8.21.2014

real talk: our life update and about finding your happiness


This is one of those posts I've been wanting to put up for the longest time, but didn't really know where to begin, how much to share, or even how exactly to say it. So I'm just sitting here typing and hoping to find the right words to explain it all. 

If you've been around here for a while, you'll know that back in December, we decided to move from Charleston to Beaufort, SC, where we both grew up and where our families still live. This was the best move for us. A wonderful job was waiting for Brandon. A welcomed change for us both. A chance to be closer to our parents. A life made a little bit easier due to a greater career opportunity for him and a town that has a slower pace than Charleston. We like "easy living." We were game.

We knew that Beaufort was small. We grew up here, so that was no surprise. We knew that whenever we were ready to fill that "city void" we would have when missing Charleston, we'd be 40 minutes away from Savannah, 40 minutes away from Hilton Head Island (not that that's "city life," but it's something to do), and an hour and twenty minutes away from the Holy City (that's Charleston's nickname because of all the church steeples you can see in the skyline, if you didn't know).

Side note: It just hit me that this is probably going to be a long post. Sorry!

So two days after Christmas, we packed all of our things out of our little condo and put it into storage. What an uneasy feeling. Moving to a new town. Not having a home. All of your "home" being in a rectangular storage unit. Since we were newly "homeless," Brandon and I stayed with my parents for a couple months—They live just outside of Beaufort. During that time, I was driving a total of 3 hours every day to get to/from work in Charleston until my job found a replacement for me. It was wearing on me.

Meanwhile, we were looking for a home to buy. We thought real estate would be less expensive in Beaufort, but it's really not (in our price range, at least). The only difference is that there's so much less on the market in Beaufort, but we found a home we loved. We were sold, then found out the flood elevation was too low. Looked at literally countless other homes and didn't feel right about any of them. Found a piece of land on the marsh that we loved and the price was a steal. Researched architects and found plans we liked for building a house, but what the heck were we going to do while this house was being built? Live with my parents for 6-8 months? That, plus the commitment of building a house just didn't feel right, so I asked Brandon that we squash the idea. My intuition is very strong and I'm learning to trust it.

On top of searching for a home, experiencing constant let downs with said search, driving a few hours a day to get to work, and just not having a place of our own, I also started my job with The Everygirl. I was learning something completely new. I didn't even know what being a beauty editor was and let's just say it was overwhelming to learn the ropes. On top of everything else, I was spending immense time trying to find inspiration for new story ideas, trying to find photographers across the country and the people to create beautiful features for me. In all honesty, it was terrible timing for me to take something like this on (but make no mistake—it has been an amazing experience for me so far and I love it).

In addition to all of that, I also didn't know where I was going to work as a full-time job. Not only is the real estate market unsaturated in Beaufort, but so is the job market. My schedule looked a little like this: I would wake up at 5am, drive to Charleston for work, get back home at 6:30pm, and spend 7pm-12am on the computer looking for jobs, filling out applications, updating my resume for each job, and oh yeah—I was looking for houses, too. Oh, and somewhere in there I tried to keep this blog updated (I can't even remember if I was successful at that) and work for The Everygirl.

(Sorry, am I rambling any? I told you this was a lot of feelings to somehow put into words!)

This was a really stressful time in my life. I never talked about it, but I felt so... different—like I could almost let out a belting wail on cue. This was far away from my normal. But still, I knew we were blessed to be able to stay with my parents and for me to have my current job in Charleston. We were healthy. We were thankful for these things. I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is tiny, small potatoes and many people have things far, far, far worse than what I'm explaining. I am not discounting that one bit, but I'm just being honest with how I felt.

In early March, I had a breakdown with Brandon that went a little something like this "(hysterically crying) Meet me for lunch! I need to talk to you! We made a hu-(hyperventilating)huge mistake!!! Let's go back to Charleston—everything was "perfect" for us there! Why did we give all of that up!!" Yeah, it was definitely something like that.

We sat down and talked through a lot. And I calmed down. Ultimately, we decided that renting was going to be our best option. We were ready to have a home and this would allow us to be sure that Beaufort was going to be the place for us to settle down for a while. We rented the first place we saw that we liked. A really awesome loft space in Habersham, a neighborhood you know I'm obsessed with if you follow me on instagram. I still didn't know where I was going to work, but a couple months later, a series of events led me into the Habersham office and together, we decided that I would get my real estate license and do sales there. I also gained two marketing consultant positions—one at Habersham and one at my in-law's jewelry store. So that, paired with The Everygirl and my own blog would definitely keep me busy.

It was a blessing to get all of that figured out. Since that time, I've been working at home, and while I really don't think working at home is for me (I always dreamed of it, knowing it would be amazing), it, overall, has been a great setup for me. You know how, when you're overwhelmed, you have to tell yourself to "take things one at a time?" Well, finding a job was one of the last things to cross off that mental list for me. But something still didn't feel right.

