It all started with a simple text. “Lets move to Nashville,” J said. Without hesitation I (jokingly) responded with, “I’m down.” The rest is history.
Although J is from Chattanooga, we had been to Nashville once together prior to making the decision to move. I think we were here less than 24 hours during the visit. We were going to the Tennessee/Florida game in Knoxville, and made the spontaneous decision (we’re good at those) to leave a night early so that we could explore Nashville. We hit Broadway, took photos by popular murals and did a few other touristy things. We talked about how great the city was and never really thought about it again. Until a few months later that is.
It had to have been some time in May or June when everything started to come together. At the time, I was working for a company that I loved with the most amazing coworkers anyone could ask for. We lived in a cute one bedroom apartment that was in walking distance from the best church we had ever attended. My family was as close as ever and finally at peace after the passing of my pawpaw. My friends and I were finally getting to spend some time together now that I was back from college. Logically, pack up everything & leave, right?!
Since I went to the same school K-12 and went to college only an hour and a half away from my hometown, I think I have always deep down had an itch to leave north Texas. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Fort Worth and all of the people that make it what it is. But I truly believe J gave me the push that I have always needed to spread my wings.
Our decision to move wasn’t a new years resolution or anything like that, it started as a joke. The more we got to thinking about it the more realistic it started to become. J started job searching, we spent hours on Zillow looking for a home and I started to do some research about living in Tennessee. It turns out, Nashville is a HAPPENING place. Approximately 100 people move to Nashville everyday! The more real it became the worse my anxiety got. How could I leave everything I have EVER known?! My family, my friends, the roads I know like the back of my hand, my network of people, Whataburger… I’ll tell you how you can achieve this just like anything else: faith and hard work.
If you have ever considered packing up all of your things and moving somewhere new, DO IT. You can end up with a beautiful new skyline like this!
Some things that I could advise:
- Stay positive. I freaked out over nothing, picked fights with J for no reason, avoided putting in my two weeks at work, I pouted and threw my fits, and ultimately took myself on an emotional roller coaster. Change is scary, but if you stay positive and have faith in what’s to come then you are setting yourself up for success.
- Start saving ASAP. I was making hardly nothing at the time we decided to move. I am TERRIBLE at saving money and pretty much had nothing set aside. If I did it, anyone can. But I can tell you one thing, it would have made it a lot easier if I would have started saving farther in advance. Moving is expensive! Some factors to consider: paying out your current lease (or any other contracts that cannot be transferred like cable), application fees for your potential new home, Uhaul truck or trailer, boxes, gas, hotels if the haul is too long, deposit for your new home, deposit for your pets (pets are expensive), first months rent, start up fees for water/electric/internet/tv, any new home decor you’ll want and money to live off of for 2-3 weeks if you’re starting a new job. Create a budget (and then add some extra). I added up the total cost & divided it out and ended up setting aside a couple hundred dollars each week!
- Make lists. Take everything day by day and avoid getting overwhelmed. Staying organized with lists will alleviate unnecessary stress. Prioritize tasks & just breathe! I’m a checklist person & I’m not ashamed of the sense of accomplishment that I get when I check the smallest task off my list.
- Ditch the old. If me, the hoarder or all hoarders, can force myself to chunk the sweaters that I have had since probably the 7th grade, then so can you. Use the move as a fresh start in all aspects. Get rid of as much as you can. Clothes, furniture, decor, etc. It will not only give you less to move, but will give you more room to buy new.
- Prepare for the unexpected. Like walking into your incomplete house after pulling an all nighter driving essentially your whole life across the country. Yep, that happened. I was outraged and heart broken and questioning if this was a sign from God that we shouldn’t have ever left Texas. I thought it was the absolute end of the world and the worst start to our new beginning, but it really only meant one night in a hotel. With such a large change, things are bound to go wrong. Be resilient when the going gets a little tough!
- Cherish your loved ones (even more than you already do). Moving will put things into perspective. I have never really had to miss my friends and family because they’ve always been “down the road.” I knew it would be hard and a huge change for me so I spent as much time as possible with everyone before I left. No matter how tired I was or how much I just wanted to stay in, I attended the extra dinner, pool day or family get together. I spent quality time with the ones I cared about (this will have you reconsidering how much time you spend on your phone). I vividly remember the realization that I should have been living like I was leaving all along.
- Prepare yourself for a new kind of loneliness. I’m an outgoing person. I like to consider myself friendly and happy too. I moved to Nashville with my boyfriend AND our dogs. I work with thousands of Nashville residents. How is being lonely possible? Ya know, I have yet to figure out how or why, I just know it’s real. Your best girl friend can’t fly in for brunch, your dad isn’t down the road when you’re having car troubles and even though you have a home filled with the best recipe for happiness, there is still something missing. I suppose comfort is the missing piece. If you can get past the initial discomfort and loneliness, there is a whole magnificent blank canvas waiting for you! Before we moved, I reached out to a college friend who had already moved her life across the country. She warned me about the loneliness and I am so glad that she did. If you can talk to someone who’s already done it, I guarantee they will have some great advice for you!
- Once you make it, stay busy. This is the time to make new friends, explore new things and to get out of your comfort zone! The same college friend who warned me about the loneliness also suggested that since I was moving with J, that I need to do at least one thing a week without him to create my own life here too. I highly recommended this if you move with someone. Spending time with your significant other is important, but so is your me-time. I recently joined The Junior League of Nashville. I get to meet amazing women and get involved with/give back to the community too. Church small groups, book clubs, Greek alumni chapters, even Facebook groups are ways to get in touch with new people! You didn’t move however far to start a new life just to sit at home on your couch. Get out a live and stay busy!
- Quit contemplating it & JUST GO! Stop the doubting. Stop the negativity. Stop overthinking! If you want to be adventurous, put your mind to it and make it happen. You are not a prisoner to your current circumstances. Your hometown will always be there, your wild & free days most likely won’t be.
Just to be extra, here are a few Pinterest quotes that helped me through the move!
“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.” -Unknown
“No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.” -Maya Mendoza
“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it.” -Amy Poehler
“Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.”
“Courage is being scared to death & saddling up anyway.” -John Wayne
I hope this gave someone the boost they needed!
With love from Tennessee,
© 2017 Skyla LePoris