In honor of a few graduates I know, this is part 1 of posts I have planned on Moving to a New Place. It’s important to keep in mind that the moving I’m talking about can be physical or social, but I’ll focus on physical for clarity. The same concepts are involved.
I’ve ‘moved to a new place’ 4 or 5 times in the last 6 years. Each time, I knew essentially nobody in the new place I was moving and things have always turned out pretty well. This doesn’t make me particularly gifted, other people have done the same thing. But I’ve moved to and through some very diverse cultures and I think my theories for moving are better than anyone else’s.
Phase 1 is the first two months of the move. The most important part of Phase 1 is to let go of all attachments from your previous locales. Those friends/lovers should not be used as an emotional crutch for readjustment. You have important decisions to make and if they care about you they will be there for you after you’ve transitioned and you don’t need that safety net clouding your judgment. Besides, it’s a proven fact as far as I’m concerned that long distance relationships only work for insecure failures. Everyone else ends up breaking up, just do it and get it over with.
The second most important part of Phase 1 is to avoid making good friends with anyone. Outside of very rare cases, people who are willing to be best friends with you a few days after randomly meeting you are desperate and lonely and not quality human beings. Be patient and slowly build your circle of friends because you meet best friends through other friends. The biggest mistake you can make is making friends too quickly because most of the time these people will be below you. Don’t date anyone in Phase 1.
The third most important part of Phase 1 is to explore your surroundings. Go to as many bars/nightspots as time will allow you, starting with those closest to your house. Don’t visit the same place twice until you feel you have exhausted other reasonable options. This will serve the purpose of:
- Providing a means of meeting a good variety of people
- Creating conversation fodder for other locals you will meet
- Finding your niche in your new location
The 3rd point illustrates the most important part of moving to a new place. If you can understand enough of the local culture, you’ll be able to tailor your personality to a point where you will be able to interact meaningfully with your surroundings. I can see the argument that this is insincere, but that’s quite the arrogant stance. This world is bigger than you are. You have to fit in with your surroundings to be able to modify them to suit your needs.
Remember, if you can understand someone’s innermost desires, you can control them. A parallel can be drawn from an individual to a culture.