At this point, we had about six or seven months in Beaufort, long enough to start to feel settled, but I wasn't settled. Not in the least. I missed Charleston. We missed Charleston ...and to me, it wasn't the big things that immediately come to your mind like amazing restaurants, shopping on King, tons of things to do on the weekends, etc. Yes, I totally miss those things, too. But I miss things like having a great grocery store (I used to be a Harry Teet loyalist, that's Harris Teeter. See, we were on nickname basis. Now I do my shopping at Walmart, because that's the only decent "grocery store" near me and let's face it, Walmart's not decent.). I miss having a car wash down the street from me! You may think this is silly, but one day I spent an hour driving around town trying to find an automatic car wash. I found three, but two were broken and one was out of business. I miss having a great gym to go to. (I haven't been to the gym since Decemeber!! Yikes!) And I freaking miss Target, ok?? I was not prepared to break up with Target when we left Charleston and I just don't want to have to drive 35 minutes to Bluffton every time I want a new candle, or a new pack of thank you notes, or whatever given items that Target tends to mesmerize me with. (You know.)

Again, I just don't feel like myself. Still. I don't have the same motivation I used to have. I want to clam up inside, but yet I get so stir crazy from being home working all day. It's a vicious cycle. I don't feel enlivened by our surroundings. I tried to hide this from my blog. A lot of times I just couldn't bring myself to create a blog post. I may be making this out to sound a lot worse that it has been. I wasn't depressed, but I definitely have been in a darker place than I've ever been.

But I put all of that aside (and tried to keep my feelings quiet) and made the best of Beaufort. I love knowing that my parents and Brandon's parents are right down the street. I love the people I work for. There's so many wonderful things about this precious town. We quickly discovered our "regular" spots for dinner and a drink. We have great friends here. Brandon loves his job and is thriving at it.

Then, after finally coming to terms with all of this, we get a call that the company Brandon worked for in Charleston won a few awesome projects and they want him to come back (remember, he left them in December). Doesn't life have a sense of humor? We sat on this for as long as we could, weighing the pros and cons. We know life was happier for us in Charleston. It was "our" life, not a life we created just to be near our parents (that was a harsh reality—I would be with my parents every day if I could!). Life in Charleston is something we created ourselves and it's been sorely missed.

So, I've said all of this to get at one point. We are moving back to Charleston. Brandon is going back to his old job on Monday and I will be selling real estate at an office downtown on Broad St. We have been to Charleston probably six times in the past two or three weeks looking at houses. We are doing this.

The moral of this story is my belief that "your journey" shouldn't be forced. Things don't work out for us everyday. For me, multiple jobs didn't work out in Beaufort. Multiple houses didn't work out for us to buy. I did beat myself up over these things a little—that's human nature. But if you try to make the best out of things and don't force something to happen, it's amazing where you'll end up. For us, life has naturally taken us back to Charleston... to our happy place. It's just crazy the way things work out.

If you've made it to the end of this post, thank you (and bless your little heart). But most of all, thank you for sticking around this blog in a time of my life when things just didn't feel right. I'm glad we're getting back to our "normal." Your support is something familiar to me and whether you realize it or not, each little comment on here or on social media makes a big difference. You keep me rolling with this little blog and I appreciate you.

55 comments:

  1. Awww, I am glad that it has all worked out and you guys will be coming home! I am sure you are both very excited. Congrats on the job also!

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  2. Congratulations on sticking it through all these big changes and on moving back to Charleston! In a way I know just what you mean with all of the transitioning, and though I always tend to worry about the future this is a great reminder that the Lord has great plans for us and that everything that is meant to be will happen just as it is supposed to! And as you know, Charleston is a wonderful place so welcome back!

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    1. I agree with you 100%. Sometimes we just have to let it be because God will direct us!

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  3. I needed to read this today. I live in Charleston but travel 4 hours a day for 4 days a week for work. Its tiring!! I have been unable to find a suitable job in Charleston but I know that if my fiance and I moved to a smaller place (like where I am from) that I could find one right away! However, would we be happy there?? Your post reminded me that things work out how and when they are supposed to, It did for you and I know it will for us. Good luck with your move and new adventures. Once Charleston gets in your blood its hard to leave!

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    1. Bless you! That drive is NOT fun. I will pray that you find a job so that you can stay in Charleston!

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  4. I'm so happy for you! I know what it's like to live in a place where you don't feel "right." I felt that way when I went to a small town for college. I knew it wasn't right and I transferred and later met my husband. It was meant to be! :) I can definitely understand and appreciate your love for Charleston and I'm so happy it worked out for you to move home!

