You know how there are stages of grief? Denial, anger, negotiating, acceptance…I’m missing one. Doesn’t matter. Anyway, in the last few months I have discovered the stages of transitioning to a new city. Maybe these stages are specific to me. Who knows? In the beginning, I was back in the Holy City every couple of weeks, so it didn’t seem that I was really gone. Then I started to feel less and less attached to the city itself, although I was still talking daily with my friends. Not all of them, but there was contact every day. I finally reached that mile-marking moment when I realized that my heart was not there anymore. It was freeing. There was excitement to engaging in a new city, if not with its people quite yet.

One aspect of moving to a different city is the change in relationships. It takes a lot more energy to let people in on your life and be in their’s when you not actually part of their day. Every conversation now includes logistical updates to give the deeper talks context. These details were not needed before because I was in the details. With the added effort comes the realization that it is impossible to keep up with everything and everyone. There’s just not enough time or emotional energy to go around. This week, I started feeling strong feelings of guilt for not keeping up with everyone. My guilt turned to loneliness when I realized that they are not taking the effort to keep up with me. Friends with whom I used to enjoy daily talks are not on my “To do before the end of the week” list. I’m not in their lives anymore.
There’s no point to this except to hope that someone who has transitioned to a new city can give me a sense of solidarity in this. My advice to anyone moving is make sure you are finding friends at the same pace you are discovering you new WIFI spot. After all, a new coffee spot can’t compete with having a jogging partner.

I’m just saying.


One Response to

  1. Colleen says:


    I’ve never considered the grieving process in terms of moving, but I suppose that’s basically what I did when I left Denver. Oops…scratch that…that’s what I’m still doing. I’m pretty sure I’ve never made it past the denial stage.

    On a slightly related note, I’ve always joked that when I get dumped I go through the grieving process in reverse. You see, first I accept that I’ve just been dumped and try to move on. Then I get super depressed, after which I usually try to convince the person who dumped me that they really want me back….that would be the bargaining part. After they still don’t take me back I get angry. I mean seriously, seriously angry, which ultimately ends with me pretending like nothing ever happened and I never gave a crap about the person who just gave me the ol’ heave ho.

    Hmm….I think perhaps “heave ho” wasn’t an appropriate expression considering the context.


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