried my hardest to embrace this change. I tried to decorate the house to make it feel like a home, but inside it didn’t feel like home, I just felt empty and alone. We didn’t know anyone, not a soul. Most of you are probably thinking: well you could’ve made friends at work. Easier said than done.
I was transferred into a position of an individual that lost her job, but everyone that worked with her loved her and felt she had been treated unfairly, so I essentially looked like the bad guy – yep, no friends to be made there! We had great neighbors, but they were retirees, which is fine but not someone we would be socially hanging out with. Options were limited and again, my new husband was always gone.
I would love to say about a year later I was feeling better, but that would be a lie. I felt left out of family parties, holidays, etc. all going on back “home.” I was also feeling guilty because I had moved away from family, and they were not helping ease this guilt. Naturally this caused arguments between me and my husband, but yet deep down I knew I could make this situation better.
Growing From Hardship
Eventually I turned to my faith for much needed strength. I began reading daily devotionals and motivational books to help my mind become stronger and more positive. Sure, I had set backs along the way, but each time these setbacks happened they didn’t last as long as the time before and I felt even stronger after. Baby steps began to turn into big steps. I was happier, more positive and able to handle disappointments so much better.
Now 24+ years later in my “new” home town and I can honestly say as much as moving away from my family was one of the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I am so grateful that I had to go through everything I did to become the person I am today. I learned a great deal about myself – I’m a resourceful, tenacious, driven person, and no one can take that away from me. We have three amazing children and the five of us are as tight as can be. We have had the unique opportunity with no family nearby of simply counting on each other in sticky times. This closeness we have wouldn’t have happened if we had called grandparents every time we had an emergency. We figured things out and went through them together, creating many humorous stories we share to this day.
I continue to read my daily devotionals; it feeds my mind and soul. The attitude I gained from this has formed my outlook on dealing with life’s ups and downs. I truly believe that a lot of things happen in life, some not so pleasant, and although the road we travel in life can be uncomfortable at times, we do end up where we’re supposed to be. Having faith and knowing everything is going to be okay is such a tremendous gift and I know moving from my family years ago was God’s gift to me to help me become the person I am today.
Join the conversation! Have you ever gone through a tough transition during your life? Share it in the comments below.