Where the Roads Diverged: A Man’s Guide to Moving
Considering that I grew up in the same house for the first 18 years of my life, I’ve moved around a fair amount. When it came time for college, I traversed the Great Plains and landed in Iowa, the corniest place on earth, and then subsequently landed in Athens, OH, the drunkest place on earth, a year later. Three years after that I moved back home to Cincinnati for the summer before hauling my life to Chicago. That stint lasted a solid 10 months before I returned to Cincinnati, again. After a few months of soul searching, spending way too much time in a cemetery (where Team Tallsome’s bond was formed (note: no dead people were involved in the forging of said-bond (we are NOT a cult, but ladies, if you’re interested, let us know))), learning to ride a bike, and remembering why I didn’t want to stay in the same place I’d spent my formative years, I packed up again and embarked down the same trail to Texas that my dear uncle had blazed 30+ years before me. As a quick recap, this means from 2006 – 2010, I went Cincinnati – Iowa, Iowa – Cincinnati, Cincinnati – Athens, Athens – Cincinnati, Cincinnati- Chicago, Chicago – Cincinnati, Cincinnati – Austin. Indecisive much?
Now why does all of this matter? Well, unless you’re ghost writing my future autobiography (yes I’m talking to you Jonathan Franzen), it doesn’t really. However, from doing so much moving (and shaking), I have learned a thing or two about one of the most universally despised activities on earth: Moving. Here then my Mo Brothas and Sistas is my (non-definitive) guide to moving, Mo Bro – style.
Do your research
So this thing called the Internet exists and I really suggest you check it out because it’s pretty awesome. These days you can become a knowledgeable resident of a city a thousand miles away without ever having visited its streets. Yelp, Twitter, bloggers, Google maps, and a whole barrage of other interweb hot spots can provide you with a great deal of practical information and knowledge about your future home, everything from the best spots to catch a show or brunch to the most high-traffic areas during rush hour can be found in a matter of seconds. By no means am I saying that this will replace directly experiencing your new home, but seriously, spend a little time researching what makes your new stomping grounds great, often times the more research you do, the more excited you are to be a part of it.
Attempt to stay organized
Does it suck actually putting thought and time into what you’re putting into certain boxes in certain places of your truck/van/camel? Why yes, yes it does, but (I would assume) it feels awesome reaching your location and having all of your belongings in the most organized and thought out arrangement. I of course don’t do this and I end up using previously used/labeled boxes, which become very cumbersome when you aren’t thinking about what you’re putting into these boxes vs. what they’re labeled as. Anyway, try to think beyond how unfortunate it is moving every single thing you own and attempt to put some thought into the process.
Have faith in your fellow man/woman
Moving sucks. This is a theme. However, outside of drinking whilst moving, which can get tricky and may lead to more of your items being broken post-move than you remembered, the only thing that will make it okay is having friends who are willing to help. Bonem Life Lesson: A friend who will help you move is a friend you must not lose. Remember, moving doesn’t just suck for you and if your friends help, it most likely sucks for them too. Yet there are few things that you can do in this world better than putting your opinions aside, shutting up, and being a mule for your fellow man/woman. Whoever you’re helping won’t just remember that you were there and lifted heavy things for them, but, assuming you don’t surround yourself with soulless bottom feeders, they’ll be the first to offer a hand the next time you relocate.
Stay focused & positive
Now that you’re all packed up and on your merry way, it’s important to keep a clear head. I’ve made two separate moves from EST to CST, both of which I did without any sort of job lined up and with the only motivation being, “this WILL work out, this WILL be better than before.” Moving is scary and during those long stretches of interstate highway, your mind is bound to wander down all sorts of rabbit holes. Whether a certain song starts playing or a certain person comes to mind, you WILL start feeling nostalgic for wherever you just left and the people who you left behind. You’ll start to question yourself and wonder what the hell you’re doing. In this situation, you have to keep yourself at ease and try to remember why you wanted to leave your previous location in the first place. Sure, everyone might think you’re a little crazy, but (whether good or bad) everyone has their reasons for wanting to get the hell out of Dodge, sometimes the reasons just aren’t that obvious. Keeping a positive mindset can be the difference between a downward spiral of canned beans for breakfast and Old Grandad for lunch and waking up to “Rough Riders” every morning thinking, “Carpe DMX, let’s DO THIS!”
Get ready, things might get a little weird
When I moved to Chicago, I knew a whole fleet of people from high school and college who were already residents of the fair city on Lake Michigan, which made the transition very smooth. When I moved to Austin, I knew almost no one. If you find yourself in the latter situation, it is incredibly important to stay open to anything that comes your way. Be bold, step outside of your comfort zone, and talk to some f*cking strangers. More often than not, if you’re moving to a city full of young people, there’s a good chance you’ll run into people who made the same decision that you did a few months or a year before. During that first month after a move, you’ll find yourself talking with people and participating in activities that you never imagined would become commonplace. Bonem Life Lesson: Embrace it! Reach out and grab that beautiful butterfly and then a few months or a year from now when you meet a newb to your fair city, YOU get to be the welcome wagon. The circle of life. Thanks Rafiki.