Advice: Should I Start Over?

Question: People always say that moving doesn’t solve anything – that your problems will follow you. But how can that be fully true? Ex-friends, big city traffic and noise, ridiculous living expenses – some things can be left behind, right? I’ve lived in this city 15 years, and as much as I’ve wanted it to, it’s rarely if ever felt like home.

How do you know when moving actually is the answer?

Answer: Ooooooo, good question. And I’d tend to agree with you at first glance BUT I had the exact same issue about a year ago and I got some great advice.

bearI lived in the same place for 8 years. It was a co-op on Vancouver’s East Side and had rent control and no chance of being renovicted. I was single there, had boyfriends move in and out, got a dog, and friends who needed a place to crash for a while always called me. It was my home.

The problem was with the neighbors. These people were jerks. They would call me screaming if my 4 pound chihuahua was chewing a bone in the livingroom. I didn’t have parties, let alone people over for dinner due to the stress of upsetting the people downstairs. Once the person on the other side of the building yelled at me for sitting outside in the sunshine because she said I was spying on her. I started to think ALL my neighbors had a personal vendetta against me and I became defensive and crotchity.

I wanted to move. I wanted the fuck out- but you know how it is living in the most expensive rental market in the world!?


One day I was complaining to a friend about my situation.

“I’m out! I don’t care how many dicks I have to suck to pay my bills, I can’t stand it anymore.”

“Be careful” she said. “However you leave this place is how you will enter your next home. You have to make sure you are leaving empowered and happy. Not bitter and resentful. Because that shit follows you.”

And she was right.

So I stayed. I apologized to my neighbors for the noise. I smiled and tried to make small talk with the weirdos who seemed to love driving me crazy.

DSCF3466I painted the place. I bought some new art. I planted some herbs.

I began spending a lot of time walking around my neighborhood; enjoying the parks and community.

And then one day out of the blue these neighbors that I thought hated me threw me a surprise baby shower.

The kid from downstairs made me a gift.

Someone baked me fresh muffins.

And the spell was broken.

Then I moved.

Now, I live in a huge place with lots of light and hardwood floors. It’s affordable and the neighbors downstairs are friends and we have people over for dinner at least once a week. Before bed I walk around my house gazing into every room, trying to decide which one I like best.

I have more than I thought was ever possible in a home.

But the key was leaving AFTER I had cleaned up my mess.

I didn’t run from anything.

Instead, I walked towards it.

Don’t go anywhere until you are NOT starting over.

Leave after you get happy where you are.









Damn right!? I know it sucks to hear this. What a bummer piece of advice.