When I was in early sobriety and part of a recovery community, I learned the term "pulling a geographic." It was used by people who would leave their city of residence when things got crappy for a do-over somewhere else. Take this micro-story for example:
I left NYC for my hometown of Seattle, started the slow-motion untangling of a 7-year relationship with a good man, and moved into my very own one-bedroom apartment on Capitol Hill. I continued to party my ass off, work as a freelancer* (in my case code for *under-employed 30-year-old), hopped from short-term relationship to short-term relationship but remained mostly single. My existential funk grew, except I got to mountain bike and ski on the weekends, smell amazing floral sweetness in the spring and lake swim all summer long. All these things were AMAZING; but I was still left with the low-grade dissatisfied twang of I'm just not that into me.
Here's the problem with my "geographic": I was leaving New York more than I was moving toward Seattle. This doesn't mean it still wasn't a good decision because leaving New York was more of a positive move than a bad move but what if, just WHAT IF:
Before moving I had taken time to write down all the reasons I wanted to be in Seattle, then hatched a plan to do something amazing there, and then upon arrival I wiggled my tail, put my twitchy nose into the air and WENT FOR IT?
Except I didn't. I guess I wasn't ready for great things quite yet.
A few years later, after a quick boomerang to NYC and back again, I was in a room with other people talking about their colorful pasts and how they live bountiful lives without guzzling pints of delicious microbrew. It was in this social circle where I heard the term "pulling a geographic." Most of the time I secretly thought, "Well it's not THAT bad to leave. What if you're moving TO, rather than running AWAY."
Except, most of these stories were the running away kind. WHICH STILL IS OK. I've learned that even when people are negatively motivated, it can lead to good things. Or save a life. But this is another topic.
LIFE IS MADE UP OF LEAVINGS
We leave a lot of people, places and things in life. That's just how this party goes.
If you're getting ready to leave a job, a person, a city, a habit/practice/thing, before you jump: THINK ABOUT YOUR REASON AND MAKE SURE YOU LIKE IT.
It doesn't have to mean that you like where you're going or what you're doing, as much as you like THE REASON for where you're going of what you're doing. There's a difference.
For example, maybe you took a job because you need the money STAT, but the job is a bit of a MEH--you could still like the reason of heeding the call of financial needs and taking care of your bank account. Jobs don't last forever--sometimes we take bridge jobs. Or, you could be moving out of a big beautiful house into a rental shack. You might not like the circumstance (financial difficulties) but you can appreciate or even love your reason (financial responsibility and repair).
Also, if you can't find a reason you like for leaving--even if in the short term is hurts or is hard--it's going to be hard for you to move forward, grow and thrive in the new life space.
If you are leaving your job, make sure you like your reason.
My reasons for leaving my jobs have varied greatly: from getting a new one to getting laid off; going off to start my own venture to snapping and deciding I couldn't take the assholes I was working with one more second. In the latter case, not only did I quit that job, but I moved cities.
What are your reasons for leaving? Do you like them? Is your reason something that, like the wing of an eagle, takes you and drops you off someplace new and cool--someplace of value? Maybe that place is a stepping stone--a throughway to the next stop. Because we all know this is a marathon and we're playing the long game here!
You are the leader. Of You.
Only you can answer your reason for leaving. And if you're wrestling with a good reason to leave, it might mean your job is to stay in the current job/relationship/situation a little longer until you have learned/experienced/accomplished that one last thing you need in order to fly the coop.
Just make sure your leaving isn't connected to you hoping SOMETHING ELSE will make you happier. Because it won't. Maybe for a short while, but then you're left with you and all the habits and swirling affairs of your own heart and mind. Hello!
When you like your reason for leaving, you are anointing yourself as the Leader of your life. You are saying "Hey, let's see what we can create over here!" rather than ducking for cover and going, "Eek, let's hide out over here!"
If leaving means taking yourself somewhere new, what do you have to do to make sure you like your reason?
Then, go make your bad-ass beautiful mark on the world. Or simply rejoice in the accomplishment of taking a risk and having your own back.
I'm cheering for you the whole way. You've got this.
PS. If you want to talk more about leaving and finding a good reason, email me. We can talk, no strings attached! firstname.lastname@example.org or 206 406 6196
READY TO BLOW YOUR OWN MIND THIS SPRING?
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