I Moved To A New City Alone & Ultimately Found Myself

I Moved To A New City Alone & Ultimately Found Myself ©iStock/visualspace

When a strong, independent woman is handed lemons, she naturally tries to make some lemonade out of them. However, it’s a different situation if she continues attempting to make lemonade in an area that’s experiencing a severe shortage of sugar. The only solution at that point is to pack up everything and start over again somewhere new. That’s precisely why, two-and-a-half years ago, I packed up everything I owned and relocated 600 miles from home by myself. There were several factors that led to my decision, and I ended up growing in ways I didn’t even realize were possible.

  1. I stopped working boring jobs and found an actual career. I grew up in a pretty economically depressed, and I couldn’t find a good job there even after earning my college degree. After working dead-end GED-level jobs for three years after graduation, I decided enough was enough. I quit my soul-sucking call center job just before the move, deciding that I would find a job when I got to my new city. People at home thought I was mad, but I started a whole new career in direct sales/marketing in a booming economy within a couple weeks of the move and I’ve been very successful for the last two-and-a-half years.
  2. I found my strength as an independent woman. Sometimes, in order to discover true independence, a strong woman just has to jump in with both feet and go completely outside of her comfort zone. Being away from the places and people I’ve always known was a new, exciting challenge and it brought out strength I didn’t know I had, as well as a renewed vigor for life. There’s just something irresistible about living on the edge.
  3. I finally got over a bad breakup. One of the crappiest things that prompted me to change up my life was ending a nine year relationship and the complicated chaos that followed. I learned the hard way that it’s a terrible idea to give your ex another chance to destroy you again. After activating that blessed “block” button on my iPhone, I was finally able to move on from that whole situation and enjoy rocking my single life.
  4. I experienced living in an actual city for the first time. It sounds mad to people who’ve always been in or around cities, but It was absolutely novel to me to have stores and restaurants within walking distance, as well as having the option of public transportation and Uber. I was used to driving at least 20 minutes to find a grocery store, or an actual hour to find a full-fledged mall. The town I went to high school in has literally one traffic light, which is referred to as “the light” when giving directions because there’s only one! The experience of living in a city, while probably not something I’ll hang onto forever, has definitely expanded my horizons.
  5. I dated around for the first time ever. I met the guy I dated for nine years when I was 19, and he was my first serious boyfriend ever. I was 29 when I moved, and that was when I started dating again. I wish I could say it’s been a better experience, but so  far I’ve seen far more red flags than promising ones. Fortunately, I’m completely happy being single until I meet the one who’s right for me.
  6. I entered and fell in love with my 30s. To say that my 20s were rough is an understatement. I was terrified of turning 30 and feeling old, but that didn’t last long. I discovered soon after my 30th birthday that I’d just entered what is undeniably the best freaking decade of my life thus far. I couldn’t be paid to go back to my 20s now that I know what’s on the other side of 30.
  7. I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m joking, of course, since I am grown up, but now I have actual defined life goals, and that feels great. I’m climbing the ladder with my current company, and the top of that ladder involves owning and managing my own office within a few years. In addition, I’m finally pursuing my writing in a freelance capacity as well as working on completing my first novel. I know I wouldn’t have found this kind of success or strength if I’d stayed in my comfort zone.
  8. If I go back home, I’ll do so with valuable life experience. I have considered moving back home when I open my own office, and I know it would be different now because I’m different. I miss my friends and family back home as well as the culture I’m from, but I know that the life experience and career I’ve gained here are valuable and well worth spending a few years away. I really and truly found myself through this experience, and I have absolutely no regrets about my decision to take this journey by myself.
Anna Martin Yonk is a freelance writer and blogger in sunny North Carolina. She loves hanging out with her goofy husband and two rescue dogs and can be found at the beach with a drink in hand whenever possible. You can find her on Instagram @mrsyonkdogmom or on her Facebook page.