So May 2020 me and my girlfriend moved up to Blackpool (uk) from Sudbury, Suffolk. It’s a 260 mile journey that takes about 5 hours (give or take) so a spontaneous coffee date with a friend or family member is off the cards.
I had spent 32 years of my life living in and around my hometown, never really knowing what the big wide world (Blackpool ha!) had to offer.
There were a few reasons as to why we decided to move the other end of the country, but I’ll just list the main ones.
- Charis (recently promoted from girlfriend to fiancée 😉) wanted to go to Preston University to do her Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology.
- I knew my purpose was no longer a personal trainer, and my passion was helping people learn to love themselves.
- I needed to spend some time seriously working on healing some things emotionally that I’d been struggling with, and I had too many distractions, also known as excuses.
- When COVID hit I was unable to run my gym and earn a living, I also got my 30 day notice of eviction from my landlord (still unsure what his reasons were).
- A couple of years prior I had gone through a really shitty breakup which caused me to adopt some unhealthy behaviours as a coping mechanism which I was still ashamed of.
My top values are growth and freedom, I knew that in order for me to grow as a man, I needed to move away from the safety of everything I’d ever known, so I could really learn who I was and what I needed from life.
Me and Charis didn’t even sit down and have an in depth conversation about moving away, which highlights just how ready we were to make the move.
Baring in mind we moved in May, when we were in our first lockdown, everything just seemed to align for us.
- I sold my gym equipment within days of putting it up for sale,
- We found a property that was in our budget and didn’t require any credit checks (in fact I said I don’t have a very good credit rating which surprisingly was not an issue),
- Within the space of 4 weeks we had found a property, paid the deposit and got our move in date all while being in lockdown,
- Neither of us had much stuff to take with us, but the little that we did have, took us 2 trips, over 2 weekends, with Charis’s little Citreon DS3, which was a blessing because we didn’t have the hassle of sorting out a van,
- We didn’t know anything about the area and didn’t do any research, but was surprised at the fact that we had a park directly opposite with a couple of basketball courts and a little 5 a side court (I’d been saying for a few years I want to get back into football), but more importantly we were only a 10 minute walk from the beach which had been my dream ever since I can remember!
Now as much as things just felt right for us and everything seemed to fall into place, it has not been without it’s struggles, and the reason why I wanted to write this blog was because I’m sure you’ve toyed with the idea of moving away and starting afresh, and I want to help you decide if it’s right for you, and hopefully make the move easier for you if you do decide to ‘up sticks’ and leave.
Here are 10 of the most important things I’ve managed to whittle it down to when it comes to moving away;
- Get clear and really honest with yourself about your reasons for wanting to move. If you’re running away expecting things to be ‘better’ then I would invite you to think about the fact that it doesn’t matter where you are, your problems still follow you, unless you intend to do ‘the work’.
- Loneliness is a big one! If you struggle with your mental health, and specifically have suicidal thoughts, I would probably say moving away from your hometown is not the best decision, but if you feel capable of ‘doing the work’ then loneliness may be exactly what you need.
- What are you going to do for an income to support yourself? It will be much easier to do a job in a town that you don’t know anyone, because you won’t have those thoughts about ‘I don’t want someone seeing me working here’ which means that you can find a job, that enables you to work an amount of hours you need to to pay the bills, but also a job that gives you as much time off as you need to invest into ‘doing the work’
- You will lose contact with people that you thought were your friend. This is normal and can bring up a lot of feelings that are uncomfortable, but the blessing is that it allows you to get super honest with yourself about who YOU want in your life, and learn a very powerful lesson of letting go.
- Boredom! This is something that you may have to get acquainted with, because a lot of your usual distractions will no longer be there for you. Boredom will teach you so much about yourself, especially to listen to what it is you actually want to do long-term, that sense of purpose and direction we all need, can come from letting yourself sit with boredom for long enough to be guided towards what inspires you.
- Stay curious. You no longer have the pressure of a fixed identity (you can be who you want to be, because no one knows you) so say yes to things you wouldn’t normally, try things that you’ve always wanted to try, and allow yourself to do whatever it is that peaks an interest!
- Therapy! I would highly recommend investing in either therapy, counselling or a coach, because it will be hard to process some of your triggers on your own, and having someone outside of your immediate circle to open up to without the fear of being judged, is so powerful and hugely transformative.
- Online courses, programmes and groups. I invested in a group coaching programme that had people all over the world in, and as a result I have made some lifelong friends that I would never of met had it not of been for that programme.
- Removing the comfort blanket of all that was familiar (your hometown), enables you to get really clear on your goals. investing in a coach to help guide you and hold you accountable as you will no longer have all the distractions that you once had in your hometown will open your eyes to what is actually important to you.
