Growing up in Small Town, USA, I was accustomed to a town where people often said, “They call this place ‘a retirement town’ because this is where people come to die.” Everyone knows everybody, and everyone knows all about your business. You can’t seem to go to a store without seeing a handful of people that you know, most of them probably being people that you’d have preferred to never encounter again. Even on your best days, it is sometimes agonizing to have your past walk before your very eyes when you’re just trying to make it to the bread aisle of the grocery store. It’s like you can never leave. You can never escape these reminders… Until you do. When you move away to a city where you know zero people, it is both terrifying and liberating all at the same time. It is a weight lifted off your shoulders. It is a new dawn. Everything from your hometown is left there, and you are free to start over. If you’ve never made this kind of move, then I strongly encourage you to do so. It will change your life. No matter what your reason was for your move, I think we can all find these perks to be true:
1. You can go to the store without seeing anyone that you don’t like.
I don’t know about you guys but I am not the biggest fan of going out and seeing just about anyone from high school. I am no longer the person that I was then, and I don’t like being reminded of how people remember me. They may not say it when they see me but I know they’re thinking it, and they’re judging. (Admit it: We’ve all had those, “Man, what has she even been doing since high school?” conversations amongst ourselves. Don’t even lie!) Well, ladies and gentlemen, once you move, then you no longer have to see any of these people or feel inadequate or judged by stares. Leave them in the “People You May Know” section on Facebook and walk away. Out of sight, out of mind.
2. You can completely reinvent yourself.
It doesn’t matter what kind of labels you carried in your hometown that you may have acquired over time. Once you move away, you have the chance to start over with a clean slate. You get to decide how you want to be known in this town.
3. You can make new friends that don’t already have preconceived opinions of you.
No one knows your story until you’re ready to share it. There won’t be anyone that you encounter that will have already heard something about you through the grapevine.
4. You can more easily let go of people from home that you no longer need.
Sometimes we have people in our lives that aren’t exactly good for us but we keep them around by default. It’s hard to let go of people that you know that you’ll be seeing all the time. Since you won’t be within arm’s reach, it’s much easier to come up with reasons (fact or fictional) that you can’t talk or can’t make a trip to hang out. It is much easier to phase people out of your life from afar without having to experience a dreaded fallout.
5. You can explore who you really are.
Sometimes we let the opinions of others influence what we do or don’t do with ourselves. Maybe someone’s strong opinion against something prevented you from exploring it for yourself. Whether it’s your sexuality, a new career, some changes to your appearance, a new religion or just a new lifestyle, you are free to do so without having to hear any negativity about it.
6. You can go on new adventures.
No matter how much there is to do in your hometown, it always seems like you’ve been there, done that. Life is basically on loop, and you’ve already seen it a million times before. In a new city, the possibilities are endless because it’s all so fresh and exciting. This is new territory that is ready to be your stomping grounds.
7. You can decide to live for today.
In a new place where you don’t know anyone, it’s easy to fall into a depression because you’re alone or it can allow you to soar because you’re alone. The choice is up to you. Let’s make the most of this day and make this experience count. Let’s get out there, see new places and faces and create new memories in your new life. Welcome to it.