November 2, 2017

I was born and raised in Georgia and although I had a four year stint in Alabama, I didn't have to prepare in the same ways I did when moving to Nashville this year. Moving out of state can be stressful and the logistics can be quite overwhelming. I anticipated so much anxiety about my move, but I honestly have done really well considering. It's been a little over 8 months and I feel as though I am still learning so much about this new city.

I had only visited Nashville once before I applied to work at Belmont University. I remembered the city being full of hustle and bustle, but I was also on Broadway (eye roll). Trust me, there is WAY more to Nashville than the honky tonks and bars on Broadway. This city actually has a lot of culture and a lot of things to explore. Its a music hub, but also a hub for local art, culinary delights, and the great outdoors! Have I sold you, yet?

When I decided to relocate out of state I was concerned with two things. 1. Housing and 2. Cost. Obviously, these things are super important because if you are like me, your budget is very limited!

Here are 10 things I learned when moving out of state.

1. Housing is your primary concern, so make it your primary priority. 
If you are coming to a new place and literally have two weeks to find housing, you need to start in the obvious places. Google and Facebook! I ended up finding my first living situation via Facebook and it was a God send! It was a house with two other roommates, rent and utilities included, and a decent commute. I wouldn't have chosen that location on my own, but it definitely helped me in the beginning. Don't be totally sold on your first place. Even think about doing a short-term lease. Unless you've really lived there, you won't know how it will work for you. Also, Google apartments or houses in the area and see what pops up.

2. Be willing to be flexible. 
Again, you may not find your perfect apartment right away. You may even be able to do something as temporary as a hotel. For me, I needed all of my belongings up here and somewhere to put them.

3. Embrace homesickness and loneliness. 
I tried like heck to feel all the emotions that comes with leaving a familiar place, job, friends, and family. I didn't isolate myself, but I didn't hit the town running either. I wanted to feel all of those things so I could move on and get on with my new life as quickly as possible.

4. Do some exploring.
Always find out about your surroundings and do a little aimless driving. You never know what you may come across.

5. Budget, budget, and budget. 
Always determine what you can spend on moving expenses before you hammer down an apartment. I ended up having my dad move everything for me, and I was fortunate he could make the drive in one day. If you're moving across country, you may not have that luxury. Sell all you can, downsize if you need to, and donate unused or unnecessary items. It's always easier to move less!

6. Ask around. 
When I got to my new job, I asked all of my co-workers about everything. I asked about food, cleaners, auto mechanics, doctors, etc. Chances are they will know a lot and be willing to help you out since they are your amazing new co-workers.

7. Find a church or social club. 
I am still working on this one, but it's always good to surround yourself with like-minded people. Find a church or try Meetup.com, or other social organizations. You may find your new bestie!

8. Keep in touch. 
Once I moved away I had to find time and ways to keep connected with my friends from back home. We FaceTime, get on House Party, and text as much as we can. It helps me to feel like I am in a familiar place and gives me that sense of comfort!

9. Get a city guide. 
I am fortunate to have the Nashville Guide whenever I need it. There's everything from restaurants to parks to coffee shops to bars in there and it helps me to find some footing when I want to explore and go somewhere new. See if your new city has something similar!

10. Always include local flare. 
Once you're beginning to feel settled do and buy things to support your town and local businesses. Nashville has so many things that I could literally fill up my entire apartment with art, coffee mugs, posters, etc. Even if you are moving out into the abyss, find something that will help you appreciate your new surroundings!

Any other advice I missed?? Leave a comment below!


October 30, 2017

I have to say that more often than not I get envious of others as I scroll through my Instagram and Facebook feed. Especially lately, its been one pregnancy announcement after another, and I am thinking maybe there's a club I am not aware of. If anyone knows about this club where couples gather and decide when to all get pregnant, let me know, low key.

I am in a unique place in my life where I am single, but independent, and really working hard to get in a better place mentally, emotionally, financially, and physically. I can work on myself when others are seemingly working on their growing their families, their marriages, their business, etc. I am in a place where I've made decisions in my life that didn't pan out, but I am also taking risks. Not a lot of married couples or parents can take these kinds of risks. I am also in a new city with a small support system, and no family closer than two and a half hours. I have learned to become very self-sufficient. I have learned to lean a little less on others and more on myself and God (that's a whole other blog post though).

