The feeling came to me when it was too late to turn back.
My husband and I were moving across the country from St. Louis to Austin, Texas. My husband was going to attend graduate school. I was excited about the change and what it meant for the both of us. As we drove to our new home, I stared at the passing fields, farm houses, and small towns, and suddenly became very anxious and sad.
It was feeling that came from deep inside and took my breath away. The feeling surprised me because during the time we prepared for the move, I looked forward to it. Now that we were making the move, I was wondering if we made a mistake.
Any kind of change, whether we choose it or not, includes some loss. What I didn’t realize at the time was the mixed emotions with any change are normal. We can be excited for change and yet still grieve for what we may be losing. While we may realize that the change brings many more benefits to our life, it is the loss of the familiar that can cause grief.
Changes in our work or job responsibilities – whether minor or major – can bring about that same kind of feeling. It’s hard not to feel that the rug is being pulled out from under you when changes occur – especially when you have limited input on the changes. The key is relying on experience – knowing that you can manage any changes in your life or work.
As soon as I arrived in Austin, I was too busy getting settled into a new life to dwell too much on what we had left behind. It did take a few months, however, for me to feel that I was finally at home. Ironically, it happened after I had taken a trip back to St. Louis for a holiday visit with family. I enjoyed visiting family, but arriving back in Austin after the trip, I felt like I was home. It was then I knew I had accepted the change.
Since that move many years ago, we’ve moved twice and, again, it was across a few states. I can truly say I’ve handled those changes a little better with experience. What I learned is that although I could have turned back, it really wasn’t an option – not if I wanted to move forward.