Sometimes you find yourself in a place you never thought you would be. It may be something small or it may be a big deal but even the small things may make you feel down or held back. Either way, you find yourself in this situation and must find a way of letting go of the past, the hurt, or your feelings and move forward with your life.
I experienced this recently when we moved back to South Carolina. I moved to South Carolina when I was 9 and I always swore I would move somewhere else when I was old enough. It’s not that South Carolina is a bad place. On the contrary, it is beautiful. We are close to the mountains and within a few hours’ drive to the beach. The city I live in is a great place to have a family as well. But my heart has never felt at home here.
Finding a Home
I have a creative spirit and crave a space that provides a creative energy. I like big cities, being close to the ocean, having an abundance of things to do, and a sense of being alive. Routine bores me as does doing the same thing for years on end. When I got married, my husband had a job that required him to travel around the country, so I quit my job and travelled with him.
After a few years, we decided to settle down in Orlando, FL where my husband had an eye on a school to attend there. We lived there almost 5 years and hated it. Not all of it. I actually loved my job there and it was nice being close to the beach. That is also where I dug deeper into my love of acting and grew tremendously as a person. I really discovered myself through the lessons at my acting school. However, it seemed to us that everyone was miserable, and the humidity was awful which led to us being miserable.
We make decision quickly. When we get an idea and like it, we run with it. So, one day we just decided to up and sell our house and move across the country to California. We had never lived on the west coast before and had never been to Los Angeles but we couldn’t help ourselves. So, we put the house on the market and took a quick trip to L.A. for the first time to see where we might live.
The minute the plane touched the ground, I knew I was home. I’m not making that up. The minute I looked out the window of the plane and saw our approach, I started getting this great feeling. And, the minute the wheels touched the ground, it hit me. I was home.
Leaving Home Behind
There is a creative energy that flows through L.A. You can feel it when driving through the mountains, wandering throughout the city, and laying on the beach. The people seem happy and alive. I chalk this up to the amount of healthy sunshine they get. There is always something to do, someplace to go, an adventure to be had. I thought I would spend the rest of my life there. But, do you know how to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.
I became pregnant with my first child just over 2 years after we moved to L.A. and it hit us. Both of our families were in South Carolina. My daughter was to be the first grandchild and my mother would have literally killed me if I kept her first grandchild on the other side of the country. I always envisioned that, if I had children, they would be raised close to other family members, especially my parents. My parents adore children and have so much fun with them. This didn’t originally cross our minds when we moved because we were never planning on having children. But then we decided to and thought we would still stay out west. Nope.
Again, we made the decision within weeks of confirming the pregnancy that we would have to move back across the country to be close to family. I confirmed the pregnancy in February and, by mid-March, I had returned to South Carolina to get a doctor set up and find a place to live. I then went back to L.A. in April and we drove our stuff back across the country.
It was one of the saddest days of my life. I adored my apartment, my neighbors, and my life there. The thought of returning to a place I swore to get away from was like a knife to my heart. People use that phrase a lot and I finally understand what they mean. My heart literally hurt to the point that I couldn’t breathe at times. And I struggled for a while after returning. But, over time, I have learned to let go of the hurt and find joy and peace in my new circumstances.
Here are a few things I have learned about letting go:
Give Yourself Time Before Letting Go
Have you ever had someone tell you to get over something? Move on? Deal with it? That’s all well and good but there are some things that can’t be gotten over in a short period of time. Things that happen or changes that must be made that involve something that is important to your heart can have the same impact on you as the death of a loved one. Your physiological response can be very similar. And, while those things may not come even close to suffering the death of a loved one, you can’t change your body’s reaction. You must give yourself time to mourn or letting go and moving forward will be next to impossible.
Allow Yourself to Feel and Express the Emotion
While you give yourself time and begin the process of letting go, allow yourself to feel the emotions. Setting aside your emotions or burying them inside you will only allow them to grow and fester. This can lead to depression and emotional outbursts. Find someone you trust and share those feelings with them. If it’s really bad, no matter how ridiculous it may seem, consider talking to a professional. They don’t judge and they’re obviously good listeners. I talked to my mom and my husband quite a lot about our move and it really helped me process the feelings and move on a little faster.
Start Finding the Positive in Your New Situation
One of the best ways to begin letting go and moving on, embracing your new situation, is to find the positive. Look at all the good things that have come or could come with the change. For me, I started looking at all the things I wouldn’t have if I stayed in California. Moving here has allowed me to have help from family members while caring for a baby which has been very important for my sanity. Also, Greenville is a little more family-friendly than L.A. It is easier to get around and participate in in activities for a toddler. The cost of living is lower and we are able to afford a beautiful home in a fabulous neighborhood that we would otherwise not be able to afford. All these things and more have helped give me a better outlook on moving away and, although I still get down about the move sometimes, I am able to handle those days a lot more easily when focusing on the positives.
Which brings me to my last tip.
Start a Gratitude Journal
To keep yourself focused on the good things, start a gratitude journal. Make it a point to write in it every morning or evening. This will keep the positive things in the forefront of your mind instead of continuously dwelling on the circumstances. The more you do this, the more you will start to forget about your situation and start embracing the change.
As a final thought, know that you are not alone. Sometimes we go through things that may seem like no big deal and we start to berate ourselves for being so upset about them. But this doesn’t just happen to you. We all go through things we wish were different, big and small. The key is to deal with them head-on, give yourself time, find someone to talk to, and focus on the good things. There is no magic pill to erase the pain but, with a little time and a change in outlook, you can let go of the pain and move forward with your life.