- Have fun! It doesn’t have to be all serious, there will be so many new things, experiences, places to explore and whether or not you move away on your own, or with a partner, there will be opportunities to ‘put yourself out there’ as long as you don’t let fear get in the way!
Things I experienced personally…
Loneliness – I actually have a funny relationship with loneliness… A few years ago when I was at rock bottom, drowning in debt, and living in my personal training studio, I wrote a blog post about loneliness. Blogging for me was kind of like my therapy, or that friend that you could say anything to and they wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow.
That blog post was what inspired Charis to message me. She told me when she first read it she was also going through her own pain and hurt, and really related to my blog post. A few days later we met up for the first time having not known eachother at all apart from those few messages. Fast forward a few years and we are now engaged and planning our wedding 😉, so you could say I’m pretty fond of loneliness.
I’d been so used to supressing my emotions, and running away from myself, that I never actually knew who I was (I’m sure we can all relate to that) until a few years ago, when I had no choice to feel all the feels which became my blog name.
Loneliness became my greatest teacher, because it forced me to look at the parts of myself that I was struggling to like, let alone love.
This time when loneliness came back around I was ready to welcome him in.
I was able to ask myself questions such as ‘am I avoiding loneliness by wanting to go out drinking?’ or ‘am I using social media as a distraction from sitting with myself?’ and asking myself these self-inquiring questions gave me a new perspective, which presented me with another option.
I can NOT recommend loneliness enough!
Embrace it, listen to it, sit with it, learn from it and as my good friend Aviram says ‘stay curious!’
Relationships – Now this has been a real process, and taught me so much about expectations and letting go.
To begin with I held on to the belief that friends and family SHOULD make an effort to communicate and ‘keep’ the relationship growing. There were times when I would feel resentment at the fact that some of the people I expected to be in my life, made zero effort. It was uncomfortable AND it was absolutely necessary!
I started to again, do some self reflection, and really inquire why I feel this way around what I expect. I began realising that the only thing creating that form of suffering, was my expectations that I’d covertly put on others.
Truth is, some people are just not meant to be in your life any longer, and this does NOT mean that they are bad people, it just means that the relationship has run it’s course.
Something that I began thinking about, was how we have a belief that a friendship should last forever, yet an intimate relationship can break down and transition, but that’s deemed as perfectly normal and acceptable…
I also began recognising my lack of effort I’d put in to family and friendships, and this enabled me to be really honest with myself, and ask why I hadn’t put much effort in, and act upon that realisation, whether it meant actively working harder on it, or learning to let it go.
Again use this as a learning instead of a way to create a victim identity. Let go of the relationships you need to let go of and invest in the ones you want to improve.
Counselling/Coaching/Support – I can honestly say if I hadn’t of invested in my own healing, and personal development I would not be where I am today! I knew I had things I needed to work on personally that were holding me back from really stepping in to my power, and were causing me to play small and sabotage in life. For me I didn’t care how much it cost to heal, because the price of mediocre relationships, and the feelings of no real purpose in life were far higher than any amount of money!
Now I am always working with a coach of some sort because having an expert in a specific area of life, guide me, and hold me accountable to whatever goals I set myself, is worth it’s weight in gold!
This is something we go through in my 6 Month Deep Dive 1-1 coaching programme. Looking at ‘who are you’, and a question I always ask myself is, ‘are you someone who invests in themselves, and wants to improve and grow, or are you someone that plays small and settles?’
This always guides me towards growth!
Goals/Business – Moving away and not knowing anyone apart from each other (me and Charis), enabled us to work on ourselves individually, and our relationship, and get super clear on what it is we want for our lives.
It took me about 6 months of ‘downtime’ and personal healing work that guided me towards my purpose in life.
Growing up as a Jehovah’s witness, and struggling for years with parts of my personality that had been demonised, made me believe that I was unlovable.
Because I believed I was unlovable, guess how I showed up in relationships…
Yep, I would sabotage everything because I didn’t feel worthy of love.
Using the last 18 months to really be with myself, and see how I was showing up in life and my relationship with Charis, was exactly what I needed to guide me towards the type of coach I am…
My purpose is helping people understand themselves, unlearn the beliefs and stories that are holding them back, and really learn to start giving themselves the love they so freely give to others!
So my advice to you;
If you are thinking that moving away will solve all your problems, then you’re wrong,
If you are moving away to really work on yourself, explore new places and grow as a person, then I would highly recommend taking the leap and NOT overthinking it all!
It took us a month, during a ‘pandemic’ and all we needed was £2000 to set us up for the first month.
I’ll leave you with a question to ask yourself…
‘Am I someone that makes my dream a reality, or am I someone that just talks about it?’