1. Get a flea infestation in your home right before moving. About two weeks before you’re planning on leaving, start waking up every morning with 5-10 new bright red bites all over your body. Grow increasingly desperate, mapping and tracking each bite like a secret treasure map to hell, becoming more and more bitter that while you have 62 painfully itchy bites (yes, you counted), your partner and his cat have precisely zero. Fuckers. Spend the two weeks before moving bombing the shit out of your apartment with every “non-toxic” insecticide made by man. Cover everything you own in a two inch-deep layer of white powder with names like diatomaceous earth, boric acid, and flea-killa. Vacuum three times a day, do approximately 121 loads of laundry, and then, finally, spend your birthday trying not to inhale the “non-toxic” insecticides as you make your final attempt at flea-cide.
2. Pack your own moving truck. Trust me, those random muscles you didn’t know you had in your forearms will NOT thank you. Ideally, this will be done in the dead of night after a full work day and four hours of flea-fearing sleep.
3. Do it in the dead of winter. This is an educational opportunity – begin every morning by googling “wtf is a ‘wintry mix'” and “why god why.” Your knuckles will get more exercise than ever before, with just a brief taste of the arthritis surely in your desk-job future. You’ll grow certain that yes, this god damn storm IS following you across the country, and wonder if it’s your punishment for enjoying Donald Trump’s cameo in “Little Rascals” 15 years ago (it is) and if maybe we all rushed to judge this whole drought thing a little too quickly (we didn’t). At some point, when the snow/ice/rain becomes so thick it’s practically an opaque wall of regurgitated ocean backwash(#watercycle #science), you’ll grow spiritual, closing your eyes at the wheel (jk mom) and letting god/highway 40 do what it will with you. This will not go over well with your partner in the passenger seat. As an added bonus, nothing is more beautiful than Arkansas in January. (Except for any other place at any other time.)
4. Have a community of family, friends, and coworkers that make it really, really hard to leave. But who would never be anything but supportive of you.
5. Move with a partner who makes all of the above manageable. Face it, you’re a total shit show throughout this whole process. And when you wake up completely hysterical because your left leg has new flea bites, he’ll spend three hours dumping insecticide on everything he owns and three more hours vacuuming it up. When you’re too cheap to pay for professional movers, he doesn’t complain while carrying all the heavy boxes. When you’re tired and grouchy after ten hours on the road, he’ll be the one driving through Oklahoma thunderstorms. When you finally get here and you’re wondering where the circuit breaker is, when your moving truck will arrive, what’s making the turned-off sink leak, how in the hell you managed to drop a sofa on your arm, and why you ever left everyone you love, he’s the one that makes you laugh and brings you chai lattes.