A Gift to Yourself
You thought the New Job in the New City would bring you as much anxiety and challenge as you could manage. Looking back after your first year, you may think that was true. Until that first trip home for your holidays.
Some of you will think about coming home sooner than you should. I’d recommend to everyone that any move of more than 1 hour from home is a long way.
That’s a good thing. It’s a gift to yourself. Need to talk to your buddies? Call them or text them. But stay in your New City until the first big holiday. The one’s that you and your family celebrate. For me, I don’t count Memorial Day, President’s weekend, Labor Day, Valentine’s Day. But if you do see these as family celebratory holidays, do it. Don’t miss it.
I’ve discovered that the physical separation from home allowed me to do 2 important things:
1. Focus on me and my career.
2. Gain perspective on my past.
These are gifts to me, gifts to yourself. You are important.
Home and Back
Quick recount, today. I reminisced in my last experience about managing your first holiday after moving away from home—getting back for a visit– the planning, the logistics, potential stress.
It’s great to see your family and friends again, in the old place. My Mom and step father visited me in Seattle during the Summer (“You have to decorate this place! Are you living in a hovel???”) Sure mom, a hovel with a 200 square foot balcony overlooking Elliot Bay. I admit, not decorated, but I wasn’t in Seattle to decorate).
Back East – Visiting Home Again
But visiting home, again, is different. You’re still you and slip right back into your former self. But you’re never the same again—in a great way.
You have been experiencing a new life, completely on your own, in ways you probably never expected. That’s part of the reason you took the job so far away. The opportunity was obvious, but the whole experience is so much bigger than the job. It’s your personal expansion, even if that wasn’t your intent. So you’re back home, now, for the Holidays. This is a gift to yourself.
That’s when the “Holiday Bonus” really kicks in. I went to a few small gatherings (parties) with my best friends. I went to my local pub. I saw the people—friends, acquaintances, even some nemeses. What stuck out most, I had new experiences that none of them could understand.
Except that was my naivete. A lot of them did understand. With my new experiences, people with whom I basically had locker room conversations a year ago opened up. We had so much more to share with each other. We were becoming grown ups!
We had new common experiences that we never had before. Even my older brother had more than ever to say, career-wise—because I now had more insight to offer. People who before I moved West were just casual pals, now had more insight—not because they had changed, but because I had changed. Not radically, just by new experiences.
I moved away for new experiences, a great job opportunity. And coming home for the Holidays, I made “new” connections with people that were always there, but apparently, previously, different. By moving away I actually made more connections back at “home” than I ever new existed, and those connections stay with you. They’re real and can’t fade away.
This is why you picked up and moved, all on your own, across the country, or a few states north or south. Whichever, the point is through all of the hard work and stress, you’re expanding. It’s worth the effort and the stress. Your life became richer. That’s why you jumped into this new life. Right?