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  5. I needed this today. So, so bad. Good luck with your move back - how exciting!

    26 and Not Counting

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    1. Glad my post was able to help in one way or another. Sometimes it just feels so good to write out your feelings (or read about other people's similar feelings, in your situation) to get a good grasp on your thoughts. Thanks!

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  6. Ohhh Megan, my heart was so sad for you when I started reading this post knowing how unhappy you were and how things just weren't working out, but look what happened? You get to go back to your happy place that is Charleston and now I'm doing a happy dance for you although I know you strictly through blog world! Isn't it funny the way we plan and God laughs? I'm so happy youre going back to Charleston and may you enjoy grocery shopping again!!

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    1. You're too sweet. Thank you! I will join in on your happy dance. :)

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  7. Congrats on getting to go back to Charleston! I've been in your position, only mine was moving to Ohio from South Carolina- far, far, far away from all of my family and friends. (Not to mention I moved there in the dead of winter). I was in the biggest funk of my life when I moved there, and I got out of that funk when I moved to Wilmington, NC. It's amazing what living in a great town will do for ya. Glad you're out of your "dark place!"

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    1. Glad you are out of your funk, too! You're right- where you live is a HUGE factor on how you feel. Thanks!

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  8. Very excited for both of you. It's always good to try something new and out of your comfort zone, even if it doesn't work out the way you expected it to--such a wonderful growth experience. Hope your move back to Charleston is smooth sailing!

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    1. You're right - things like this are growing experiences and I definitely value that! Thank you!

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  9. I heart your blog, it's just so sweet and fun. Thanks for sharing and wow, you've been on a roller coaster indeed. I've had struggles big time today so I needed to take a break and read this and helped me relax and realizing everything happens for a reason and to just breathe. The two of you are your new "family" above anyone else...that is what matters most. Best of luck in your new jobs and in your move. Hang in there. :O)

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    1. Oh, thank you, Toni! I'm glad my blog provided a nice little break for you. And how true- as long as Brandon and I have each other, we're always near family!

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  10. Congrats on heading back to Charleston! You absolutely need to trust your gut!

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  11. Well I just kinda teared up over this. It is very crazy how life happens and the older you get the more you realize and become comfortable with the small things in life. I wish you and Brandon the very best! Lunch date sometime when I get to Charleston.

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  12. So glad you are moving back!! Life is hard and takes so many twists and turns you have to trust your instincts. Charleston is my happy place too such a great place to live. I am happy for you:)

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  13. Yay! Coming back to Chucktown! So happy for you...home is where the heart is, and CLEARLY your heart is with Charleston. Thank God for intuition because you might have been in the middle of building a house! So glad you can easily cut ties since you were just renting. What a blessing. Good luck with the move!
    -Morgan
    California To Carolina
    The Gym Bunny

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  14. Wishing you all the best! I'm in the midst of wedding planning and house hunting, and I've definitely had my moments of wanting to just sit down and cry BUT I've learned to trust my intuition, take one thing at a time, and know that in the end, everything will work out for the best. Life does indeed have a sense of humor, thank goodness! :)

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  15. Wow - what a journey! But look where it's led you! I'm sure you've learned and grown so much from the experience and I couldn't be happier that you'll be going back to the Holy City! Congratulations on the new jobs and best of luck finding your next home! xo

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  16. Congratulations on sticking out the hard times and moving back to Charleston! It really is a one of a kind city. I'm not sure I will take it lightly when I have to move for the man's job down the road!

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  17. First, congratulations on getting to move back to your "home"! Change is super hard and from your blog you dealt with it well, but I know from experience and continuing to be in a place I don't yet feel at home, how tough it is. Good luck with all your and Brandon's new endeavors and settling back in to a track that fits you better!

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  18. So happy this has all worked out the way it was meant to. I'm a strong believer that everything happens for a reason - and that everything nudges you to where you're truly meant to be! So happy that you two are heading back to your happy place!

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  19. Happy moving! :) You've done a great job keeping up your blog, and even if you hadn't, we understand! Take your time and get back into the swing of things! I'm jealous...part of me is dying to move down there. (The other part wants to be in Greenville....closer to home and Clemson!)

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  20. Congratulations to you and your husband! This journey will make you both stronger, and gosh I adore Charleston too...who couldn't? My husband rolls his eyes when I say "I sleep in Greenville but I 'Live' in Charleston." I guess it is hard to explain, I just love everything about that city too. I commend you for balancing so much and it all coming together in the end! Best wishes to you both!!!!

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  21. Sometimes life takes us the scenic route home. Welcome back, Megan. Glad to be in the same city and I know everything will work out lovely!

