Starting over again...

I moved here to Arkansas back in November of '99 when I was 19. I didn’t have a job, a car, and I wasn’t going to school. It was easy to move then since I felt like I wasn’t doing anything with my life.

Nine years later I’m getting ready to move back home to New Jersey but this time I’m leaving a job (with insurance), a house (rental, but still my own place), friends, my animals, and a soon to be ex husband. I’m established here. I like the slowness of it all. New Jersey and Arkansas, are completely different. Yet I feel compelled to leave.

Moving back to New Jersey, I’ll have to live with my mom. That’s not bad since we get along great. I have more opportunities there especially where school is concerned. But I’m still sad to leave. I have 1 1/2 more months and then I’m gone. I’ll be leaving the same way I came, with nothing. Whatever I can fit in my car is what I’ll take with me.

I feel like this is the right choice even though I’ll be leaving so much behind. I never saw myself living here forever. I just hope it all works out and I don’t come to regret this decision.

Advice, life stories, whatever you like would be appreciated. :slight_smile:

No advice, just a message: good luck; hope it’s a great new start for you. :slight_smile:

From someone who has tried moving a few thousand miles away from everything and everyone he knows, the only advice I can give is summed up in the old saying:

“Everywhere you go, there you are.” The dual inspirational and depressing meanings both apply.

I was about the same age as you are when I packed up my car and got the hell out of dodge.

It won’t be as easy as you’re hoping. It won’t be as hard as you fear.

As long as your moving towards something (further education?) and not running away (ex?), you’ll be fine.

Be who, what, and where you want to be when you’re 30. That seems to be the age at which humans start to sprout roots and get attached to whereever they happen to be.
Other than that, best wishes.

I have never, ever, understood what this was supposed to mean. Could you explain it for me?

Good point.

Over the past few years I’ve found that I like to travel and live in new places. When I was 19 I took $500 and a backpack and flew to Orlando, nothing else. I made the decision over night before hopping on the plane. Once I got to Orlando I got myself a job. Stayed in a hotel the first month, then got a room in a nice house near work since I had no car. Stayed 6 months. I ended up rooming with co-workers who were foreign exchange students from Columbia, Ecuador, and Thailand. I still keep in touch with them. Some great people. Not so much the Colombians, though. Had a few things stolen staying with them. I then moved to Jacksonville where my grandma lives. Stayed there a month with her. I know most of the area and a lot of people residing on her street from childhood. I still had the trip back to Hawaii. I asked the airline if I could find a connecting flight in LA. I went to LA and visited my dad (whom I’d NEVER met before) for about a month. I guess there was a reason my mom didn’t like him. I then flew back to Hawaii. Started a new job, Just Over Broke, and stayed a couple of months with my mom and step-dad. About Nov 06 I convinced my best friend to come live in Vegas with me for a year. He and I both quit our jobs. He had some money saved up and I sold the car I had. Stayed in Vegas for a little over a year. Came back to Hawaii on Jan 1st this year. Got myself an at home job making pretty good money and just helped pay bills and rent here at home. The folks will be buying a house next year. Since I’ll be going in the military now I’ll yet again get to decide where to live for a while. It seems though that I want to settle down this time and only take trips for vacations. I want to have something to show by the time I’m 30. The experiences I cannot show, but I wouldn’t trade them in for material possessions any day.

Whatever strengths or weaknesses you have, will travel with you.

If you’re hoping for a new start after stealing from all your friends, you’re better off making amends where you are, than traveling to a new town with untreated kleptomania.

Or, conversely, the Dalai Lama inspires goodwill across many countries and cultures.

It’s one of my favourite sayings.

For a practical example: I don’t really like me very much on a day-to-day basis. I’m a boring guy who gets lonely and wishes he’d go out more and make more friends. No matter my great intentions, it seems that by the end of the night I find myself skipping potential social engagements by sitting in my room dicking around on the internet.

When I had the opportunity to move across the country I was excited. I wouldn’t know anyone, so no one would have any preconceived expectations of me. I could do all those things I’ve always wanted to do, be the person I really want to be. I could go to the park and have random conversations with interesting people! I could go to all kinds of fun meetup groups and dopefests and such, join clubs, make friends! I could get a bicycle and commute to work that way, thereby getting in the best shape of my life! I could take up new hobbies! Find a nice coffee shop and become a regular, Cheers style!

After the move, I spent three weeks alone in my apartment dicking around on the internet. Now not only was I the same lonely guy who fears social situations, but I didn’t even have the support group of my few friends and family I do treasure. You don’t realize what you have until it’s gone, ya know?

I came back. Things have been better, but the fact that it is now 3AM and I’m posting on the straight dope probably tells you that I still haven’t changed. Everywhere you go, there you are.

