Dear Friend Who Just Moved

Photo by Robert S. Donovan
Photo by Robert S. Donovan

ou’ve arrived in your new city/state/country.  You’ve done the packing and the list-making, you’ve secured new housing, and you’ve completed the drive or flight.

You’ve said the heart-twisting goodbyes and you’ve sobbed in the Uhaul.

So much is behind you.

Yes, there are boxes everywhere and since there are no closets, nothing has a home yet, but at least you’re present in your new home.  With your family.

And because you’re there with them, this place is now home.

The sooner you start thinking of it as such, the better.  I know that feels weird.

You may not even like this new city and it certainly doesn’t feel like home.  It’s unfamiliar and doesn’t have your favorite restaurants, parks, and shops.  You may not know a soul or the best grocery shopping strategy.   Or even the language.

The culture’s a bit different (or a lot different). You can’t make the same assumptions about how people will act as you did back in your old city.

It will take some time to learn to navigate all of this.  Maybe a lot of time.

But you’ll find your way.  Take a deep breath and give yourself lots of space to breathe, lots of grace.

Moving, after all, is one of life’s greatest stressors.  You may not even realize how much it’s affected you until you find yourself weeping in your closet one day.

It’s going to be ok.  Mourn the losses of your old home, familiarity, and proximity to dear friends.  It’s a hard season, but it won’t last forever.  I promise.

This city is your new home.  It may not look much like your last place, but it has a beauty of its own.  Go find it.  Go exploring.  Ask around about local favorites.

You will make new friends here.  Good friends, different than the ones from the last place, but good.  Go find them.  Introduce yourself, put yourself “out there,” do that speed-dating-like-thing at your new church to find a small group.

Be the friend that you’d like to find.

This new house/apartment/duplex/etc. will soon be full of warmth and life.  Get stuff off the floors and onto the walls as quickly as you can manage.  Invite your neighbors over for dinner.

And when it all just feels like too much and you don’t have energy for more than the basics of life, just stop.

Pour a hot beverage of choice.  Call a dear friend who listens well and makes you laugh.  Call someone who’s done all of this before.  Go take a shower or a nap.

And pick things back up tomorrow.  You’re one day closer to this place feeling like home.

Have you ever done a big move?

About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • Love this! I’m in my 5th state (not including a move to Europe) in 8 years. My last move was almost 2 years and 2,200 miles ago. It’s so important to try and put down roots immediately. Keeping in touch is necessary, but if you keep your head and heart in a different location than your body, life can be rough.

    • Amanda, 5 states in 8 years is intense! Love the way you phrase the bit about your head/heart/body. It’s so true.

  • Amber Lo

    It’s been 4 years here in Denver and we still haven’t found the community of friends we long for. It feels like home, for sure, but we still feel a relational gap.

    • Oh, friend. That’s so hard. Our last transition has been a slow one, too, but 4 years is a long time to be without the deep community you’d hope for.

      I like that you still feel like it’s home, though–usually I don’t genuinely feel that way about a place until the relational part is established.

  • alexsudan

    timely post for me 🙂 the “be the friend you’d like to find” is a good reminder to me to put myself out there. i’m not going to make any friends if i just stay holed up in our cozy little house. 🙂

    • Al, all you have to do is step out your front door and people will want to befriend you :). For reals.