To A Dear Friend Of Mine

There's an old saying that goes something like, "Put an a**hole on a plane in Boston, and the same a**hole will get off the plane in California." Basically, it's a crude way of saying that you are the same person, wherever you happen to be. You can't change your life by changing locations, because you still have the same fears, baggage, issues...whatever. While I don't think a change of locale will alter your personality, I do think it is possible to change your life with some new scenery. I'm living proof-just moving from Connecticut to Boston led to a seismic shift that, ultimately, allowed me to recreate myself as a person. We tend to become our own stereotypes when we stay in the same place too long. The people who surround us begin to force us into certain roles, and this becomes our truth. Just look at any large group of friends: there is always the "crazy" one, the "quiet" one, and the responsible one who takes care of everyone. If the crazy one decides to have a solitary, contemplative day, people think she is depressed and miserable. If the quiet one expresses anger, she is acting like a bitch. No one can fall outside of their role without suffering some sort of judgment or repercussion, however mild it may be. Eventually, this role becomes the essential "you." You stop doing what you really want, and become chained to what is expected of you.

We fall into patterns so easily. Even the most adventurous of us are creatures of habit at heart. Just think: what is the first thing that you did when you woke up yesterday? The answer doesn't matter; the point is that you can probably recall it easily, because you do the same thing every morning. This, too, becomes an essential part of who you are. If you wake up and run for two hours each morning, you're a health-nut. If you lie around in bed for two hours instead, you're lazy and unmotivated. If you wake up and run a million errands before work, you're a go-getter. See how something this simple can alter your perception of yourself?

Now think about your environment, in general. If you live in a space that you love, and you are generally happy and content, and life is just great, then congratulations. But if you have been down a long, hard road, you begin to associate your troubles with your location. I always associate my first apartment with the craziest time of my life, and when I refer back to that era, I always preface it with, "back when I lived at the apartment on **** Ave." The house took on more significance than simply being a home; it was a place that defined me at a certain age and lifestyle.

This being the case, why would you want to stay in a place where you suffered loss, and hardship, and misery? If I have a patient in my office who just exudes misery and negativity, I make sure to smudge my office to clear out all the ickiness. Why? Because that crap lingers. I have seen physical proof of this. And it's a vicious cycle: leave the negative energy to linger, and it starts to feed on you...which makes you miserable...which creates more negative energy...and the cycle continues.

So, my dear friend (whom I will not name): get the hell out of Boston. There's no need to fear. Your soul has been crying out for a fresh, clean start for years now, and this opportunity is a gift. Take advantage of it!