We moved almost 4 years ago based primarily on the lifestyle we wanted for our family. We’re happy with our decision, in spite of the relational challenge it posed that I did not expect nor prepare myself for. In fact, I set myself up to fail.
For the first few year I was travelling back and forth frequently to see current clients from existing contracts. I was very fortunate to have multiple invitations to stay with friends while I was back working. This was my safety net, in the beginning.
Staying and being loved by my girlfriends helped me to transition because I was still having regular contact with the amazing community I knew and loved (I include my clients in that group). When I was home, I was exhausted from my travel schedule, rarely left my home office and I didn’t do any networking or reaching out.
In the second year I decreased my travel by 40% and was home more to begin growing my business here, and online. I started venturing out to local networking events and gala dinners.
Basically, I was scared. I had lived in the same house my entire childhood before moving to the ‘big city’ for university. I grew up with the same friends and never had the ‘new kid’ experience.
And this is where I got stuck. I was still spending a limited time with my original tribe, which was enough to keep my tank from hitting empty yet when I was home, with very few connections, I was going stir crazy and felt very lonely.
My excuses of not enough time or energy to connect were running me, and not to a good place. I didn’t want to face that the reality was that I was starting over in so many ways. I felt small and scared and so incredibly unsure of myself, which isn’t something I experience often. It was like big waves coming over me that I couldn’t always get my head above to take a breath.
I wanted everything to feel easy, and it wasn’t. I didn’t have to explain myself to my original tribe whom I’d known for over 10 years and spent pivotal child-rearing years crying and laughing with. They knew me and just ‘got me’. What if people here didn’t like me the same? Who was I now, anyway?
I tried connecting at our church with sporadic attendance; kids sports making weekends very busy, and no women’s group outside of working hours (poor excuses, I know). I really loved it there but I was always comparing them to our Church family before. So were my kids, and their favorite people were never going to be at our new church.
My heart was breaking for my original tribe. Why couldn’t all those amazing people I had been blessed to meet and share friendships with come with me here??!! I didn’t want new friends. Not because they weren’t nice, smart, supportive or loving enough, but because letting go of my first tribe enough to open my heart to a new one felt so deeply sad and painful. I didn’t understand that making room for new relationships didn’t mean I had push the cherished and known ones out.
One by one I was growing a list of familiar faces and names. People I could talk to and would see relatively often. I hadn’t found my new tribe because I didn’t know where to look and I hadn’t pursued many options.
I finally found my people, the start of my new tribe, at a dance studio. Dancing and keeping fit are two of my favorite things for emotional and physical well-being. After being introduced to Soul Studio, I started going almost every day to feel part of something. A part of a close community of like-minded people who new my name and were happy I showed up.
Now I see the beautiful faces of my first tribe, and all the gorgeous faces of my new tribe in one rich collage. I’m getting to know my new tribe in greater depth and having more of the conversations that build trust and strong relationships. I’m sharing more of myself; knowing that is the only way people can get to know me.
I’m moving forward in other ways too:
- We’re having our first Pain Potluck; a frequent event held before we moved that, partly due to our renovations, had never started here.
- My business network is growing and I love the amazing and successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who also call this valley home.
- I have clarified my business and core offerings even more and will be making changes to my website this year.
- I realized I have more room in my heart than I thought. What a gift!
- When I travel, I get to embrace the people and tribes I had created before, and tell them about the exciting new things I’m up to now.
Moving gave me an opportunity to really be clear on what I have to offer in this world and believe in myself in a whole new way. Despite the days I felt so lonely and thinking I’d never make this work, I’ve found a new path. One step at a time, I’m walking it out.
This was harder to write than I ever thought, and I shed a few tears. Tears of loss, tears of regret for time lost in the ‘wilderness,’ and also tears of joy, excitement, and gratitude.
Are you moving or going through a tough transition? Wherever you are, know that what you had is not gone. It lives in your heart for you to access anytime, anywhere. Your opportunity to create something new and bigger is waiting with a spot only you can fill. Believe in yourself, be brave, and step out!