I am also in a place where I see so many people tackling their dreams with all they have and I am kind of sitting wondering, "What next"? I have already moved to a new state and rent my own apartment. I have already earned my Master's degree, and purchased my own car, and been in relationships, and been through a divorce (not a dream of mine, but hang on). I say all that to say, I have already been through so much and done so much, and I guess I am more-so sitting here wondering, "What can I possibly do that I haven't already done"? I know you're probably thinking there's plenty more I could accomplish, but again, I am in a unique place.

I'd love to drop everything and become a travel blogger or work remotely while changing the world. I'd love to start my own business and open up the most beautiful and warm coffee shop known to man. I'd love to pay off all of my debts and just travel somewhere new every month not worrying about cost or expense because I am hella frugal and smart with my money.

The truth is, all of those things seem nice, but none of them make my heart go pitter-patter. It sounds really crazy, but the thing that keeps me up at night and makes my heart skip is the thought of becoming a wife and mother. It's again what I see in all of my Instagram stories and blog posts and Facebook news. The two things I want to be, and guess what, I have no control over either of them. I never thought I'd get back to this place where my heart longs to love another, but here I am. The only two things I haven't accomplished yet. People will give me understanding looks and tell me I'll look back and appreciate this time, but right now all I keep thinking about is the shrinking amount of time I'll get to be with them, my husband, and children someday. All of the days I could have been preparing a meal for them, or all of the nights I was longing to meet them, when I could have been feeding them, or rocking them back to sleep. The trips I may one day take with my family, but not the one I call my own. I could open 100 coffee shops and not feel any fuller in my heart.

I want to be happy for those who've finally found what they're looking for, but a part of me just wants to cry...again. I feel this sadness and this pain that doesn't seem to go away. I know that a husband and family can't fulfill everything, but what if that's my heart beat and my deepest desire? What if it doesn't go away so that I don't get jaded or forget why I am here? I can't fill it with other #girlboss dreams, because truth be known, I am more of a #girlwife or a #girlmom than a #girlboss anyway...And guess what? That doesn't make me any less strong, or fierce, or independent. It just means I haven't found my dream yet.

We're all dreaming, right? 


October 24, 2017

GUYS! It has been FOREVER since I last blogged. I didn't plan on this months long hiatus, and frankly, I am a little upset that I let it go on for this long. I am so sorry I have left this little bloggy in the dust. That was not my intention.

Luckily, no one messaged me asking if I was alright or dead...Wait, is that a good or bad thing? :)

I have so much stuff to catch you guys up on, but here's the gist. I am still single, not pregnant, and still employed! Woo! I also still reside in Nashville, in case you were wondering. The transition to this big little city has been a long and hard road, but I have to say, things are looking up. I have gleaned so much from this place and I plan to share more about that as my posts go on.

Without any further delay, because we all know that's been a theme around here, let's get into coffee talk! (By the way, this is the best way I know to get back in the swing of things. Sorry this post isn't more exciting for you).

FEELING: Super giddy about Fall! The leaves are starting to change in Nashville and the temps are cooling down. All I want on the daily is soup, chili, a blanket, and a cozy film to watch. I am actually going to be making large batches of chili and soup over the next few days to freeze and have whenever I want! I also can't wait to go to Cheekwood and check out the pumpkin house. It's a house made of pumpkins, and it's the most wonderful basic thing I could ever experience. #basic

THANKFUL FOR: I am just thankful for my job situation right now. I feel in the last few months my stress level has gone WAY down and for that I am so thankful. I was on a roller coaster at my previous job and it was honestly a very unhealthy situation. Situations like that shouldn't exist in my opinion and I am never going through that again!

EATING: I have been eating a lot of Lean Cuisines. They are getting healthier and less filled with junk, so I don't feel bad getting them as much anymore. Also, I can't get enough frozen pizza! Sorry, not sorry. Oh, and Halloween candy!!!

LOVING: I am loving all kinds of random things, so I will just list them here. Dustin Lynch, coffee (always), booties at Target for under $40, Fall clothes, pumpkins, Manhunt: Unabomber on Netflix.

So, if you are reading this, tell me what's up with you. Also, yell at me for leaving this blog for SO LONG!