moving to a new city
The thing about dreams is, sometimes we have to fly away and leave the nest in order to pursue them. The nest is home, but more broadly our hometown/state. Our dream opportunities are often focused in particular cities/states/countries. Or sometimes, the particular location itself is the dream. I got any Cali dreamers reading this?
But moving to a new city is extremely hard. It feels like all the stars will have to align perfectly on the 3rd day of the waning crescent moon or something for it to work out.
Last year, I spontaneously withdrew from my Master’s program and moved to New York City without a job. My adversity gave me no choice but to develop a new layer of strength and wisdom. I learned some valuable lessons from my spontaneous move. I believe these insights can help a dreamer considering a big move feel the confidence necessary to take that leap of faith.
1. It will never be the perfect time. You have to create the perfect time.
So many of us get caught in the “I’m just waiting until I’m fully ready for the move” trap. Yes, there are certainly logistical implications when considering a move. But life is simpler than we like to believe. Whatever actions you take set unseen things in motion. God begins realigning the universe in your favor.
So stop telling yourself you aren’t moving yet because it’s not the right time. You create the right time. The process will inevitably be complex, but whatever you set in motion, God will help you see through to the end. Don’t get too caught up in planning each turn you’ll take on your route; just leap and let the wind carry you to your dreamland. It's scary, but you have to take bold risks in order to achieve your dreams. Embrace dangerous living!
2. Consider a relocation loan.
Of course in a perfect world, you would already have more than enough funds saved up to facilitate the move. Life is hard, though, so more often than not, this is not the case.
If you have a gap to fill, consider taking out a relocation loan from your bank/credit union. A couple weeks into living rent-free at a friend’s place, I took out a few thousand dollars to cover a couple months worth of rent and living expenses. Yes, adding yet another monthly loan payment is dreadful. It’s also true, though, that you only have one life to live. You have to decide just how important your dreams are to you. Moving is an investment, just like college. The potential returns are enormous if your dreams require a certain geographical location, so do not be afraid to invest.
3. Let your pride go.
This one is tough. It sucks asking people for favors. And it really sucks working a job you feel over-qualified for just to make ends meet. But the fact is, you may need to sleep on a friend’s couch for a while or work a service job that threatens your entire sanity just to stay afloat when you first arrive.
Let that pride go. You aren't too good to accept needed help during your process of moving, and you aren’t too good to get your hands dirty if needed. You’ve got to hustle to execute a successful move. And believe me, you will thank yourself months later. The night before I flew to NYC to move, I did not even know where I would lay my head upon arrival. I nervously took the first step and then God shocked me with blessings every step of the way. The only way to find out what God is capable of is releasing your pride and replacing it with love/trust.
4. Be resilient.
Based on my and others' experiences, it takes roughly 3 months to lock down dream employment in a new city. Whether that’s 3 months of applying while in the new city or while still home, it simply takes time. I landed in NYC on July 11th, and received my offer from Ralph Lauren on October 11th. All experiences are different, but it seems that 2-4 months of struggle should be expected.
Logistically prepare yourself for this as much as you can. But even more importantly, mentally prepare yourself for the unexpected. Those ~3 months will be full of small wins, major obstacles, moments of optimism, and moments of self-defeat. Walk with blind faith. Every moment of struggle will become worth it ONLY if you practice resilience and don't quit. I thought about giving up and moving back to Detroit one week before I got the offer. They say the darkest hour of night comes right before dawn. Keep pushing until the sun rises.