As I write this, the last few weeks have been pretty hectic with not only moving to a new house, but also moving across town and country. Although I have traveled extensively in the US in my career, there are many differences in what needs to be done with this move compared to moving elsewhere in Canada.
It was a lot.
I knew this stress would be a part of it, and as I was writing this, I was thinking about how the feelings that this move brings up are similar to the feelings I’ve had in the past when I’ve moved from one neighborhood to another, or at all different career paths.
As I shared in Because of the teacher, volume II“Looking back is the key to moving forward.”
That being said, I’d like to share some lessons I’ve learned in the past from those transitions that have helped me through times when I’ve started to question whether I’ve made the right decision.
1. Seek help early, not too late.
I don’t know how to get around this place and I was so proud to find my way to the gym today after not using google maps for a week! These little victories mean a lot 🙂
But when I settle in, I’m not shy about asking people for help and telling me things I don’t know. A friend of mine told me that when he moved to a new place, he “made it a point to meet people,” which made it much easier for him to adjust to the new place.
The same is true in the new school.
I made it my mission to get to know the custodians, office staff, EAs, veterans, and community members to not only understand the alphabet of the place, but also to get to know the culture of the place I came to.
It’s easier to ask before you start something than to ask for help afterwards and try to walk away from a mistake.
People often remember the “first day” (or week, month, year, etc.) they had, and they’re usually very helpful.
2. Follow routines that will help you succeed outside of work.
Certain routines in my life have helped me with work, new beginnings, and changes that have been forced upon me (even if they were made because of me).
These things help me maintain my mental and physical health, whether it’s practicing gratitude in the mornings, making sure I hit my “step count” every day, and focusing on a healthy diet. It’s much harder to come to terms with change if you don’t take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
3. See yourself and where you plan to be in six months.
New beginnings can be challenging.
They can often make you miss your “old life” and what you used to know.
This is often why we are afraid of new relationships and can be tempted to go back to the old one, regardless of whether it was ineffective or not. They may not have worked, but at least we knew what to expect.
But now EVERYTHING is new and uncomfortable.
However, after six months you will know what to do and things can be MUCH better than before.
And you know how I know that?
Because you’ve been through it before, and so have I.
I love the idea that if you’re reading this, you’ve been through 100% of the hardest days, whether we want to admit it or not.
There’s a reason we’re using this new feature. Don’t lose sight of the fact that in the beginning we face change.
4. Take advantage of the fresh start.
The beautiful thing about new beginnings is that not only do you get a fresh start, but so does everyone around you who you interact with.
I remember how hard it was to find another job in the early 2000s, and when I finally got a new position, I promised myself that I would rebuild myself in such a way that I would never struggle again. I took advantage of a clean slate and was very careful not to fall back into the old routines that got me into the struggle in the first place.
You are new to everyone, and everyone is new to you. It can be terrifying or empowering, depending on how you want to look at it. I believe that the best change we can handle is the one we initiate (within) ourselves.
As a final reminder to myself, I was not feeling well and this kid came up to me, snuggled up to me and wanted to watch a movie. You will always be fine if you keep the people closest to you (no matter how far away they are).