Change is good, right?
June 24, 2012 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Big changes afoot, but with attendant sadness at leaving good friends and things. How do you cope?

We're moving back to the area we used to live in. Big move, lots of stress (please someone buy my house!), and leaving wonderful friends and family. We are happy to move - it's a good move for both jobs and we enjoy the area. But I hate saying goodbye and knowing that friends will be moving on without us. How do I cope with leaving and not getting really bogged down? Complicating factor: I'm pregnant and hormonal.
posted by Leezie to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You don't indicate whether this is your first child. If it is, be patient. Because when the baby comes, you will be so overwhelmed with motherhood that you won't even have time to think about friends. And then, before you know it, a whole new circle of lifelong friends will gravitate to you, through play groups and neighbor kids who play with your child and whose mothers and you click, and with whom, if you stay friends, in the future you will have some of your favorite life memories to cherish together.
posted by zagyzebra at 10:15 AM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Until next time, fare well." You'll still have Facebook, the telephone and email, and travel once kiddo is of age. Where is the 'bogged down' part, should you hire movers or something?
posted by rhizome at 10:55 AM on June 24, 2012

Keep thinking about all the reasons you're happy to make the move. Write them down when you need a pick-me-up. Studies show that focusing on the anticipation of good things to come is highly effective as a mood-booster.
posted by lizbunny at 10:56 AM on June 24, 2012

Best answer: I'm in a somewhat similar situation (albeit without the complicating pregnancy hormones): I'm leaving a city, a career, a country, and a group of incredibly dear friends behind and moving on (by myself) to something very different in a very new place.

Part of what is getting me through is an acknowledgement that this is a Big Scary Thing as well as an Incredibly Exciting Thing. Allowing myself the time and space and permission to mourn (that's really what it feels like) for the life I'm leaving while also feeling excited and nervous and happy about the life I'm entering has been liberating. It's OK to be sad. It's OK to have a sappy/sobby "Farewell! Good luck!" party with your friends. It's OK to feel whatever conflicting emotions you are feeling (god knows I've cycled through every emotion imaginable in the past few weeks leading up to my departure). Don't try and mask the sad things with excitement for the upcoming good things. They are both valid, and one needn't compensate for the other. You're allowed to feel both, all at once.

As for the feelings of sadness that friends are "moving on without you", this I relate to very well. My coping strategy has been to establish now (before I'm gone and things are crazy) a few points of reunion/reconnection in the upcoming year (i.e. meeting up in Paris for a friend's 30th birthday; a planned bi-weekly Skype-date with another friend and her young daughter; a road-trip next summer where my friends will come en masse to visit me, etc). These things don't need to be as grandiose as a trip to Paris, but just knowing that there are definite points in the near-ish future where I can reconnect with these people helps (a little) to ease the difficult transition time. Beyond that, I know that I will need to make a concerted effort if I want to continue to be a part of their lives...and the knowledge that I have the ability to ensure that our relationships are maintained is somewhat calming.

But yes. Moving away when you've got a Good Thing going is hard, no matter how awesome the thing you're moving towards is. It's sad, and it hurts, and it might do so for a while. But it will pass. For now, just know that the sadness you feel is a reflection of the love you have been lucky enough to experience in your life. Reframing the sadness of goodbyes as a celebration of the awesomeness you've experienced in knowing and loving these people can help, a little, as can remembering that they are always only a silly text-message, or impromtou Skype call, or gushing emotional e-mail away.
Good luck with your move, and your baby! Onwards to new, exciting, wonderful adventures...
posted by Dorinda at 11:33 AM on June 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

If you have any spare time, which it sounds like you probably don't, you might write some cards for the people you are leaving and tell them how much you have valued their friendship at close proximity, and how much you hope to continue the friendship after you've moved. While this in no way guarantees that the friendship will persevere, it at least allows you to clearly state your intention, and to feel like you're doing *something* to mark it with each person. And yes, I think pregnancy highlights this "everything is changing" sense even more, and some of that is just stuff you have to accept and feel - it's hard, but it's such an important transformational time in your life, some of this stuff is just bound to come up and be hard.
posted by judith at 11:49 AM on June 24, 2012

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