Welcome to the Love Blog Challenge 2018! This is a monthly blog link-up (it feels more like a blog party to me) through the entire month of February. Brita Long is the host and if you haven’t checked out her Christian feminist blog, you’re missing out. I’d guess that most of you reading here would like Brita’s blog (BelleBrita.com). I’ll introduce her and your cohosts below.
I’ll be cohosting the Love Blog Challenge for four days but there are prompts every week day so click around and explore what everyone else has to say! Brita has a more thorough introductory post here.
Moving To a New City
There is no amount of prior planning that can truly get you ready for a cross-country move. You can do all the planning and anticipating and researching you want, but it will still be hard and you won’t know in advance which days will hit you the hardest.
Related: Moving Home: How to Choose a New City
My favorite experiences are the chance meetings with strangers that totally change your day. The couple that randomly stopped me in the bulk food section to ask me if I was from around here turned out to be Rochesterians just like me! After a day on my own, without much human interaction, it was so nice to chat for 10 minutes in the grocery store!
It happens just when I need it and I stay grateful for these precious chance encounters with strangers.
Needless to say, I wasn’t bothered by the fact that I found myself sitting in a small resale furniture shop sharing my search for God, my lack of interest in conventional churches, and some really deep contemplations I’ve been having with the owner! I met her a couple weeks prior because her shop is next to a delicious donut shop close to my house. I went into her shop because the furniture was super chic, and we will be furnishing our own place very soon. Somehow that very first visit turned us into friends! And two weeks later as I sat again, a customer walked in and asked if I was her daughter.
We talked about a lot, but one exercise she gave me coincides with today’s theme of boundaries. After expressing my frustration with being new at a job I had previously been great at, she encouraged me to sit down and draw some lines. I needed boundaries to guide me and help me protect myself from avoidable burnout and overwhelm in this very crazy stage of life.
Boundaries To Keep In a New City
- Don’t take extra shifts or sign up for extra responsibility for 6 months. I love helping out, getting involved, and strangely, being on committees. I love planning things and trying to figure out how systems can be improved. But not yet. As excited as I initially was about starting a new job and immediately jumping in, I can always jump in later. I’m going to get a firm foundation and discover myself in this new environment. Observation will be my friend and I won’t get in over my head.
- Forcing myself to get to work early so I’m ready. I’m not early unless I write down the incorrect time, or someone changes my clock while I’m sleeping. However, I showed up to work 20 minutes early last week, and the difference it made in my mood, my readiness, and my attitude was alarmingly positive. I felt more confident in my self and my work ethic. I felt more flexible because I had extra time for minor setbacks at the start of my shift that I could properly address without stress. I need to be early more often.
- Keep things cleaner than I think is necessary. My husband told me the other day that he noticed “Ivanna-islands” popping up all over the house. I try to keep things tidy, but small, themed piles slowly gain momentum over a few weeks. The small stack of stickers slowly grows into a stationery-island. The tray where I put my dirty work shoes slowly becomes a random pen-antiseptic-needle-paperwork-island. My piles don’t start out as piles, so they’re easy to justify, but they grow without me even realizing it.
In My Relationships
- Accept as many invitations as possible. I read somewhere while getting ready to move and make new friends, that you should never decline an invitation the first time. At all costs, just go. It would be hard for most people to constantly be socializing with virtual strangers, but as an introvert, sometimes it feels like I’ll die. During those times, I remind myself that I’ll feel better once I get there, and I’ll feel amazing when I’m done. That helps me push through, and I’ve never regretted it.
- If it’s too far, don’t bother. This is my loophole to keep myself sane and give myself grace. The area where I live is densely populated and very spread out. It takes me about an hour to get to the places people like to go to. If it will take me 40+ minutes, I give myself a free pass, especially if it’s after work (which is 12+ hour day for me).
For My Mental Health
- Call a friend once a week. Moving to a new city is taxing past the point where you feel it should be. Some days are great and I feel like I’m getting into the swing of things. Other days feel isolating and I wonder if anyone even knows I’m here! I’ve tried to stay in touch with a few friends and my sisters. I try to text her instead of scrolling Facebook. I try to send a message if something reminds me of her.
Have you made a huge move before? What advice would you give? Do you feel like you made appropriate boundaries at that time, or do you wish you had stronger ones?
Meet Your 2018 Love Blog Challenge Hosts
Ivanna is a registered nurse who loves expressing her creative side. She enjoys thrifting, learning about sustainable living, and anything purple. She writes on Provocative Joy about living unconventionally, and loves to inspire people to realize their potential to be world-changers.
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Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.
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Alessia is a lifestyle blogger, entrepreneur and post-graduate student in History from the best borough in London, up and coming Croydon. She’s a bit like Emma Woodhouse (Pemberley Digital version) and just about no longer the most eligible Catholic bachelorette, as she has found her Mr Knightley in sunny Derbyshire.
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