Starting Over

Embracing a major life change late in life is no easy task.  Perhaps a marriage did not turn out the way you expected and you found yourself single after envisioning a long life together with one person.  Perhaps your job ended unexpectedly and options remain scarce to continue in the same field.  Or perhaps where you are no longer befits who you’ve become.  People change. Jobs and housing markets change.  The costs of living change.  And values change.  But though starting over as an adult can be difficult, a fresh start somewhere new is exciting and doable.  Equipped with experience and pre-planning skills, moving can be the best decision you’ve ever made.  Additionally, taking university courses online through AU makes it simple to take your education with you anywhere you move.

However, there are obstacles to overcome.  Your fears, emotional ties to family and friends, or lack of income due to job loss must be faced and dealt with.  You may go through various stages: over-analysis, paralysis, or even depression.  You may also need to consider children or pets and how moving will affect them.  Ignoring your emotions is not realistic.  Talk to friends and family, talk to your doctor or a counselor.  It’s important to have emotional support to get through.  If all else fails, Google specific help you’re looking for and read articles, blogs, and books by people who have gone through similar life changes.  You will pick up practical advice and online support to give you the courage to move forward.  Additionally, remember to take care of your health and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water, and get enough rest.  Avoiding drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms will help you think clearly and make the best decisions for your future.

Next, ask yourself some questions and answer them honestly.  Where do you want to move? What type of climate do you prefer? What kind of people do you want to meet: artists, social activists, or ambitious professionals? Can you make a living there? Can you work online—in that case, you can live anywhere.  Scout your new city beforehand; stay at an affordable Airbnb or with friends since locals typically know inside information about their town.  Then, follow the checklist below and move closer to your goal:

  1. Get 3-5 quotes from movers. You will notice a wide gap in pricing – ensure you are paying for the best service by reputable movers for peace of mind.
  2. Prune your possessions and donate or sell items you no longer use. Not only does this cut down on moving costs, but it frees up space for your new start.
  3. Ensure you have enough money set aside for living expenses until you have an income.
  4. Hunt online for a new home to rent or buy. Renting through a property management company is a safe way to ensure you’re renting from a reputable landlord.
  5. Notify all utilities, credit card companies, driver’s license, family, and friends of your change of address.
  6. Job search ahead of time. Bookmark all online job boards in your new community for quick access.  Update and polish your resume with your new address and contact information.
  7. Drop your usual routine. Trying to stick to it will only cause added stress.  Simply accept things will be up in the air for a few months and plan to begin a new routine once you are settled in your new home.
  8. Once you’ve moved, join newcomers clubs or meet-ups that will get you out into your new community and connecting with new friends. If you can, find and phone the local welcome wagon or community association.  A friendly representative may help you get to know local businesses and also present you with nice gifts to welcome you to your new home.
  9. Accept uncertainty and embrace the unknown. Think of it as a new adventure and visualize all the good things ahead.
  10. Pack all your items in boxes and totes; label everything with tape and a marker so the moving company will place them in the proper rooms in your new home for ease of unpacking.

Undoubtedly, starting over is not for the faint of heart.  It takes determination, courage, and a clear vision of where you want to be.  Starting over because you’ve obtained your AU degree or you want to get out of rut can be tough.  Yet, after your wealth of experience and knowledge, you can do better this time around.  What is the worst that can happen? If you don’t like your new home, you can always move back.  But nothing comes with a guarantee; welcome the unknown and go for it!