In August of 2013, I took the plunge and escaped New England by accepting a position at a large Florida state school, requiring me moving from the great little city of Portland, Maine to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. People asked me, “Why the move? You must love Florida. You must have friends down there, yes?” Truth is, I had been to Florida three times before and not even for the interview. That was done via SKYPE. I had always said I would never move to Florida. I visited the Sunshine State once in 1982 when I was in the second grade to Disney (pre-Epcot), in 2002 to Ybor City and Busch Gardens Tampa, an in 2009 to Fort Lauderdale to catch a gay cruise. My memories of Wilton Manors up to that point were the wheel of alcohol at Alibi, skinning my knee as I fell crossing the drive, and vomiting out of a moving taxi. Yep, classy. That's me. So if those were the memories, what was pulling me to Florida? I think it was more so what was pushing me from Maine. After 40 years there, 13 of them in Portland, maybe it was time to go.
Just after my one year anniversary of moving to Fort Lauderdale, I read an article from Elite Daily entitled Staying is Settling: Why you need to move at least 5 times in your life. Five? Really? I just did the one move, now they want 4 more?
To truly understand yourself, your purpose and those around you, you must keep moving. You must move at least five times; five times to open your heart and dip your toes into something new, fresh and life changing. – Elite Daily
I had moved around Maine a little, but I think this is addressing more volatile moves than those. My move to Florida was pretty drastic. I had to buy a new car, find a new place to live, move out of a fully stocked 3 bedroom apartment, and away from family, friends, and everything I had known up until then. Why was I moving? Was it just for the money and no snow? Lauren Martin, Editor of Elite Daily states there are five reasons for us to consider moving. Read the abridge reasons and see if you agree. For the full article, click here.
1. To get away from what you know
This first move is the hardest. It’s the moment you willingly decide to be uncomfortable, scared and alone. It’s making the decision to become a foreigner, an outsider, a refugee. It’s abandoning everything you once cherished for the idea that there’s something better out there.
2. To find new experiences
The second move you make should be one of restlessness. You should be tired of the same flavors of your now comfortable surroundings. This move is about feeling again. It’s about accepting that you can’t possibly know everything, but you are going to try.
You will make new friends, find new flavors and reignite that passion for life that came with your first move. You will not rest until your hungry soul is placated. You will leave your old friends for new ones, your first language for another and that idea that you’re home for that invigorating feeling of homesick.
3. To chase love
If you think you’ve found it… in a person, a city, a job, you must move for it. If your dream job awaits in Spain, you must move there. If your heart yearns for the pink beaches of Bermuda, you must go there. If you fall in love on the dunes of the Cape with a man you barely know, you must follow him. Chasing love is not irresponsible, it’s honest. It’s admitting that there is no greater chase, nothing more important. Because if you’re not chasing love, what are you running after?
4. To escape that love
You must be strong enough to walk away from finished love to find new love. You must flee the suffocation that comes from stifled love and keep your heart open for more. You must never settle, never give in to the idea that you can’t have another one. Because the world is full of things to throw your heart into, things to make you weep and realize (yet again) why you’re alive.
5. To begin all over again
You must resist the confines of comfort. You must defy the idea of settled. You must never resign yourself to the ordinary or the easy. You must challenge tranquility for the promise of something greater. – Elite Daily
In looking at the list, I think all of these applied to my move to Florida, except number three. Maine is great and beautiful, full of friends, families, great experiences. I miss it often, but there were points in the article that touched on why it was time to go. So it has been a little over a year and how has it been? Do I love Florida? I don't miss the Maine snow, I love the Florida beaches and kayaking year round, and living in the gayest community in the US is not too bad. There's not much of a love life yet, but that's my doing as of now. The PhD is taking up a bit of time. But friendships are developing and let's face it, living in southern Florida, everyone wants to visit so friends are always popping in. I have a long time before I become stagnant in this community, if ever. There is so much I have not experienced in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area or Southern Florida. Today, I am over on Sanibel Island enjoying the company of a former roommate and his husband. I need to dip my toes into some new places like I am today and maybe a little deeper in some others.
Is it time for you to move? Do any of the above five reasons apply to you? If you need help deciding, revisit some advice found in the Elite Daily article.
Turn around, look at your life and decide right now if this moment, this place makes your pulse race and your heart bend. If there’s not a fluttering feeling in the deepest part of your soul, questioning and absorbing everything around you, get out right now. If you feel comfortable, content and unchallenged… stand up and walk away. Make plans or don’t make plans, but whatever you do, leave this place and find somewhere new. – Elite Daily
Best of luck on staying where you are or on your move!
And if you did move, what made you move?