I’m not a person that handles change well – okay that’s a huge understatement. When my parents remodeled my house as a kid, I cried because the brick outside of our kitchen was gone. Nothing has changed.
So when I decided I was going to leave Boston after nearly four years of living there, reality hit me pretty hard. Not only was saying goodbye to my friends unbearable, but moving on from the place I called my home since graduating college seemed like something I just couldn’t handle. I had formed an unconventional family with the people and places around me. How would I manage without the familiar?
When I was laid off from my job in August, I decided to start applying to jobs in new cities. I ended up finding a job in Baltimore, so I decided to take a leap of faith a few miles south.
Moving to Baltimore was definitely a reality check. Here are all the misconceptions I had about my big move.
1. I thought finding an apartment would be easy, but it was arguably the hardest part of moving.
For some reason I thought I would move to Baltimore and easily find a place to live. That was not the case. In Boston, I learned that apartment hunting was hard, but in Baltimore it was significantly harder because I had no idea what neighborhood I would prefer. I also had barely anyone to ask for help because I didn’t know many people there. I had to make the hard decision myself.
It was a huge relief to not deal with realtor fees that always broke the bank for me in Boston, but after a truly horrible experience with a management company in my past, I wanted to be 10000% sure when I signed my next lease that the apartment was perfect.
We saw over thirty apartments, all in different locations and with varying amenities. One of my biggest problems when searching for an apartment is I tend to find one thing I like about the place (like the yellow walls) and overlook other more important things (like the lack of thermostat). I wish both of those examples weren’t true stories, but they are #lifelessons.
What really helped me this time around is that I had a list of priorities I knew I needed to find the right place. We also took detailed notes on each apartment, so we didn’t get confused on any of the amenities. If you’re an avid HGTV watcher like me, you know you have to make some sacrifices, but we ended up finding a great apartment in a location that seemed perfect for us.
2. I thought everything was going to fall in place right away, but things did not.
I was lucky enough that my boyfriend decided to take on this move with me. It was a hard decision for us because he didn’t yet have a new job and moving to a new city is scary enough, let alone taking the leap without knowing where or when you’ll get your next paycheck.
Fortunately he happens to be the most patient person on earth (after all he dates me), so after some persistence and a lot of interviews, he was able to find the right fit. It took him about two months to find a job, but he was able to temp and help out a friend’s company right away which was a huge help for us. We also knew we were doing the move for a while, so we had both saved up enough money to get us through a situation like this.
We both expected that his job situation would get sorted out a little quicker than it did, and at times it was a little scary and again brought up the feelings of, “was this the right move?” During this transition, it was really hard to not get discouraged – for both of us. In the past, I always wondered how couples move together. How does everything align at the perfect time for both of them? The truth is, that happening is pretty rare.
The good that came out of this was that we found out we are able to support each other during tough times.
3. I thought I’d quickly find people to befriend, but it’s been two months and I am still struggling in the friend department.
You know that scene in Sex and the City where Carrie has relocated to Paris and she is wandering the streets and sees the four girls grabbing lunch in some chic café? Well, that’s how I feel sometimes: #Emo. But seriously, making new friends is a huge challenge, especially when you’re in your late (GASP) twenties.
Everyone has formed their friend families by the time they enter their mid-20s and it can be difficult to break your way in. I expected to meet people at work or through a random acquaintance, but so far no dice.
Instead of watching Netflix in my apartment, I know I need to go out and approach random people on the streets meet some new people. I just don’t know how. Anyone have any tips on how they did this in their new cities? I need all the help I can get!
4.I thought I wouldn’t be into Happy Hour because I was used to life without it (it’s not legal in Boston), but it actually became my new favorite thing.
Happy Hour is SO underrated. I love going out to eat. Almost too much. In fact, I spend more money than I care to admit on food. Brunch? Sign me up! Appetizers? Yes please. Speaking of… crab dip is out of this world.
One of the things I LOVE most about Maryland is that I can go out to eat without spending all of my money (unlike how I spent all my money on food in Boston). Happy hour specials are a brilliant creation for people like me who love to spend like they have a bankroll the size of Beyoncé. Luckily, now I can get two margs and a taco without racking up my credit card bill.
5. I thought I would miss Boston, but I didn’t think I would compare every little thing in my new city to the old one.
I find myself comparing everything I experience to ‘what it used to be like in Boston’ on a regular basis. I compare my new office building to the old one, and I can’t get over the lack of Dunkin Donuts on every corner as opposed to the millions of Dunkin Donuts in Massachusetts.
Obviously, I will always miss parts of Boston, but comparing this new adventure with the old one isn’t going to get me anywhere. I know I have to stop. It will just make me feel backwards.
If you would have told me a year ago that I would be living in Maryland, I would have told you you’re nuts. But that’s the beauty of life it can take you to places that you never expected (with CRAB DIP!) and make you enjoy things you may not have expected to enjoy. I’m sure there will be many more unexpected happenings in the future, but I guess that’s why change is so exciting. I dare you to try it.