Dec 8, 2010

A new zip code can be good for the soul.

Dear AAP-
I know 2010 has been a tough year for a lot of people. It was for me too. I lost a job. Quit another job. Broke up with my boyfriend. Quit my band and moved... twice.. The second time to a different city. So now I'm in my new city broke and lonely, 600 miles away from my old one and 1000+ miles away from my family, just in time for the holidays. I'm not sure if I did it on purpose and if so I don't know if I did it on purpose to them or to myself. This isn't the first time I've uprooted my life and I'm only 28. So how do I know if I'm being adventurous or just self-destructive? - Big Changes Only.

Dear BCO-
It is a fair question and a tricky one to figure out. It would have been helpful (to you) if you had started asking that question while you were in the middle of those changes... Quitting your band, breaking up with the boyfriend, quitting jobs etc... What order did these things happen? How close together were they? Did you burn every bridge in your life in a frenzied afternoon? or was each action done separately after sufficient thought etc? Basically I'm asking if you're a generally stable person or if you're prone to rash, ill-advised and unexamined actions...

The fact that you are still young makes me think that you're probably ok... You're still at a point in your life where there is room and time for further exploration and experimentation. You're obviously looking for something more or at least 'else' that you couldn't find in your old city and with your old band & boyfriend... so I say good for you. Push on, ever forward... but keep in mind that these choices you're making are your own and in the end, five or fifty years from now, you have to be able to look back and own them... No placing the blame for how your life did/didn't turn out on anyone but yourself.

Timing is always tricky. I too uprooted my life and moved far away (3000+ miles) about a decade ago and arrived in Los Angeles on November 1st... Not completely realizing what that meant: That I would be alone, clueless, friendless and absolutely broke when all the holidays started rolling around just a month later. We get through these things and let's face it, given how far technology has advanced in just these past 10 years, it is almost impossible to really be alone ANY time... unless you're really willing to work at it. Everything from email, to video chat to even online gaming keeps us in contact with people 24/7. If you're missing your former city, your family or even your ex-boyfriend it is ridiculously easy to link up with them, see their faces and hear their voices. In fact, when you think about it that way, you might enjoy a little peace & quiet and alone-time.

This isn't answering your question about whether or not you made the 'right' decisions when you decided to reboot every aspect of your life... but as I mentioned earlier - unless you're somehow "unbalanced" or at a disadvantage due to some form of mental illness (whether it be manic/depressive, depression etc) ... you're probably ok and you probably did the right thing. You're young(ish) and you want to see, experience and be in a new part of the world... That, in itself, is perfectly normal and healthy. It isn't easy... but then again the 'right' thing rarely is.

So go and explore your new city, create your new band (and tribe) and carve out a new life for yourself.

Good luck