After you move: Focus on you

Back in December, I finished my coursework for my Master's in Photography at Syracuse University. I still have to complete my Master's project before I earn my degree, and I'm still figuring the details. 

I also just moved back to Cleveland. I'm getting on my feet.

Moving is a process, and it can do a number on you. I've moved maybe 16 times in the past 12 years -- something crazy like that, so I know.

Because I don't want all of my amazing and head-shaking experiences to go to waste, here are some pro tips for after you move:

1) Focus on you. Really, you should always focus on you. (It's that whole "airplane-emergency-mask" idea: You know, you won't be helpful to anyone if you don't take care of yourself first.) Find the places in town you like, the museums, the yoga studio, the bar, what have you... The places you can own, your spots.

2.) Make your place homey. I've had a few instances where I knew I wasn't going to be in a place that long. One time, I didn't even unpack boxes because I knew I was only living there for the summer. What I've learned? If you don't make your place comfortable, you're not living there. You're surviving. It's super important you give yourself a good base, so you can do your best work, be your best version of yourself. Also, making a place homey doesn't mean spending a lot of cash (that's why Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity ReStores exist). It also doesn't mean acquiring a lot of stuff. Make sure you have the important photos and the items that represent you out, where you can see them. They'll keep you moving forward and remind you who you are, where you came from.

3.) Get Wifi. I don't have wifi at the moment, and I'm dying. If you can't stream music or listen to NPR or access Netflix, it will be very hard to stand the quietness in your house. Even if you're all noble and plan to read every book in your collection. Once I get my first paycheck, I'm getting wifi. In the meantime, you can use the library's free wifi, like I do.

4.) Take your time. I grew up in Cleveland, and I've lived in Cleveland sometimes, but I feel like I'm coming back from grad school with different eyes, different ideas. I know it's going to be a bit until I'm in a routine here, until my house feels like it's my home. Getting on your feet takes time. Right now, besides wifi, I really want a table from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, so I can edit in the empty room I call my office. ... It'll all happen.

Once I'm on my feet, then I'm going to get this Master's project underway, so I can wrap up this degree. Stay tuned for news about that...