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  22. Megan, thank you for being so real with your readers! This post truly touched me. As someone who has been through really "down" times and has lived somewhere that just didn't feel right for me, I totally understand how you were feeling. Thankfully God led me to a new city where I am truly happy, and He is doing the same for you! Sometimes we have to experience really dark times to be happy and thankful when good things do happen. I am so happy that you are moving back to Charleston and back to "normal" as you said. I look forward to hearing about your big move and where your life in Charleston will lead you!

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  23. Oh girl same here! we packed up our lives left Phoenix moved to Ohio to be near family, and it just wasn't feeling right. Other things happened that also made us come back, but like you, moral of the story, just because people expect you to do a certain thing at a certain time in your life, doesn't mean that it is the right thing! We are back in Phoenix, back in our home that we had put up for sale! Lesson learned if ain't broke, don't fix it! :)

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  24. Megan, I am so glad you posted this. It was perfect timing! Cole and I are going through some similar transitions and I needed to hear that letting go will work out in the end!

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  25. This post couldn't have come at a better time, I'm going through something similar and it is so difficult to not just trust in the process but I have faith everything will work out :) Congratulations cannot wait to see what y'alls Charleston future has in store!!!

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  26. I love this honest post! I have been having the same feeling in my heart right now! After getting married my husband and I decided to build our first home together on land his parents gave us. The large downside is we have been staying at their house while they finish construction. A terribly rainy winter and a not-so-awesome builder has left us stranded at my in-laws for much longer than anticipated. And I know we are lucky to have a roof over our heads, in-laws that are so kind to let us live in their home and the outcome of a new house (which we anticipate getting our certificate of occupancy today!!!) but to not feel settled or in any sort of happy place is a feeling I do not like!
    Reading this post was so refreshing to know I am not alone in the twenty something funk of newly married life trying to make a home and new life for ourselves. I am so happy that you are seeing light at the end of your tunnel! I have always loved reading your posts and can't wait to hear all about the new move.
    And congratulations on your real estate license! I have my license too and one thing I have been putting off doing until we were "settled" (terrible I know, to put our life on hold over a house) was to join a new office closer to our new home. I met with them last week and have activated my license with them to work real estate on the side of my regular 9 - 5.
    Thank you again for such a great post!

    Have a fantastic Friday!!

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  27. So glad you're moving back to Charleston. If you're looking for a home/neighborhood, my husband and I live in Watermark(Mt. P) and love it! Good luck with the move.

    Emily from F is for

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  28. Hi! I love your blog and catch just about every post. ( : Thanks for chatting with us about this! It's nice to be reminded that life allows us room for revisions. Have a great weekend!

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  29. It's worth it to be happy! As much as being by family is a positive, there's some things that they cannot always provide. Awesome that Brandon could go back to his old job and that you can get a great job back in Charleston! Cannot wait to see the new place when you find one!

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  30. Lovely writing and a beautiful story. So happy for you! Thank you for sharing your journey.

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  31. I think life is like that, springing surprises on us whether good or bad. It's how we react to them that makes all the difference. Happy Trails.


    Lisa x

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  32. Beautiful story, I have been following your blog for awhile now and I'm so thankful for your honesty today !!! Your amazing and I will continue to follow your journey.

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  33. Follow your heart girl, and good luck with move! So happy to know that you are going to be happy and smiling x

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  34. Good for you! I read the whole thing. Wink!

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  35. This post gives me inspiration so thank you for sharing! 4 months ago I made the decision to move away from my boyfriend of 3 years to help my sister, a month later he broke up with me. I was devastated (and still am) and felt nothing but regret for my decision to move away. Your words have made me believe that things can work out in the end, we just need to give them a little time. Thank you for sharing :)

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  36. Good for you - things really do happen for a reason! Happy moving!

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  37. I had a really similar experience recently. For the past year, I've felt like I was just going through the motions and something was missing. I'm making a career move in January, and I can't wait. This post was ironic timing because points you brought up were points in my life that I recognized as well. I'm so happy for you and Brandon and I can't wait to hear how it goes. Congratulations! xo

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  38. I greatly enjoyed reading this and I am so happy with your resolution. I too was about to relocate, leaving Charleston, for a reason not nearly good enough, and something just fell in my lap keeping me here and happy. And funny, I am also from Beaufort and it is hardly comparable to how amazing it is here, but as you said, it's not too far of a drive to see family at least. Thank you for sharing, this was a great reminder to sometimes just let life do its thing.

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  39. So happy you are coming back!!! Charleston looks better with you in it!! And I am calling a girls night out when you get settled!!

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  40. Good for you! The universe totally auto-corrected you and sent you back on the right path. I'm so happy for you!

    Xo Julia
    Tartan & Sequins

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  41. I fully believe in "timing is everything" and "if it's meant to be, it will be". Congrats on your move and I hope you find a great house!!

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