community: why i recommend moving to a new city in your 20's- alone. | simply love
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community: why i recommend moving to a new city in your 20's- alone.

i am part of a beautiful blogging community called the peony project
where i have been inspired and have met some wonderful fellow bloggers
our prompt for november is community
 ...which got me thinking...
i have lived in two very different demographics in my life
i grew up in a small german farming community in ohio
{think 'a village raises a child' atmosphere}
and now live just a few miles outside of the city of charlotte
and have come to the conclusion that as much as you love where you grew up- it's ok to leave.

*sometimes there is nothing better than having an open mind and an open heart… especially in your 20's regarding where you choose to reside. although you may be comfortable living in your hometown/city, sometimes you need to step back and ask yourself if you are taking full potential of the world and its opportunities. what is your vision? how and where do you want to create your life? remember, you can love your roots, but leaving is ok as well.
*your 20's are usually years of less stress and more freedom- life before mortgages, kids, and having a family. i feel like some people let fear get in the way of their dreams or don't take chances because they are afraid of outside factors, the way things have always been, letting people down, or leaving their comfort zone.

--> a photo from my first birthday in charlotte - one year into living here - i was so happy.  {6.25.08}


stockholm, sweden- fall 2006 
my hometown church
sweet love 
in july of 2007, i left columbus, ohio for charlotte, north carolina for a teaching position … i left being close to my family, forever friends, a state i had always lived in, the ease/rhythm of the midwest, and a serious boyfriend of almost three years {i felt guilty for doing this- for i was also leaving his family, whom i loved very much (and still do) with all of my heart- and i know that they loved me as well. i always felt this strong love from all of them and always thought- i hope i am half as accepting/loving to others in life as what they always were to me. you all taught me how to love people openly and deeply- thank you.} but i needed to follow my heart. so i moved. alone. to a state over 500 miles away from the place i had always called my home… i knew only two people here, but i wasn't very close to either of them. today, one has become one of my very best friends and the other one was not trustworthy- you just never know and you learn as you grow. the truth is … it's all worth the risk. and while i did feel extremely guilty- as i mentioned above- it was all meant to be and deep in my soul, i knew this. it wasn't an easy decision; however, my family never questioned my decision {not even once} which helped me gain the strength to make the move south and reconfirmed my belief that this was the path that God intended me to take. i am forever grateful for this - you all have no idea what this meant to me. thank you for always believing in me. additionally, in my heart, i knew that my hometown friends would forever be there for me … that's the beauty of being able to have a hometown in life- those people are always there for you- always. i learned that it is ok to leave- to remember, to cherish and to never forget that special place- the place you put tattoos on during your youth. i miss and think of you all often. it is hard to find a community feeling as strong as the one in a small town- and leaving is rare- but i remind myself- it's ok. it is a community where the street names are people's last names, people will give you their shirt off their back any day of the year, you knock on your neighbor's door {or just walk in} for eggs, milk, beer, anything. and i can count about 7 {out of 55} of my classmates who have left ohio. when imoh passed in september and pierre in october- those were the people who reached out to us most. the people who traveled hours each way to attend the service; the people who sent cards, flowers, texts, emails, and encouraging calls- who still check in on us. i am so thankful for all of you and for your constant support- your love. along with many people in charlotte, who just like these genuine people, have become like family to us. the demographics may be different here but people in each place all share common bonds, common experiences, and common grounds in several ways. my journey here has been truly wonderful- in every way. my lifestyle, students/colleagues, our home, diversity, being close to the beach/mountains, sunny skies- yet all four seasons, lots of incredible friends, and most importantly, meeting my husband, mr. monaco, the man i always prayed for-
the man sure does love me lots
and i just adore him.
...
i trusted in God with all of my heart and he delivered so beautifully. 
carolina is now my home - but small-town, ohio is my forever home. 
 … 
if you do decide to take the plunge, 
these are some things you will more than likely experience:
reflection on a carolina sunday morning - 11.16.14
-you'll be able to meet new people who bring new friendships, joys, experiences, and memories
-you’ll be introduced to new customs. adventures, places and perspectives
-you’ll feel an overwhelming sense of freedom and so much independence … i saw myself grow each year; as i began to welcome change with open arms
-you'll soon be able to walk into any social event feeling confident and ready to mingle
-you'll have the chance to reinvent yourself and will be empowered to realize you only need to rely on yourself.
-you'll be able to conquer any of your fears.
-you'll look back and will be proud of yourself and everything that you are possible of achieving on your own!
… the self discovery you gain is unlike any other gift life can give you. the choice to go out on a limb, to take a chance, is such a powerful experience. taking your own destiny allows you to choose your own path and to shape the person you always dreamed of becoming. 

