Life Lesson #9: Think Before You Move Away From Home
Today’s life lesson was inspired by John Ed Pearce (a Pulitzer prize winning journalist and author) who said, “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.”
Think About This…
The more our world becomes a global society the more opportunities you will have to travel and even live elsewhere. I would encourage you to see the world as much as possible, especially when you are younger and don’t have the ‘responsibilities’ of life (family, job, bills, etc). The world is an amazing place and there are adventures of all kinds just waiting for you. That said, I would also encourage you to think before you make a permanent move — whether that be with a job transfer, going off to a distant college, or moving away with a friend or girlfriend. All of those things sound great at first (more money, new friends, making a way on your own, etc), and in fact they can be great in the long run for you too. But just keep in mind what I’ve already told you many times before — with every decision comes consequences.
Everything Has a Price…
I grew up as part of a large, close-knit Italian family back in Pennsylvania. My entire childhood was spent around grandparents, cousins, aunt & uncles, etc, etc. Every holiday we celebrated together. It was a fun, happy childhood. I thought everybody had that. And I just assumed my family would be there forever. But soon enough I went off to college and allowed the trails of life to take me away to Florida after school. I never did move back home and I ended up missing out on the lives of all my relatives back in PA. Although I made a great life for myself in Florida, my biggest regret in life is losing touch with my family back home — sure I spoke to them often and visited many times, but I was never part of their lives again once I moved away. It was never the same. And now many of them are gone until the next life.
Did I make the right decision by moving away? Well, I am incredibly happy with my life now (wonderful wife and kids, great job, nice house, etc, etc) so in that sense things have worked out good for me. But it was at the expense of my family ties back home. And even though things did work out for me, the process of making the decision of leaving home is what I want to focus on here. The fact is that I did not really think about it before I left — I just assumed that’s what everybody does – go off to college and then move away. Obviously that is not correct.
What This Means for YOU…
What I hope you take away from today’s life lesson is this — moving away from home may be good for some people, but it’s not for everybody. I hope you think before you move. Understand what you’re giving up when you leave. Have a plan if things don’t work out. Have an idea of whether your move is temporary or permanent. Tons of people take job transfers when they are young because they want to climb the company ladder — only to move from city to city and never put down roots — they chase after money, but lose their family ties, friendships made along the way, and more. Before you give your best years to a company that requires you to keep moving, know what you’re leaving behind — and know the risks: for example the risk of being laid off by that company which suddenly leaves you in a place you may not want to stay but without the money to move again on your own. Same goes for moving away with friends or significant others – it’s great when it works, but what happens if things don’t work out, then what? I’m all for you traveling and exploring the world. I think there’s also something to be said for studying abroad or even working overseas for a year or two. But we already talked about Frost’s “Road Not Taken” poem and how “way leads on to way” — just understand that when you move you may never come back. Understand that you too may lose your family ties. Understand what you are giving up. I can tell you 100% that I did not think of these things before I moved away. I didn’t know what I gave up before it was gone. I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did. Think before you make a permanent move and know if that this truly is the right decision for you.
Did You Know?
Today’s lesson came from a book Jax and I wrote called Diary of a Minecraft Dad