A tongue in cheek guide to moving:
1. Visit a place you’d rather live. Or don’t. Pick a spot on a map, out of a book, do the “spin the globe and land” game.
2. Tell your friends and family, “I’m moving!”
3. Say it again for 4 years or so. Convince yourself slowly. Make yourself promises you’ll do something about it.
4. One day, actually do something about it. Start by telling your boss. Ask for a transfer.
5. In the meantime, look for jobs online. Don’t be proud. Apply for anything you think will make you happy. That’s the whole point of this little move, after all. Want to be a barista/knitting store worker/bartender/taxi cab driver/nanny? Well. Good for you! Let’s do it!
6. Send your resume to your smartest friends. Ask them to review it. Then, ask them to send it to their friends who may know someone in your new desired city.
7. Apply for more jobs.
8. If you know someone in the new city, ask to crash at their house for a bit. If they are incredibly generous and wonderful people, they’ll agree. Begin sending them gifts and notes of thanks immediately. If you are making a new start without knowing a soul, God bless you. Look in the newspaper for homes available. Talk to your realtor friends about a referral in the new city. Someone will want your business. Be picky.
9. Cry. Laugh. Schedule happy hours in your home town. Give yourself whatever emotional space you need to feel whatever you need, and don’t let guilt take hold. Laugh some more. (Stop yourself on occasion to think, “HOLY SHIT I AM ACTUALLY DOING THIS!”)
10. Organize your home. If you haven’t seen or used it in a year, someone at Goodwill can. Donate generously. Give friends books. Give friends plates of cookies and pitchers of sangria and make them promise to return them to you in your new city (built in guests). Give friends anything you think they can use. Find boxes and start packing. (I started packing 2 years before I called a moving company.) Call a moving company. Have a stiff drink before they hand you the estimate.
11. Make a pledge to pack a certain number of boxes every day. My number is 5.
12. Keep applying for jobs.
13. Check out the newspaper for your new hometown and find an event you want to attend when you arrive. For me, it’s Ray LaMontagne at Red Rocks. I am dreaming of this show.
14. Pack five more boxes. Apply for more jobs. Say goodbye to those you love. Cry. Laugh. Remember not to burn any bridges, especially those that may prevent you from returning to the hometown you still very much love.
15. Rent your current home. Pray your renters aren’t really sociopaths waiting to turn your casita into a meth den.
16. Consider what you what this new life to look like. For me, it includes dogs, chickens, babies, a big chunk of land, a dirty Outback, a messy kitchen, an all loving church, an indie bookstore, a masters swim team and many, many happy meals shared with my baby brother and Colorado family.
And with any luck, your hometown friends will throw you one heck of a going away party and have plans to come see you before you even leave.