You really can move to a new place

I’ve written about how you can and should love where you live.

I sometimes get some push-back on this that feels like excuses. People spend a lot of time defending their own unhappy inertia, that circumstances simply prevent them from changing, and that there is simply nothing they can do. This rationalization seems to grant people the license they feel they need to be able to complain without actually doing anything about it.

We all make choices, of course, but new choices can be made all the time. To say your hands are completely tied is usually a bit disingenuous.

So here are some excuses that people give when they complain about why they can’t move to somewhere else. Also included are some responses. See if any of these resonate with you.

Excuse: I own a house.

People sell houses and move all the time. I’ve never sold before (only bought), but it does sound like a total pain from those I’ve talked to. I wouldn’t relish the process, but if it meant that you could move to an area that you loved, wouldn’t it be worth some short-term pain?

Excuse: I don’t want to leave my friends/family.

Your friends and family want you to be happy. And as the old adage goes, “if you love someone, set them free.” While a support system is vital to a happy life, advances in communication enable people to keep in touch like never before. And while you can’t replace family, you will make new friends in your new area. (I believe that the more you love a place, the easier it is to make friends anyway.)

Yes, you may lose touch with some people, but “hoarding” people is never a good idea (and yes, that is a thing). If you truly believe in abundance for yourself, you should allow people to come in and out of your life as they would naturally do.

Excuse: I have kids.

(Disclaimer: I don’t have kids, so if that devalues my opinion, that’s fine.)

While moving can be a life-altering experience—and possibly traumatic for everyone, not just the little ones—I always find it interesting how people use their kids as an excuse for pretty much everything. A parent may have no problem saying “you do what I say because this is my house and I make the rules,” but it seems odd that the same parent can’t just as easily say “we are moving to a better area because the is my house and I make the rules.

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I’m not a fan of parental authoritarianism, of course, and you should consult your family on this decision if you have one, but again, remember, the people you truly love you want you to be happy. Honor that desire, and if that means moving, so be it.

Excuse: I don’t know where to go.

Luckily, you can figure that one out. Go to the book store or the electronic equivalent, and read books on places. Look at a wall map and think about where you’d like to be. What’s important to you? Ocean or field, hot or cold, city or country? My move process started with a map of the U.S. and a process of elimination. It took a long time (and lots of investigation) to narrow down the possibilities, but it eventually happened.

Excuse: I won’t be happy anywhere.

As bizarre as it sounds at first glance, some people don’t want to be happy. They may feel like they don’t deserve it, or they may be punishing themselves for some past infraction. (I don’t have any personal experience with that one. Nope, not at all. Why do you ask?)

But to those people who say they won’t be happy anywhere, I wouldn’t argue with that, but instead suggest that a new place would at least be more interesting than the one that they are in now, so it would seem worthwhile to investigate. But secretly, I will wonder if new surroundings won’t just change their outlook.

I could go on

I don’t have enough money to move.

I won’t be able to find another job.

My partner won’t want to move.

I’m not saying that these aren’t real concerns. What I’m saying is that these concerns can sometimes be a cover for the real issue, which is just being afraid of making a change. If this is the case, that’s fine and understandable, but it’s better to admit it directly.

When you articulate the problem, you can work to solve it. If you really want something, you can work to make it happen. If you don’t want something, that’s fine too. But your situation is likely in your control (at least partially), so let’s be fair and acknowledge that.

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