If you read this post (or know me), you know I’ve moved around for different moments in my life. Every turn has been an adventure. When we got to Louisville (my camp from womb to the age of majority) a year ago, in my mind, our adventure settled. We were trading… the excitement, fear and trepidation of adventures for predictability and a safe harbor. I swore we were done moving and never moving again.
We are in the best little neighborhood with the most amazing neighbors. My family joins us for dinners and my best friend is available at a moment’s notice for a good run.
Spring was a blast and our 3 year old learned to ride a bike. Summer was so hot that I went full-on with my Kentucky roots. We put a slip ‘n slide in the front yard that attracted kids (and adults) from neighboring houses and produced howling laughter. Fall was magical with a trip to an apple orchard. And thanks to mild January and February temps we saw many trips to the playground; making winter not as long as it can be in Louisville.
Despite how great everything was, the mild winter kept reminding me of Charlotte. While others were delighting in the benefits of the warmth, every time I took our dog outside I was lamenting (to myself) that these mild temps were the norm in Charlotte.
Like an old flame that I couldn’t get out of my head, I found myself longing for the Carolina sun and brilliant blue skies. I figured if I ignored the old flame, it would eventually die out. Accordingly, I told no one, including my husband, of these thoughts.
As winter was ending and we were one month shy of our year anniversary in Louisville, my boss made a passing comment: It would be great if we could get you back to Charlotte.
Stop the clock. Hold the phone, what did you just say?
It revealed the elephant in the room that neither my husband nor I had spoken about. Even though we hadn’t talked about it, we each knew exactly how the other felt: we missed Charlotte.
We didn’t need much time to make our decision. There were weird signs. From oddly timed emails to messages about change like:
The cost of not following your heart is spending the rest of your life wishing you had.
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance.
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
I was either looking for the message or it was trying to find me. Either way, the message was heard loud and clear: roll with life. Something about it felt right.
So we said yes.
Every turn, every opportunity that has presented itself has been unique and remarkable. I’ve been exposed to various perspectives and ways of life. It’s formed who I am. I have met wonderfully special people. Some just like me. Some very different than me. But from both I’ve learned the way all relationships can impact a life – regardless of how brief.
I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that these moves have been stressful and scary: Who can I find that I trust to watch our kids? How long will it take me to learn a new grocery store? Will we make any friends?!
Many of my best life experiences started out as foreign and scary. Walking onto Miami’s beautiful campus the first day of college. Moving into my law school condo to live by myself, for the first time, in an entirely new city. Finding a job. Walking out of a marriage. Trying love again. Having a child.
Then one day, those things that were unfamiliar became comfortable and worn in. Every single one has been special in its own way and shaped my life. The higher the risk and the work required, the higher the reward has been. Even the ones that didn’t turn out as I planned, taught me huge lessons.
And ultimately, what’s scarier than all of this is not trying.
I was a small child at 18 the last time I fully lived in Louisville. I consider myself lucky to have spent a year as an adult in my hometown. I look around and think my friends grew up earlier than me. There were a lot of things I simply did not learn until my late 20’s and I learned those things while in Charlotte.
My husband’s home is Virginia. Mine is Kentucky. Ours is Charlotte.
I think this is it. At least for the next few years. I now know better than to never say never.
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