It has been said that moving is among the most traumatic events of our lives and I am here to say that that is no exaggeration. Granted, people react in different ways to stress. Some of us are better at it than others but whether we acknowledge it or not, stress does take a toll. Something for which broad agreement may be more difficult to come by is the reason, or reasons why transplanting our lives is so emotionally taxing.
It is easy to point to the numerous disruptive factors inherent in moving one’s life from one place to another as the obvious causes of the distress that invariably attends the experience. After all, they are always present do indeed create their own distinctive brand of tumult. We choose to blame fear of change, leaving behind friends and familiar places, facing an unknown future and even finding new ways to accommodate the needs of our daily lives for the discomfort we feel but in reality, they are not the fundamental issues. Blaming them for our condition is superficial and ultimately, unsatisfying. Clearly, it is not these issues that are the origins of our nonconstructive feelings. What then can the true cause possibly be?
If you have made more than one major move in your life then you already know the answer. You may not be aware that you know it but you do. Think about this and you will recognize the scenario.
What was you primary goal when you found yourself in the new environment? Was it to explore? Was it to learn the subtle differences in living between the new place and the old? Was it to become comfortable with the way you and your lifestyle meshed with the established ways of your new home? Or, was it to create a familiar existence as quickly as possible? I will bet on the last option. Did you try to arrange the furniture the way it was “Back Home”? Were you upset when you had to admit that it just did not fit?
Inventing an existence from within a set of unfamiliar circumstances forces us to draw from the past. The only tools at our disposal to accomplish that are the memories, feelings, preferences and experiences that conspired to make us who we are and that once described our lives. If we attempt to fabricate a new life in the new place rather than to allow that new life to develop naturally, we are doomed, through no fault of our own, to recreate the past. The problem is, that past will not comport with the demands and intricacies of the new life. Those things take time to appear and are as yet, unknown to us.
Under the best of circumstances, moving is an ordeal. It can however, be less of a trial and more of an adventure if we learn to let the new life present itself to us and refrain from trying to define it in familiar terms. If we can allow ourselves to be accepting of all these things new and different, the inevitable will present itself to us day by day and we will, by necessity as much as design, acclimate to our new existence.