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.