I’m a firm believer that a new haircut can completely change your outlook on life (hence my favorite phrase ‘Change your hair, change your life’) but lately I’m realizing that a new city has the same rejuvenating effect. I was talking with a girl who just moved to Charlotte from Buffalo about this idea. She explained that she feels like a totally different person since coming to Charlotte. When she was in Buffalo, even a simple detour on the way to her destination would freak her out. Now she’s meeting new people, trying classes, and navigating a pretty traffic-heavy city with no issue.
I feel exactly the same way. In Syracuse, I wouldn’t try anything new. Ever. I was scared to go to yoga by myself, I didn’t want to go to networking events (and had a panic attack when I had to go) and was perfectly content staying in my little bubble. Since arriving in Charlotte, I started a Meetup group that now has 80 people in it, ask friends of friends to get together, and am willing to try all kinds of new activities (a painting class, anyone?).
I think it’s because you have no choice but to be flexible and open when you move somewhere new. Your comfortable routine has gone out the window, and if you don’t embrace the unfamiliarity and really put yourself out there, you’ll rot in your room all the time. When you have no other choice but to adapt and push yourself outside of your comfort zone, you do it and get used to it. By the end, you may even like it.
I know personally, I feel like I’m a completely different person from who I was when I was in Syracuse going to the same restaurants and seeing the same people all of the time. The change has its scary moments, of course, but overall I think moving to a new city was one of the best things I could have done. Proving to yourself that you can make it in a new place is a huge self-confidence booster, and leaves you feeling open and excited about other new challenges.