A New Place Doesn’t Mean a New You

I admit it. I’ve moved a far too many times in my life. I grew up in a county not far from here and left home at the ripe old age of 18 years old, ready or not! I began moving every few years with the longest amount of time at any address being 6 years. I’ve lived out West, in the South and all over the DMV area … it’s safe to say that I love moving and fluffing my nest each time. However, one thing I’ve learned over the years is that no matter where I’ve lived, how many times I’ve started over, that whatever I thought I could outrun, just stayed with me.

How many of us fantasize about moving to some small town in the mountains or by the beach? A place where no one knows who you are, where you can blend in and forget all your issues and just be whomever you’d like? I know I have loved to imagine doing this many times and am always drawn to books which spin this story in a fun way. As exciting as it sounds, most of us discover that once we’ve moved “there” that the hurts we carry, the disappointments we’ve experienced, the mistakes we’ve made, all come along for the ride. Starting over is never as easy as we’d like it to be because a new place doesn’t mean anything except that … it’s not a new you.

Now look, if you’re moving for a better opportunity like that job you’ve been coveting or to move to a nicer climate for your allergies, then obviously this kind of move can be a positive one! It’s when we move because of the jerk we just broke up with, or because we hate all the people we went to high school with, that can be a move that may not yield the results you’re looking for.

There’s a saying that you should grow where you’re planted … so how does one actually do this? Here are some ideas I’ve discovered over the years that may help you feel less like moving and more like “growing”.

First, stop procrastinating about finally working on your stuff! Find a therapist that gets you and one that will do the dirty work with you … figure out why you are quick to anger or why you let your boss walk all over you. Just stop avoiding peeling back the layers and let’s see what you can uncover about yourself. Remember, knowledge is power and the more you know about yourself, the better you’re able to understand why you do the things you do. And, how to stop doing them (if you want).

Next, ditch the bad friends! You know who I’m talking about .. the girl who bails on you more often than not or the guy you went to high school with that does this thing with his throat that you find terribly annoying. Why are you still friends with them? Instead of asking “do they like me, ask do you like them?” Start looking over the people who you hang with and decide if they bring you complete and utter joy most of the time or are they dragging you down. Chop chop.

Lastly, start doing the things you love to do NOW instead of waiting until you move to that special place or that new town. Why wait any longer? You want to learn how to make sushi? Take that class! Want to lose the extra 10 pounds you’ve gained since summer? Seek out that trainer or join the gym! Ask yourself what are you waiting for? Each day is going to pass whether you are doing the things you love or not so why not take advantage of each day that you’ve been given? I know it sounds silly but I can promise you that you will never regret trying new things or visiting new places but what you WILL regret, is not doing them. The biggest regret people have on their deathbed is the things they did. not. do. Not the things they did but rather the chances they wasted.

So get on it! Don’t waste another minute! Become the person you dream about! Plan that move if you’re dying to live in the desert but in the meantime plant some seeds right here, right now and let’s see what you can grow!

DEBORAH DULEY
DEBORAH DULEY is a licensed social worker in the state of Maryland. She has a BS in social work from Bowie State University and a Masters of Social Work from Howard University, Washington DC, as well as thousands of clinical hours and continuing education. She is a certified Stepfamily Foundation Counselor and is ASIST trained in suicide intervention. In addition Deborah is trained in divorce and custody mediation. Deborah is the founder and owner of the counseling practice Empowered Connections LLC, located in the heart of Leonardtown Maryland and the facilitator of her new therapy program “10 Sessions to Better Self-Esteem.” Deborah has over 25 years of experience working with women in many capacities such as activist, domestic violence counselor, and crisis interventionist. As the “women’s therapist,” she is passionate about working with women and teen girls. She integrates her knowledge of mental health issues and her life experiences to assist them in increasing their self-esteem, decrease anxiety & depression symptoms and tackle a whole host of personal issues that women struggle with.