did you or would you ever move to a city alone without knowing anyone?
...
if so, what did you leave behind and what did you learn from this experience?
black and white photo of us by melissa tuck photography 

16 comments:

  1. Janelle, this. is. EVERYTHING! I've actually been thinking about doing a very similar post for a few weeks now. I wholeheartedly agree with every thing you wrote. I did the same thing after college, and it was the best decision I ever made. Your hometown is always waiting for you whenever you come back to visit, or even if you decide to return for good. But it is so important to go out on your own and see what's out there for yourself. Love!

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    1. Thank you, Rachel! I am so glad you liked it… simply the thoughts I think of when I think of the concept of a community… the community I was raised in is very strong and leaving isn't common. You should write your version- I would love to read it!! LOVING your posts … yay!! Adore you, sweet lady! xo

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  2. I love this post! I'm a new follower and I'm so excited to be here.

    Love and Blessings,
    Lacy

    www.thelainarchives.com

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    1. Thank you, Lacy! I really appreciate it and am so glad that you're here!! Excited to follow you as well… hope your weekend went well and thank you again! xo

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  3. I love this post! It is very true. I don't have a lot of regrets but I have to say not going away for college or being on my own is one of them. There's a certain growing up to it that I didn't get the chance to do till later. Love your blog sweet girl!

    livingforhisglory2@gmail.com

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    1. Awe, thank you Mariel! You are so sweet and this means so much to me! I appreciate you stopping in and hope you had a great weekend - xo

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  4. I absolutely loved your post. One thing I learned for choosing to leave home in my 20's is the you learn early on that God is your absolutely source and what you have in your hands are the resources He has given to you to steward and take care of as an act of worship to him. I am pretty convinced that this experience has better shaped your character and reinforced the great foundation laid by your community in that small german town in Ohio. Love it!

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    1. Thank you so much Kimberly! I really appreciate you stopping in and totally agree with you… very thankful for my strong foundation there… excited to follow your blog! Have a great evening! xo

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  5. Oh I love this! About a year ago I did a similar move to NC, and while it was scary & there were so many unknowns, it ended up being wonderful. Community takes time to build especially in a brand new place, but it's so worth it!

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    1. :) Thank you so much, Sarah! I couldn't agree more… so worth it. Have a great evening!! xo

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  6. Moving and getting outside of your comfort zone builds character. You learn more about yourself and the rest of the world. 100% recommended. :)

    Www.funonabudgetblog.com

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    1. I totally agree! Thank you for stopping in and for your sweet comment… totally builds character and you do learn so much about everything around you!

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  7. My husband and I left Texas and moved to Colorado 2 years ago, and it was the best move ever. Then 6 months ago we moved to California for his new job, although we were terribly sad to leave Colorado we know this is where we need to be. All of our families live in Texas and want us to come back but the adventure in moving and living somewhere else is beyond beneficial and enlightening.

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    1. Hi Shelby! Thank you so much for reaching out … I loved hearing your story. It truly is enlightening… best wishes in Cali and and keep in touch!! xo

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  8. So true Janelle! Taking chances...very scary, but usually worth it if you follow your heart! {tears} I will never forget our very first conversation at Crestdale Orientation. I am so glad our world's crossed paths for the second time in our lives, and we had the chance to become good friends!! Miss you!

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    1. Awe- I will never forget that day!! I miss you so much and treasure our friendship- it's been an amazing journey so far! Blessed for the move and a chance to get close to you… follow your heart- always.

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