Excitement, anticipation, nerves and anxiety: all feelings that a young and ambitious Ian feels as he parts ways with his family to begin Life on his own in Charlotte, North Carolina. He feels excitement for starting a new Life, living on his own in a new city. Anticipation for the new experiences that he would endure. Nerves for moving away from home to start a new job. Anxiety for what the future holds.
However, anxiety is top of mind as Ian bids farewell to the people with whom he spent his previous 22 years of Life. “Will I be okay living on my own?” he ponders. “I know no one in Charlotte. How will I survive?” Fear not, young Ian. You’ve done this before. You will do more than survive. You will thrive. It will just take a little while to achieve this. Hang in there. You got this.
Why Did I Decide to Move to Charlotte?
I love Massachusetts. I love the culture, I love the winning sports teams and I especially love the gorgeous autumn season that mystifies the region every year. With that being said, I had spent eleven years of my Life in the same state. I grew tired of it: the ‘Masshole’ mentality, the grey winters, and the same places and people. I yearned for something different, something new and exciting. I desired a new Life. I had too many ties in Massachusetts. Too many environments that I wanted to remove myself from, in order to achieve betterment. That is why when the opportunity arose for me to move to Charlotte for work, I jumped on it right away.
First Six Months Living in Charlotte
I had done this before: made a move to a new place where I knew seemingly no one. In my blog post where I discuss my “lust for travel”, I comment on the move that my family made in 2008 from Ohio to Massachusetts. Then, in my blog post on my time spent in Germany, I write about the adventure of a lifetime, arriving and growing in a foreign land with foreign people and language. Between moving to a new state as a kid, and living in a foreign country for three months, moving to a new city as an adult should be a walk in the park, right? Wrong.
My first six months of living in Charlotte were challenging. I was alone. I had some solid roommates (one of whom I consider to be a good friend today) and a loving dog (read Lessons from a Four-Legged Friend to learn more about my relationship with Sophie). However, I sought human companionship. My initial attempts proved to be futile. Coupled with my daily frustrations with work (read A Leap of Faith to learn my reasoning for the change to Entreprneurship), I was a big ball of Anxiety early on. Yet as time pressed on, so did I.
Time is a great healer of wounds. As I approached the six month mark of my residency in Charlotte, I found that I was beginning to grow in my new city. I met and befriended Chef Anthony (see his company’s website for some mouthwatering food) and a few other people who I still consider to be close friends to this day. I slowly learned my way around the city. Streets and buildings became more well-known to me. I saw familiar faces when walking through town. Charlotte was beginning to feel like home. Then, BAM! COVID.
From Then to Now
In the beginning, COVID stunted my growth as it pertains to living in a new city. I quickly returned to Massachusetts for a three month stint, as I preferred to be locked up in a home with loved ones. Yet, when my three months were up, I was excited to return to Charlotte to pick up where I left off and continue growing. COVID wasn’t as big of a deal in the South, and I looked forward to going out to dinner and grabbing a couple beers at a local bar.
Fast forward to today, Charlotte is now my home – for the time being, that is. I love this city. The weather is beautiful. Southern hospitality is a blessed commonplace. I have some amazing friends. I interact with so many unique and interesting individuals. I’m in close proximity to some beautiful nature and hiking spots. Life moves at a bit of a slower pace than it does in New England. Overall, I’m very happy with my move to Charlotte. I am where I want to be, for the time being. There is no telling how long I will want to stay here, for my Nomad Life will likely lead me elsewhere at some point.
Growth, in Retrospect
Some of the hardest times in a person’s Life will bring about some of the best opportunities for growth. My move to Charlotte is exemplary of this statement. I experienced some difficult times in my first six months after moving to a new city. Yet, I succeeded in finding what I was searching for: a new Life.
I am much more in tune with my true sense of being living in Charlotte, than I ever was back in Massachusetts. I am more content with my Life. I feel that I have purpose. I am surrounded by people who build me up and encourage me to improve on a daily basis. I fully love myself and the person who I am becoming. I am doing work that excites me. I worry less and smile a whole lot more. Life is good.
Moving to a new city has done so much for my personal development and growth. I am independent, more so than ever before. I am comfortable going out on my own. I am comfortable being on my own. Through my meditation routine (see blog post, as well as my Meditation Thoughts) that I picked up while living in Charlotte, I am also comfortable being with my own thoughts. To me, my Life in Charlotte feels comfortable. I love it.
Tired of Living in Your Hometown?
Whenever I return home to Massachusetts, I love catching up with friends. Many of them are content with staying local to the area and do not plan to leave. They have family in the area. All of their friends are in the area. They are happy with Life and I think that that is absolutely amazing. For others, they are tired of living in the same area and want to escape. Some may feel trapped and are concerned for what would happen if they picked up and left.
For those of you who feel trapped, isolated and anxious to get away, consider your options. You may have good reason to stay where you are (i.e. health, family, money, etc.). However, especially in today’s world of technology, mostly anything is possible. Do not allow your concern for the unknown keep you from moving to a new place. You will struggle, but you will survive. Eventually you will thrive! Don’t let your fears keep you from accomplishing what you want out of Life. Just do it. Time presses on and so will you.