Knowing When it is Time to Move On

Maybe it’s a nagging feeling, or just a fleeting thought. Maybe it’s just boredom, or restlessness… or could it be something more? It’s a question that almost everyone I know has faced at one time or another (and a lot of them, it seems, are currently facing): how do you know when is it time to move on?

Traveling is one thing…

(And travel is by no means an experience I’m discounting.) Getting on your first plane, going abroad for the first time, and traveling alone… all are important steps and all take a lot of thought, planning and ultimately, courage to take a leap. What all these experiences have in common is that at the end of the adventure, you get to take a train and fly on a plane and ride in a car and ultimately, end up back in your own place, in your own bed, with your own pillow. Only a crazy person would want to give up their own pillow, right?

Is it time to move on?

For the past year I’ve been dealing with a tiny, fleeting thought, which has grown bigger and bigger and is at the point that it can’t be covered up or buried. I’ve been scared to even say the words out loud for a long time, and even more afraid to write them: it is time to give up my own pillow. It is time to move on.

I’ve lived in Nashville for 8 years (another few words I’ve been scared to write). I spent 5 years living here while I was a university student, then an additional 3 years working full time in corporate finance. Almost 4 years of those 8 have been spent in my current one bedroom apartment… my solace after so many adventures, where my own pillow resides currently. (Leaving this apartment will most certainly result in a meltdown.)

When you know it is time to move on, but you feel stuck

I wish I had better advice for this particular issue, but in my own experience when you know it is time to move on and you are paralyzed… you just have to rip off that Band-Aid. For me, that meant putting in notice that I won’t be renewing my lease again at the apartment. There are still a lot of steps I have to take on the road to actually moving, but I now have a deadline looming… my lease is up at the end of May.

What if? What if? What if?

The two little words that are responsible for so much anxiety, even in the lives of the strongest people I know… what if? What if I know it is time to move on and I do, but nothing works out as planned? What if I hate the place I move to? What if I miss my friends and family? What if I can’t find work or can’t make money? What if I fail?

At this point in my solid mid-20s I’ve learned an important lesson. ‘What if’ isn’t a reason to stay when you know it is time to move on. Those two little words may slow you down, but they’ll NEVER make you happy. ‘What if’ is about looking over your shoulder… but living a fulfilling life and finding happiness is about looking forward.

If you’ve taken a big leap towards what you know is right for you, I’d love to hear your advice and thoughts… please feel free to share in the comments.

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