I’ve been in a fairly reflective mood the last few days. Between questioning the path of my professional life, wanting to make some solid, sound life changes in the near future, and adjusting to life in a new place, my mind’s been racing.
So it didn’t hit me until yesterday that today is the one year mark when I’ve been off the road. It’s interesting looking back on my last day out and first day back to see the differences – both in my memories then and where I am now.
There’s so much new in my life at the moment (bullet time!)
- I’m living in a new state. I’ve never “lived” in any state other than South Carolina, minus summer months spent in Phoenix, Arizona for a couple of years in college. Ironically… or fittingly… enough, I’m living in the last state I was in on my trip before getting back home. It’s been such a whirlwind though – I’ve lived in Raleigh for 7 weeks as of this coming weekend, yet I’ve only been here one weekend. The rest have either been spent on the road back and forth to South Carolina for my stuff, dog, and Thanksgiving or in Charlotte for Halloween and football goodness. Luckily, this weekend (and next), I’ll be able to sleep in in my own bed.
- I have a new sister in law! Our family isn’t tiny but it’s still small enough to feel the ripples when someone new is added. This one’s a good one though. We get along (a fairly rare feat with my brother’s previous track record) really well. And she’s down for our football trips. It’s awesome that she and my brother live 3 miles away too. It’s been since college when I was able to just hang out with my brother on a regular basis.
- I’ve got a new job. It’s throwing a lot at me. But I’m learning a lot about myself, given the situation.
- Harper my puppy! Our family has always had dogs. So I made sure I had one for myself before I went out on my own. She’s handled the move flawlessly. No problems in the apartment. No loneliness issues. We walk at least a mile a day (when it’s not raining). And I’ve introduced her to the dog park down the street. She’s still a little leery but she’s catching on. I have a vet in the area now too who I really enjoy. Harper’s already made her first stay overnight and everything went great. This is one of the great differences between me a year ago and me now.
- One thing that bums me out is that I’ve lost touch with some of my friends in SC. Whether it be because we fell out or grew apart during my trip or just that it’s a lot more inconvenient since I’m a whole state away now, I lost some people I really enjoyed being good friends with. But when one door closes, another opens, right? I’m
slowlymeeting some people here in the area. A new Charlotte friend. A sister-in-law’s cousin in Georgia I met at Stephen’s bachelor party weekend. A step-cousin I was able to re-meet and touch base with. My brother’s goofy, yet awesome landlord (yet slightly less awesome for his dad getting me a ticket to the debacle that was the NC State/Clemson game). I’ve got good people in my life.
- And to finally make my dad happy, I’ve got my own home now. Honestly, it’s not really different from when I was living at home, aside from the fact that this costs me a whole lot more to do. I just own my own TV, couch, and bed now. I still eat like the single dude I am. I still walk my dog and jog every other day. I still spend too much time online. I just bank less of my money. And I still need lamps to brighten the place up. And Clemson pictures to go on the walls. I’ll give you my address if you want to visit. Or donate to the cause. Either way, I won’t complain.
Another famous phrase holds true too though – No matter how much things change, they stay the same.
- I read a blog yesterday that pegged me perfectly at the moment. I don’t have an itch to start my own business or be able to work whenever I want to. I’d just like to enjoy showing up at work 2 or 3 days a week. I’d settle for 60%.
“But once you’ve spent years dreaming of something better, can you really go back to being jailed in an office from nine to five without generating plenty of productivity killing resentment?”
- I have people still questioning my decisions. I’m not upset about it. Everyone certainly has the right to their own opinions. My brother thought it was incredibly silly to quit a job to travel. Yet, I still did it. And now it’s funny to hear how many people tell me to stick out a job or living somewhere for “at least a year.” What happens if you can’t be happy in that year because of the circumstances? Just to stick something out? I respectfully disagree, kind sirs. I got this, even if I have to swim upstream by myself. Not all salmon get eaten by bears!
With that said, it’s been a good year though. I’m glad I’m in a new place. Being at my parents’ house with no job was getting a little stale (no offense! My mom and step dad are awesome). I’m glad I know new people. I’m glad I’m experiencing new things.
I’m glad I can appreciate change.
And that’s something I couldn’t have said that a few years ago.