So this week's Honest To Blog isn't so much a frustration or gripe, but more of a self-realization and kind of a "Where do I go from here?" post. I grew up in a small town, and I lived there for the entire first 18 years of my life. It had all of your typical "small town" drama and features... a tiny Wal-Mart, a local grocery store, lots of camouflage, and everyone knew everyone's business. My mom was born and raised there, she still lives there today. She does the whole small town thing better than I do. I'm not sure what brought it on or where on Earth the hankerin' to move came from, but it's a fever I can't break. I first moved out less than two months after high school graduation. I moved a whole hour and fifteen minutes north to Franklin, where I'd be starting college shortly thereafter. Here I was, eighteen, not a clue as to what I was doing. I had never moved (I lived in the same house from 2 until 18), I had never lived on my own, and I was an only child. I lived in a little townhouse with two upperclassmen from my college for a year. Immediately following my first year of college I moved into a house owned by my Dad for a few months, but it was too far from school so I promptly made plans to move back to Franklin. This time I moved into a large apartment with my boyfriend and his best friend. During this time I pranced off to Europe for a few weeks and traveled 11 countries, taking everything in. I lived in that apartment for just over a year and then I decided to live with one of my friends and a gal we met on Craigslist (haha yes, really). That was an interesting year... I learned a lot and finally broke things off with my long term boyfriend. I decided to follow my heart and apply for an internship at BUST magazine a year before I was supposed to. To my excitement I was formally offered the spot and for the next couple of months I racked my brain for the courage to move 1,000 miles away from everything I had ever known... to a city I had only stepped foot in once (and that was only Times Square! Seriously). The time came and my mom dropped me off at the airport, bawling like a baby (her, not me :P), and I promised her I'd be home soon. The entire flight was a blur and two hours later I was landing in my new city. New York. I'm this no-name girl from a small-hole-in-the-wall town in Tennessee... but now I'm living and working in New York City. Whoa. The following months were some of the most exhilarating and terrifying of my life. Walking to my dream job, in the dream city, and having all of these experiences that I knew I'd never forget.
I finally returned home to Tennessee only to pack my bags left at the apartment I shared with my friend (and the Craigslist girl). The sad truth is that we were friends no longer (Seriously, don't live with your friends. Just don't.). I found a new home in downtown Franklin via Craigslist (I love CL), and signed the lease right then and there (with my friend Jared, from school). We planned on having a third roommate and he came in the form of a freshman in our major at school. Here I was, living with 2 dudes. Then my best friend Brian came into the picture. KB, a big house, and three guys. I had lived with 2 guys prior (boyfriend and friend), but best friend and 2 classmates, all of way different styles/personalities, was a bit much. First friend moved out, girl classmate moved in. Blah Blah Blah.. live together... friend times... whatever. Mike moves in in December. Then the flood happened in May. It sucked, wasn't fun, okay. We had to pack up the few things that were salvageable and moved into my parents house for the time being. Three weeks later I was in a car moving back to NYC to work at BUST yet again. Dream job x2! Months pass, internship ends, I move back to Tennessee and get a new townhome with Mike. We only signed a 6 month lease because I had one semester of college left. We had every intention of moving away (away meaning out of state) a few months after so we moved back in with my parents to save money. Then we went on a trip to the town we wanted to live in only to be discouraged at our findings. Plan scrapped. After 2 months of living with my parents we decided to move to Nashville. Here we are. In an awesome (albeit sometimes annoying and barren) industrial loft, 6 and a half months in, itching to move somewhere else.
That's a lot of backstory right? For not moving a single time in eighteen years, I've moved more than I can recall in the past 5. But here's the thing... I love it. Maybe not the actual act of moving, but the exciting adventures that come with new places, new people, and just new surroundings. It could be something as small as moving from one apartment complex to another. It doesn't have to be a new city... just changing my surroundings helps me cope with my incessant need to move... to change. That's why whenever I get in a rut, I redecorate the house. Rearranging furniture is my saving grace!
So that's my issue. I like to move too much. The potential problem with this is that I want a brick and mortar store... I want to go to work at the same place, day in and day out. I want to find a home with a yard for my girls and a small garden (to inevitably kill everything I plant) and I want to live there... get this... for years. That's the dream right? Ridiculous, I know. I know I don't need all of this tomorrow, but I want to work toward it and start building it. I don't want to wait until I'm 30. And I know I'm not the only person with the wanderlust heart. I can be somewhere for 4 months and I'm ready to go. Ready to move. But I think it's because I haven't found home yet. Mike and I considered Savannah, Charleston, Wilmington, and Chicago suburbs. It doesn't help that a large majority of my best friends live in different states. It's a great excuse to visit, but I wish I could see them daily as opposed to once or twice a year (or once every three years in some cases! Love you Jessica!). And the cycle continues... We've visited Chicago twice and we loved the area, but we've never dealt with cold weather, and we've never lived away from our families for extended periods of time. I know we can handle it, but then comes the issue of having kids. We obviously want our parents involved with our children in the future. But we have to make smart decisions based on where our business would flourish. This is obviously the most important to us right now because we plan on pursuing our business for many years prior to starting a family.
It's almost as if I have a problem with commitment to these certain places. It doesn't scare me in the slightest to pack up and leave. But I'm so eager to really plant our roots somewhere and build our life, family and business. I'm scared to move somewhere, hate it, and feel defeated. Is Chicago good for us? Will it bring up the joy we want? Are we destined to live in middle Tennessee forever? Is that the right fit?
I have this insatiable need to just go. To experience cities, towns, people... things. I want something different, but I'm terrified at the same time. I realize this is a totally normal feeling, but how do you find the equilibrium? People make cross country moves every single day... I've done it myself. But anyone can move... Are we going to be able to pick a place and make it work? Are we going to enjoy our day to day lives and our surroundings? I'm over living in the urban cities. I'm not a fan. NYC was fun because I had no car, no dogs, no other responsibilities than taking myself to work and home. Nashville isn't for me. The city can be great, but it's sketchy and it doesn't give me the rural areas I desire. I love the suburbs (Ridiculous, I know... isn't that the opposite of most early 20 somethings?!) and I daydream of a cute small home, a yard, and a neighborhood I can teach my kids to ride their bikes in. I could write for four days about how I'm 23 going on 45 but I'll save that for another Sunday!
My feelings on this are nothing new. They're not unique and they're probably exaggerated, but I hope you get what I'm saying. I'm ready to move on, leave this chapter in Nashville, and seek adventure somewhere else. But I want to really invest everything I have into our business, and soon. How on earth do you manage to pick a new home and city based on just visiting?! Any and all suggestions are welcome!
As usual, my Honest To Blog posts are 100% free writing. No filter. No editing. No backspacing (except for fix the million typos!). Everything is straight from the brain and that's why it's so long and jumbled. Stick with me!
Have you ever made a major move? How did you decide where to go and when? What draws you to a certain city? What experiences do you have with wanderlust? xo