Life has pretty funny timing, wouldn’t you say? I met Tommy right before I moved to Charlotte. And just as I started to fall in love with Charlotte, I decided to move back to Winston-Salem. Yep, I’m moving back.
I’m extremely lucky that I have a job that will allow me to work in Winston-Salem. I did the same job there before I asked to move to Charlotte. I moved for personal and professional reasons: I wanted to get to know more coworkers who were located in Charlotte, wanted a change of scenery after a break-up in Winston, wanted to make travel to San Francisco easier since I was flying there a lot last year (and of course I haven’t been there once for work this year – ha!), and to be honest, I just didn’t think I would meet someone to date (once I was ready to date) in Winston since it’s a relatively small town. (We know how that went!)
I’m so grateful for my time in Charlotte. It’s been great professionally – I’ve been able to build great relationships that will benefit my career for years and also build close friendships with many coworkers. I am SO grateful to have a job I love (something I never take for granted having spent time in jobs that were pretty miserable at times), coworkers I truly enjoy working with, and a boss who is supportive of me professionally and personally.
And moving to Charlotte has been great for me personally as well — to do something just for me and not dependent on someone else, to get out of my comfort zone, to figure out who I am when I’m not in my comfort zone, to make new friends, to toughen up a bit (my neighborhood isn’t exactly the best). And, most importantly, to figure out what I really value in life and what a good quality of life looks like for me. And while I really like Charlotte and my life here, it’s not right for me right now.
Tommy and I have both been burning the candle at both ends to keep our relationship strong, trying to maintain friendships and commitments where we live, and keeping our careers moving forward. The back and forth between Charlotte and Winston-Salem has been really draining for seven months, and neither of us feel at our best. It’s an hour and a half drive each way, and while that’s not awful (I’ve definitely heard of worse long-distance situations, or heck, longer commutes!), it’s long enough to really sap our time and energy. And we’re at the point in our relationship that we feel it’s really important to be in the same town, and so we can put our energy where we need to—relationships, friendships, careers, personal interests–and not on coordinating logistics and driving.
It was a really, really hard decision and something I prayed and thought about a LOT. It’s very bittersweet to be leaving. But while I really, really, really like Charlotte, I love Winston-Salem. The quality of life in Winston is more my speed. I’ve had a hard time swallowing the increased cost of living in Charlotte, the crime (at least where I live!), the parking, etc. (I definitely got too accustomed to easy living in WS because Charlotte reminds me a lot of Salt Lake City, where I grew up, and I love that city!) I’ll miss the restaurants, the endless social opportunities, wide variety of activities, and all the options for almost everything you need in life (i.e. I just discovered an awesome nail place today!). I will really, really miss my new friends who have been absolutely incredible here, and holy moly, I’m really gonna miss my workouts buddies at Metro CrossFit – such a great group.
But for now, Winston is where I want and need to be. And it feels really good to be going home.