Hello from the Big Easy!
Yep, this southern-belle-wanna-be is actually in New Orleans right now. Specifically, I’m sitting in an old-timey bar with light fixtures made from vintage car parts and a wall covered in vinyl records. My travel rule is “Eat like a local” so I’m waiting for a plate of crawfish and cornbread. It’s not as healthy as what I usually go for, but I ran 7 miles in what felt like 200% humidity this morning and took a long hot stroll around the Arts district so I’m feeling like a southern splurge is well deserved.
There are a couple of TV’s around and each one has a different news channel covering Hurricane Florence in the Carolina’s. It’s all most people have been talking about here, since we are in a city that is all too familiar with the devastation of hurricane season.
Seeing the national media coverage on Wilmington, North Carolina is especially weird for me. I was supposed to be living there right now. I leased an apartment in Wilmington in June….just 3 months ago. I quit my job in Idaho, and I packed up every single thing I own and had it shipped to Wilmington.
Wilmington, for me, was the city I was going to reinvent myself in. It’s where I was going to drive 2,604 miles to so that I would……well honestly, I don’t quite know what I would do there. But it was as far away from Idaho (literally and culturally) as I could get, and for a season of my life I thought that was what I wanted.
So at the risk over sounding like the biggest cliché ever, I first learned of the town Wilmington through Nicholas Sparks movies. They are always in the most gorgeous scenic coastal locations! And I’ve always had a fascination with the south…..I am a sucker for the accents.
When I first moved to Idaho in 2016, I didn’t have the greatest mindset or outlook. When you look for the negative, YOU WILL FIND IT. And because of my unhappiness with myself, I guess I tried looking for unhappiness around me. And I blamed Idaho for my unhappiness. (Being in a much better mindset right now, I see how wrong I was. Hindsight, you know?) So my solution was to move somewhere totally different and far away.
I went along with that plan until the very last second. I quit my job and signed a 12 month lease for an apartment in Wilmington that was 5 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. I moved out of my townhome in Idaho and packed everything I own into a moving truck. I paid $4,000 to have it delivered to my Wilmington apartment and I pushed all of the doubt and fear I was feeling deep down.
“You’re committed now!” I kept telling myself. “No turning back! Time to see how this works out!”
Spoiler alert, as I’m sure you can tell by now, I never moved there.
Somehow, something finally seriously clicked in my mind that Idaho was never the problem. It was only my attitude. I probably knew this all along. But admitting that you are the cause is never easy 😉
Friends and coworkers helped me realize that I had not even dipped my toe in the water of all that Idaho has to offer. I’d never left my comfort zone, never gone camping or tried to meet new friends. I spent too much of my time feeling sad about my situation instead of trying to change it. My instinct was telling me that running away would not solve anything, and I knew I would regret leaving this beautiful state and my family. (HOW COME I COULD NOT HAVE REALIZED THIS A MONTH EARLIER THOUGH?! Trust me, I ask myself this too.)
But I’d already given up my home and job in Idaho. I still had quite the mess to clean up when I made the official decision to stay in Idaho and to take an active part in making it feel like home.
For one, everyone I’m friends with knew about my move to Wilmington. I had to tell everyone about my change of heart, which I feared made me sound flakey. I hate feeling like a flake. I also had to apply for new jobs, and find a new apartment to live in. I had to get my moving truck full of things re-routed to Idaho, and held in storage until I had a new apartment to deliver it to. I had to get out of my lease agreement in Wilmington. It was a lot of work so I naturally asked myself pretty often “am I doing the right thing? Is this where I’m meant to be?” And over and over again, I consistently felt Yes. Stay.
I’m so so so thankful I did. I do not think it was coincidental. I feel like certain messages were sent my way to help guide me to the right choices. I truly believe that “the universe” or whatever you want to call it has our best interest at heart. The universe has your back.
Cutting to the chase now because this could go on for dayyyyyyys. I am now fully employed in Idaho with a beautiful apartment, a boyfriend that treats me like I’m important and special, and more friends than I’ve ever had here before. The positive mindset thing? It’s not a joke! I’m so grateful for where my life is at right now, and how far it’s come from this time last year.
The news channels are all on hurricane watch in Wilmington, even in Idaho and Louisiana. Obviously I can’t help but think “I almost lived there. I was almost in the middle of a hurricane. I would’ve been scared and alone, and my parents would be freaking out. But I’m not. I’m here, safe, warm, and full of love. I am so so fortunate.”
Thinking of all those in the Carolina’s, and hoping everyone stays safe. ❤