Sweet Home Virginia….

Nope doesn’t sound quite sound right does it? I realized that yesterday was my 2nd anniversary here in Virginia and this year I actually feel like I officially belong here. At the one year mark I still didn’t feel like a Virginian, but this year is different – this year it’s home. I spent the evening looking back over the last two years and was amazed at everything that has changed.

Back in August of 2011, I got in a car with a trailer filled with everything and drove 1,000 miles to a city where I knew 3 people and had no job and no prospect of one. Considering I’m not naturally comfortable with change and I’m never a risk taker this still amazes me! Those first six months were not the easiest months that I’ve ever experienced. I had no job, no money, and lots of time to worry – not the best combination for an OCD planner (I did have the cleanest house I’ve lived in though!) I had the privilege of getting to watch my cousins grow up some, and got to know their parents as adults. I spent some quality time in the library applying for jobs, and read an impressive number of books. I experienced my first Christmas alone and without a real tree – although my spray painted sticks with ornaments will always be a sweet memory. I started working through a temp agency and spent a few months working in the most interesting environment I’ve ever been in.

By August of 2012, I hit my one year mark in Virginia, but still didn’t quite feel like this was home. It was definitely the kind of year that should have made me feel like a permanent resident, but I guess the roots hadn’t had time to grow in deep and strong. God blessed me with a job that while it wasn’t perfect, it was in the perfect industry. I sat at the front desk and had plenty of time to look up new recipes and perfected my baking skills even more. I learned to swing dance, laughed a lot, did a couple of puzzles, moved into a condo, learned to love the beach, visited DC with the parents, spent time with family, started running, found an amazing church, and got to go home for the first time since the move.

Since last August, I’ve started a new job, considered major life purchases, rented cars and taken my own vacations, ran 13.1 miles for fun, and realized an unorganized house isn’t the worst thing in life – especially when it’s messy because you’re investing your time in people. I’ve met some awesome people, eaten at some good restaurants, lived through some stress, and generally found that the roots have gotten a lot deeper than they were a year ago. I’ve learned that family doesn’t have to be related, eating an entire pound of brussel sprouts over two days isn’t the wisest decision you’ll ever make, and that while it’s not the greatest solution – cookies can solve a lot of problems. A few months back, I took a trip down to CLT and got to visit with some friends. It was a great trip and just what I needed to clear my head, but the best part about it was that I realized how much I missed Virginia. I missed the industrial feel of the area, I missed the crazy weather, I missed the people, but if we’re being honest here (and I am) I did not miss the traffic!
So to celebrate these 2 crazy years and in anticipation of what the next one holds, I’m having a slice of pie and taking a deep breath after visiting the DMV! Yep….it only took me 2 years declare residency. Oops.

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