A Year Ago.
I moved from Nashville, TN back to Virginia, specifically Roanoke, one year ago this month. I can’t pinpoint the exact day, but I know I signed the apartment lease on July 16th. I lived here for about 2 weeks prior to help Erica move and stayed with her to start a new job, and Jason followed up with the dog a couple of weeks later.
Nashville was effin’ hard. I lived there for 2 years. I went through tons of job interviews, worked at Borders, then in publishing, then got laid off. Our apartment got broken into and my laptop and jewelry and other items were stolen. When we moved into our rental house in East Nashville, our windows were smashed when angry thieves couldn’t get the lawnmower out. My car was in a hit and run, while parked on the curb. Our first dog, Oliver, heartbreakingly and unexpectedly died after only 3 blissful months after his adoption. I only saw my mom at Christmas and May or June. After I got laid off, I searched for other jobs, only to finally realize–I was done with this city. Nashville had taken me on, beaten me up, and won the battle. It’s not Nashville’s fault I had some icky experiences. But I was definitely angry at the city around me.
So I picked my bruised jaw off the floor, wiped the country music tears from my eyes, and grew the balls to say “You win, Nashville. Peace out, yo!” Jason and I had had enough. I went to visit my mom and Erica and came back with a job, an apartment, and the intent to get the hell out of Music City. We’ve been in Roanoke for a year. A month after being here, I got offered an unbelievable job as manager of chocolatepaper, Roanoke’s fun chocolate and gift shop. Erica and I finally started our photography and graphic design business, E Squared Studios. I get to live minutes from my best friends, downtown where we could walk to great restaurants and bars (and work!), meet fantastic people, and live in a safe, secure apartment building (you could see where this would be important to me. I’m a freak about security and safety).
A year later, I’m engaged. I’m planning a wedding. I get to see my mom almost any time we want. And Jason and I have decided to officially start hunting around for our first house. We know what we want, what we can afford, what we can stand to renovate ourselves. We started looking online at a few different places and contacted a couple of realtors. This is crazy and terrifying and exciting all at the same time. I know exactly zero things about equity or pre-approvals for loans and god help me if I have to do renovations in the place. My solution is usually to throw money at the problem since people make their living doing something I’m terrible at–if they want to do it and get it done right, I’ll gladly pay them. But when I think about not having apartment complex neighbors, playing superhero movies as loud as I want, and giving my dog a huge backyard to run laps around? Jinkies, I’m stoked! I’m excited to be in a new place that I can make my own, can hang up things where I want, paint the walls fuchsia if I wanted!
The point I’m trying to make. Right. Okay. I didn’t care for where my life was headed. I had given everything a fair shake and it still wasn’t working, so I decided enough was enough. I refused to keep standing around, getting beat over the head with life just because I thought it was what I was supposed to do. I made a conscious decision to do what I felt was right and it paid off better than I could have ever thought possible. YOU control your circumstances. YOU control your life. Don’t like the way something’s going? Figure out the best way to change it so that you’re happy. You deserve it just as much as I do.
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