It has officially been 6 months since Alex and I packed up our lives & moved across country with 3 animals in tow, 1,007 miles to be exact. To say that it hasn’t been an absolute whirlwind of emotions and events would be a drastic understatement.
But first, why move? Why pick up and leave everything and everyone we knew for the previous 4.5 years behind? Why move far enough away that the only realistic trip back to the parents house goes from being a car ride to expensive flights that may or may not get you there on time? We were comfortable, and we also felt stuck. We both had this urge to do something more, expand in our careers, to see new places. So when it came time to job hunt, we decided that it was more reasonable for Alex to be the one to hunt for jobs to move us. Being in the fitness industry, it is a lot easier to just “find a job”, Alex’s field however- not so much. Do I think that had I been the other one to look for the job to uproot us that we would have ended up in Greensboro, NC? No, definitely not, but I don’t think that was the way all of this was supposed to roll out.
So what has Six Months Southern been like?
Well it’s warmer, that’s for sure. And the rain and the sun are like jealous twin siblings that are fighting for the spotlight. Within a one mile stretch of driving I could drive 30 seconds in downpour, the next 30 seconds in brilliant sunshine, and then the next mile could see just a brief shower that is pretty much guranteed not to last long. No, we do not see any vicious thunderstorms with threatening tornados like we did in Iowa – and because of that it is infrequent to find houses with basements (a real bummer if you ask me).
The people? They’re the same. Iowans are definitely friendly and we were happy to find that Greensboro-ians are equally as friendly. No steps backwards there (insert thumbs up here)
Let’s talk about the size of this city. Now I am reminded by those who are from here, or from much bigger cities that Greensboro is not that big and rush hour is not that bad. Put it up against Cedar Falls, IA and it is! Holy moly planning time to hang out with friends is like a full detailed process. “Hey you wanna come over?” turns into well, you live 30 minutes away, so after my 30 minute commute home I’d already be home this late and factoring in the 60 minute round trip to hang would give us approx. 5 minutes of chill time. It’s crazy.
But what has life being Six Months Southern and six months away from family and friends been like?
Well if I said that I don’t think about and miss the midwest every single day, I’d be lying. Because I do. But stepping outside of comfort zones sometimes has a pretty hefty adjustment period attached to it. And the adjustment period is hard at times. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted being able to hop in the car to drive home for the weekend because I was just in need of a little home time. Or how much I would miss calling up Lauren to come over some night, only to drink too much wine and have her stay over, but hey that’s okay because she would keep the dogs company while we went to work early. Or how awesome our friends truly were. Not only do I miss the 4-some friendship we had with Chelsea and Clint, I am 110% sure that our dogs miss the friendship they had with Melvin and Wilson (their fur-babies).
However, I’m not sure if I miss Iowa and the Midwest or if I miss the relationships and memories we had there. Cedar Falls gave me the best 4.5 years of my life, but I feel that many people get that nostalgic feeling when they think about their college town. And when we sit down and think about it, did we want to live in our college town forever?
As we grow older, Sharky’s and Social House have turned into causal Friday wine nights. And those causal Friday wine nights will someday turn into chaotic Friday nights chasing kids around only to sneak out a bottle of wine when they’ve been put to sleep. We are aging, and I don’t think our college town is where we were supposed to age at. I’d much rather look back on it and always have that nostalgic feeling of the town that gave me the most memorable, crazy, spontaneous years of my life. Plus, it will always be the town where I can tell our future kids “this is where I met your dad at” and that would be a cool visit to have.
Maybe the hardest thing is realizing that adulthood has hit us full speed ahead, it crept up slowly but I chose to ignore it before now.
But hey, on the flip side I like looking at all of the GREAT things that the East Coast has given us. I mean pretty much the biggest milestones of our lives beside graduating college have happened out here.
In February Alex started an awesome, long-term full time job with Volvo.
In April we got engaged (eek!)
In May we went under contract for a house
In June we closed on that house
In July we moved into that house
And in August I started my first, legit full-time job with all the works.
Responsibility is here but I am actually really enjoying it now.
We have a house we are making a home. Our dogs have a fence that allows them 1000X more play time than they used to have. We both have secure jobs that will long-term give us financial freedom for numerous beach trips and more. And we are slowly making friends.
I have to remind myself that I miss Iowa because I miss all of the good memories about it. But those memories were 4.5 years in the making, I can’t expect to have those kind of memories in the first 6 months here. Although we have a pretty good start. Who knows what the future holds, who knows what tomorrow holds, but I’ve convinced myself to enjoy the ride. This state, this weather, this home is too beautiful to not enjoy every moment of it.
Iowa, I miss you. Illinois, I miss you. Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin, I miss you too even. But hey, North Carolina is holding it’s ground to you guys. So friends and family, come visit, we have 2 spare rooms and plenty of beer to share 😉