I once had a professor say to me, “Never underestimate the power of running away.” I thought it was a very interesting comment coming from a professor at a university…… now that I look back, she must have been about my age when she said it (39ish….) Throughout the years, this is something that has often made me think and her words echoed through my head.
One of the things I have discovered in my life is there are different types of moves. There are those career-related moves, there are those moves that are beyond your control (i.e.: if you work for the military). Yet, I have found that a majority of the moves people make tend to fall into one of either two categories: running away from something or running to something. Neither one is inherently good or bad – it can be good to run away from a bad relationship and bad to run to a new situation that may not really be healthy for you in the long run.
I have found that I usually move when I am running to something, but at times I have also moved because I was bored and needed a change of pace (in essence, running away from my old life). I love adventure and there is something for me about the adrenaline rush that accompanies a move (particularly when it is across the country or to another country) that is amazing. I learn so much when I have the opportunity to experience new things.
As we head from spring into summer, we are in a season where many people will be making physical moves in their lives. I caution you to really think about your motivation if you are moving. Are you running away from something or towards something? Will this move benefit you, or does is have the potential to cause you and your family harm? Are you dreading it or are you excited? Are you apprehensive? (a bit of apprehension can be both normal and healthy – change is hard).
My partner and I talk about moving a lot, but the reality is that we seem to be mostly talk. We will not move unless we have something to run to – some sort of opportunity that challenges us to learn and grow, or affords us the opportunity to have a new and exciting experience. We have a great life where we are – with wonderful people around us and our jobs are good – in today’s economy it is critical to look at these things and be thankful and not be too quick to make decisions that could jeopardize a healthy stability for one’s family.
Today, 268 days ’til 40, I remind myself that moves should be steps in the right direction – towards something better (be it a better salary, higher degree, amazing adventure, etc.) It is okay to run away from an unhealthy situation and it is great to run to a new adventure. The key is stepping back and analyzing your situation and being honest with yourself about your decision-making.