Growing up, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else besides Washington, D.C. It’s home and all I know. Of course, I’ve visited parts of Maryland and Virginia, but I wouldn’t dare move there. I’m a city girl, my family is here, and I’ve experienced so much here.
It wasn’t until my senior year of high school, like many others, where my mind was opened to being some place other than D.C. It was time to apply for college. In the beginning, I only considered places that were closer to D.C.—Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. I had a full scholarship to a university in Oklahoma, but I could NEVER be that far from my family. Fortunately, I was granted the opportunity to go on a college tour with my friend and her mom in Florida. That trip changed my perspective on being further away from home. After that, I had my top three school choices selected. Miami, Florida, University Park, Pennsylvania and Greensboro, North Carolina were the places I wanted to be. Foolishly, I passed on the full scholarship.
My father really wanted me to stay home and attend a school in the area, but I refused. I wanted to break free. I felt like staying home would keep me in my comfort zone, and give my father the opportunity to spy on me. Sometimes I wish I stayed to have more time with him, but everything happens for a reason! I ended up attending Penn State University. It was away from home, but not too far. PERFECT choice. Although being away for those four years gave me some of the best experiences, after my college experience, vacations would be the only times I would ever travel away from my home.
My husband on the other hand, yearned to move away. When my he became a truck driver, I cringed every single time he talked about it. From the very beginning, he said where we lived wasn’t trucker- friendly. I insisted on staying. I refused to be in a new place alone with our daughter and with no help. I also couldn’t imagine leaving my mother. When I left for college, two months later my father passed away. I always feared the next time I moved away, something would happen, or I would lose my mother. I talked to him about my fear and he compromised for as long as he could.
I eventually began to lighten up to the idea of moving to another state and gave my husband my list of needs. The main points were that we must visit the potential place for at least a week in order to see the area in depth and explore the school district in person. I also didn’t want to be too far into seclusion where it would be difficult to find help if there was an emergency. But still, I would always do my best to avoid the topic as a whole because I wasn’t ready to move.
As time went on, we compiled a list of places, and put a plan into action where we would we would both research different aspects about the place, and then we would go visit. It was a concrete plan, and I was very happy that we were both working toward the change instead of it feeling forceful or like an ultimatum. It was a way for us to both get what we wanted.
In the mist of our search, both of our families experienced loss. We loss four people that were very dear to us in one year. Family became that much more important, and it reignited my desire to connect with my family in South Carolina. My father was born and partially raised in South Carolina. When he passed, I was able to meet his brothers and sisters who still lived down there for the first time. It was an indescribable feeling. They looked exactly like my father. Ever since that day, I wanted to get to know them. For years I would search online for them and try numbers, but they never worked.
More recently, I pulled out my father’s obituary and went into private investigator mode. I searched all over and collected possible numbers for each sibling. I discovered one of my aunts passed away, and I immediately became fearful that I had missed out on connecting with the others. I felt like if they all died, my father was really gone. But I finally hit the jackpot. I found a working number for one of my aunts and I was filled with so much joy. She said that she lost our number after my father’s funeral but had been searching for us the entire time as well. She then passed my info along to one of my uncles and I was able to talk to him a little also.
Soon after connecting with them, the opportunity for our family to move to South Carolina dropped right into our laps. While I wasn’t ready to move away, I felt like it was a sign from God since I wanted to connect with my family there. By this time, I had already made the decision to homeschool, so moving was more realistic for me at this point. South Carolina was also a great option because of the cheaper cost of living, space for our children to be free and play, and it’s not too far from DC where my immediate family is. At the max, it’s an hour and a half for a flight.
So, we’re moving! It’s time to say goodbye to the DMV as my residence, but it’s truly only a “see ya later” because it’s forever my home. I’m still praying that once my mom retires that she’ll move down with us, but that’s a work in progress. She’s lived here for 61 years, so moving would be a huge adjustment for her. That’s the only thing that makes this move difficult. My mother is my heart. My truest and oldest best friend. But I know for sure that our hearts will forever remain connected, and her grandchildren will continue to see, visit and love on her as much as possible.
I have a sturdy circle of friends that I’m confident will remain through this distance also. They range from childhood, motherhood and business and I’m grateful that God made that shift in my life to prepare me for this new phase. I can finally say, I’m officially ready for this new season in life. Earlier this year I blogged about stepping out of my comfort zone in Comfort Zone: Contentment vs. Complacency, and it’s been happening ever since. This is major for me. Major for my family.