I know I am happy about having settled down and lived in one city for four years now. But once in a while, I still get that niggling feeling of wanting to jump on a plane and move to a new country! As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I know it’s important to build relationships and bonds with other people. And I’ve said that I find it easier to do this by sticking to one place. I think it can help in terms of support and just overall happiness levels to have strong friendships. Gretchen Rubin wrote a book called the Happiness Project. She explains how important friends are in life. I read the book and I strongly recommend it. I think it’s just a great way to be more aware of yourself and others and to not take life for granted. She also writes a great blog on how you can proactively choose to be happy by making the effort: to challenge yourself, to try new things, to put energy into your friendships, to strive for more in your career and so on. But that’s for another post on happiness!
So yes, Gretchen, reminds us how important it is to put effort and energy into friendships and to continue to build these connections. And in so many ways, I’m so happy with the friends I’ve made here in London. I have an absolutely wonderful time with each of them when we go see the new movie that’s just come out at Cineworld, drinks out in Clapham Junction, birthday drinks at that busy beer garden or simply a lovely afternoon in Hyde Park. They make me laugh. We exchange stories. We talk about the latest issue at work or the most recent date on Tinder. I feel like I can help when they need advice. And they’ve been amazing about just being there for me.
But once in a while, very randomly, I’ll get this strange niggling feeling of wanting to start over new. Start afresh. Move to a brand new city. I mean, very honestly, that feeling has reduced quite a bit since I first moved to London. It happens much less often than it used to. Just once in a while. I guess the trigger can be when I meet someone new. For example, at a recent TCK event from the Meetup group in London, I experienced that sort of event that makes you question things. We’re out for drinks at a lively, noisy bar in Soho. And one of the TCKs I’ve met tells me all about how she’s thinking of moving away again for a new job, maybe New York City, maybe Hong Kong. She’s ready for that next move. And while I’m listening to this, I get this strange elation and energy. And I start thinking, “ah, me too! I want to do that. I miss it. I miss the excitement. The intensity.” That feeling will then usually remain until I go to sleep that night. I’ll think about it. Wonder how much I want it. How much of that feeling is real.
And the next morning, it’s gone. That feeling is no longer there. And I’m again so content and satisfied of what I’ve built here and what I have in London. I know that it’s because I’ve put effort in my friendships, my career, the football team I play with on the weekends, and all the other things. If I leave and move, all of that would go away. And then and there, when I do a quick cost-benefit analysis, I realize that the small benefit of the excitement of a new city does not outweigh the huge cost in terms of losing the community I’ve spent so long to build, the friendships I’ve taken to form, and the professional network I’ve slowly acquired.
Will that niggling feeling ever totally go away? Ah, I don’t think so. I mean, who knows, I could surprise myself. Hard to erase 22 years of moving around though. How do you feel about this? Do you ever get that feeling?