This week, Nick and I began the exciting process of moving! We are the proud soon-to-be renters of a married student housing unit, and could not be more excited. Today is the first of a few trips with nothing but the open road and a full minivan as we pack up our suburban life and move it somewhere totally different. From living with my parents as a community college kid to a wife (in less than a month) in an apartment at university with my Mr is a pretty big transition, and it has gotten me thinking about change.
I have lived in the same house from when my mom was 8 months pregnant with me until now. I have had the same address, the same backyard, and one of two bedrooms for my entire life. We even have the same fridge and freezer unit, same couch, and same carpet downstairs. A lot of things have changed for me, but home is pretty much a constant. I know every inch of my hometown, all the shortcuts for cyclists, and I can walk anywhere. All of the librarians still know my name, from when I was a little girl going home with books stacked taller than my head. The coffee shops know my usual. The neighbors remember me as a toddler who loved petting dogs and scaring people by speaking in full sentences from my stroller.
My entire life was built in that one town, and now, I’m leaving it behind.
It’s not like I’ll never be back. We are only moving a few hours away, and plan to head back every month or two to visit friends and family (and probably enjoy my family’s Costco membership). That doesn’t change the fact that I’m picking up my life and moving it across the state.
As this beautiful process unfolds, it’s left me thinking about how often we define ourselves by relationships — not necessarily romantic ones, but with things and places. No longer am I the homeschooled girl, the neighbor, the intern, the tomboy, the one who lives just outside of town with a big yard. I’m not from X suburb with Y stereotype, and a lot of the casual friendships I have had will soon be fading into once upon a time.
Now, I’m Sarah Reynolds. I’m freelancer, oil lady, a motivated millennial on the move. I’m the nerd with a 4.0 and a social life, teaching other students how to have it all with Conquer Your Semester. I’m (almost) Nick’s wife. I’m redefining myself, and it’s good, but extremely odd to have so much power to change perception at once. I’ve changed churches, co-ops, and social groups before, but never in my life have I so thoroughly uprooted myself to start fresh.
Although moving and marrying has been the primary motivation for my redefinition, your circumstances don’t have to be that drastic to take control of yourself, your reputation, and the way you define your life. Every single day is a new chance at Day One. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of it because of what others may think, or who may be left behind. You do not need anyone’s permission to begin a metamorphic change.
How do you want to define yourself?