Thanks to everyone for the advice/well wishes.

It’s funny, during the day I’m happy with my decision. It’s the night that makes me doubt myself. It’s scary to start over again, but I guess I do have a leg up since I’m not going somewhere new. The town is new, but the state isn’t. I have a lot of family and friends there.

I feel like I grew up here in Arkansas. I’m not the same person I was when I left at 19. I just hate that I can’t take the friends that I’ve made here with me. And my animals. And how disgustingly cheap it is to live here. NJ is expensive! I’m afraid I’ll never be able to live on my own in NJ like I can here. But I want to try this anyway.

Goodluck for your move :slight_smile:

I have a question-What animals are you leaving behind? And why? (sorry thats two questions!)

There’s a saying: ‘There are none so free as those who have nothing to lose’.

I look around me, and I see ‘stuff’. Over the years I’ve collected quite a lot. I really should disencumber myself. I have friends with ‘jobs’. That is, they are handymen, baristas, shop clerks, and whatnot. They don’t have much ‘stuff’. What they do have is freedom. They do what they want, when they want, and all they have to do is go to a job and make enough to live on.

I have a mortgage. I’ve always had a ‘career’. My friends can just change jobs whenever they like, and move into a cheaper apartment (or a more expensive one as situations change). I’m locked into a 30-year loan and have to have a steady income. I can’t change my schedule (much) because there’s a concert I want to go to or if some friends want to make a video. There’s something appealing to exchanging some security for more freedom. But I’ve always been a bit careful (not that you’d know it). One thing about having assets is that I can liquidate them if I have to. ‘Thus enterprises of great pith and moment with this regard their currents turn awry and lose the name of action.’

One thing about starting over: If you’re at the bottom, there’s only one direction to go.

My cat and my dog :(. I’ve had them for 7 years. I can’t take them with me because my mom doesn’t want either in her house, and I have to respect that. They’ll be in good hands, but I’m sad thinking about it.

There’s something to be said for stability. I have that now. Some people think I’m going through a mid-life crisis at 28 since the divorce was my idea. And sure, I may be going through something and regret this later, but right now it’s what I want.

Stability is a great thing. Freedom is too. We need a happy medium.

What? Like a gay fortune teller?

You read my mind :dubious:.

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” – Janice Joplin :smiley:

I was never one to move your little dinky distances. I’ve moved from Texas to Thailand to New Mexico to Hawaii and then back to Thailand again. Big leaps. I did not settle down until I was well into my 30s. It sounds like the OP is 28 now. Still plenty of time to make all sorts of fun mistakes and explore. Don’t worry. You’re still young. Just live!

Wow… how did you afford to do all that?? It’s expensive to move.

And I plan on making many fun mistakes… many many.

It wasn’t that expensive. Back then, I lived cheap, and everything I owned fit into one bag. (Ah, those were the days.) My big move to Thailand was with the government, a job that lasted some years. When that was over, I wanted to go back to school but didn’t want to return to Texas once I’d escaped, so I flopped on some friends’ couch in Albuquerque until I got a job and an apartment.

After almost a year and a half, I moved to Hawaii because I was accepted to grad school there; I showed up a few weeks before the school year started and lived in a small youth hostel until I could find an apartment. I would have been in dire financial straits indeed in a short while had I not eventually found a job with the East West Center, a federal research think-tank on the U of Hawaii campus, that allowed me to live on campus rent-free. (Side note: I was just an East West Center employee, but my Thai wife was an East West Center student. The East West Center is where Barack Obama’s parents met, both of them East West Center students.) Then I moved back to Thailand with my Thai wife, who was still my fiancee at the time.

But when I hopped those planes, especially to Hawaii and back to Thailand, I was taking it on faith that things would work out. In both of those instances, I had very limited finances. But nothing would have worked out had I sat on my butt and stayed where I was. Sometimes, you just have to have faith that you can make it work. And 28 is a good age for that sort of faith.

Whoops! Clarification: No, I had not brought a Thai wife back from Thailand from my original time here. The U of Hawaii was where we met. Besides both of us living at the East West Center, we took many of the same classes, and I’d lived in Thailand, so we sort of naturally hooked up. See what taking a big chance can get you? :smiley: :cool:

I moved from NJ to Flordia when I was in my twenties, and moved back three years later after the break up. (I wasn’t married though, and I got to keep the dog). So I kind of know what you are talking about. I also knew it was the right thing to do, but still, I was a sad for awhile.

I got over it faster than I thought. As much as NJ has problems, it is an interesting place to live. Moreso if you are from here. I reconnected with old friends, made new ones. It was also freeing being out of the relationship gone sour. I look back at my life in Flordia fondly, but like you, I knew I wasn’t going to be there forever.

Welcome back!